Coachella: L.A. Girls, Frat Boys & the Brits

     

    The original vision of Coachella was a new Woodstock. However, the profit margins remained slim, and it was bought by Goldenvoice. This has come at a price: No longer the stomping ground for native Californian hippies, the festival has been replaced by frat bros and L.A. girls.

    Festivals back home are grimy but great. Festival-goers embrace the mud, rain and wind: At Coachella, the bikini is a staple. Back home, it’s Wellingtons (boots) and anorak (raincoat). We returned from the porta-loos one day to see bros in flat-caps doing push-ups. We then proceeded to walk past the phone-charging station where girls were queuing to use their curling irons.

    While our hair remained uncurled and our bodies suffered, Coachella fulfilled our expectations. Never before have we seen so many collectively beautiful people in a desert. A fashion blogger’s paradise and a model scouter’s wet dream, Coachella is as glamorous as it is musically rich. While it seemed like some people weren’t there for the music, every show was impeccably managed, and all the stages were equally good performance spaces.

    Camping at Coachella is like “glamping” (glamorous camping) at Glastonbury. Our neighbors had “Juicy” campervans, cocktail blenders and portable showers attached to the van. We rocked up totally unprepared, with nothing but our tent and a few chairs from Wal-Mart. Luckily, we were next to two San Diego locals, Kellie and Olivia the most unexpected stoners we have ever met who were kind enough to let us seek shade under their tarpaulin and chill our drinks in one of their five iceboxes. We would wake up around 8 a.m. to the sound of “Duuude. I wanna black out tonight” and to the smell of a bong. We don’t know how much music Kellie and Olivia got to see.

    One thing we noticed at Coachella is that people are so busy looking good that they don’t want to dance. At other music festivals, we’re scared of the front because of terrifying mosh pits. But at Coachella it was easy to weave to the barriers through all the people on their iPhones. In our crowd travels, we noticed middle-aged men wearing orange earplugs, on iPhones and looking suspiciously at everyone reaching into their bum bags. It became a game to spot undercover cops in the crowd; they need to work on their disguises.

    While we might sound like we are preaching the superiority of British festivals, there is something undeniably alluring about the glamour of Coachella. Now we’re not sure we’ll be able to go back to the grime of the British festivals, Reading and Bestival, where, far from sharing tarpaulins, we have had neighbors who have actually shat on the pillows of our friends due to dodgy drug deals. In the desert, illegal substances are so abundant they are found littering the toilet and tent floors. Whilst watching “Super Tall Paul” on the flute, we saw an unfortunate man crawling on all fours convinced he was a cat. Meow.

    With the right attitude and supplies, Coachella is one of the best festivals we have ever been to. Next year we will be rolling through in our Juicy campervans.

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