coachella diary | 2017

I went to Coachella this year.  I think just saying that makes me feel about 10x cooler than I was, right? As it was something that's been on my bucket list for a while, and as you can recall, this is my "year of yes", it seemed like an appropriate time to check it off.  So I gathered some of my girlfriends, flew a couple thousand miles across the country, and partied my ass off for three days straight.  I did it. I succeeded. I'm alive to tell the tale.  And I never have to do it again.

First of all, those of you know that know me know that I absolutely despise flying.  So getting on a 6 am cross country flight was less than ideal.  But the destination is always worth the trip, amiright?  Landing at LAX Thursday afternoon, we immediately hit the road to head down to Palm Springs.  After a few hours in a packed car and couple of pit stops, we finally made it to our gorgeous Palm Springs home for the weekend.  A few bedrooms, great views and a pool immediately made me feel better about what was to come that weekend.  Nine girls in a house together is always a little risky, but I must say, the crew was fantastic.  What a treat to have everyone be respectful, responsible, and willing to just do their own damn thing. After a massive trip to the grocery store to stock up for the weekend (beer and champagne, plus eggs, avocado, fruit and veggies - who are we, adults?!), and a few hours by the pool, we ventured off to an absolutely incredible dinner in Palm Springs at a place called Workshop.  Should you ever find yourself in that part of the world, go there.  The food was incredible (I'm still dreaming about the octopus carpaccio), the service outstanding, and the vibe pretty awesome (although give me outdoor seating just about anywhere and I'm sold).  Post dinner I dragged a couple members of the crew to a pre-party at the Palm Springs Air Museum.  Although we only stayed for a hot second (24 hours of travel and adventuring is a lot), it was pretty damn cool to see some great acts perform in an airplane hangar surrounded by old military planes.  Francis & The Lights killed it, Four Tet was great, and Sampha can fucking sing. 

Jet lag is a bitch, and woke us up early Friday morning, which lead to a home cooked breakfast with views of the mountains and a few hours by the pool before we ventured over the to festival.  Palm Springs is about a 40 minute drive from the Polo Fields where the fest is, so should you ever go, be prepared.  Feeling brave, we took the shuttle to the grounds.  All was well and good until about 10 minutes before we arrived when some drunk asshole peed in an empty water bottle on the bus. That was the last time we took the shuttle.  Finally at the grounds, we went to meet our friends that were camping over at the site.  I had never been more relieved to have rented a house in my life.  However, it was lovely to have a place for some free beers and to stash our belongings for the day. Also lovely? The crew of people we found ourselves hanging with.  Venturing in to the festival that afternoon we packed a lot in.  Starting at Big Gigantic, we then made our way to my number 2 show of the weekend - Glass Animals. If you ever have a chance to see them, go immediately.  From there: Mac Miller, Jagwar Ma, The xx, DJ Shadow, Empire of the Sun, and last, but certainly not least, Dillon Francis (killed it).  Day one certainly had me remembering how exhausting festivals were, so we hopped in an Uber and made the trek back home.

Saturday jet lag struck again, but this time we took advantage.  Mama Furbee cooked another killer breakfast, and the pool cured our hangovers.  When your friends move to the other side of the country, time to catch up gets harder and harder to find.  When your friends live in the same building, somehow time to see each other also becomes a struggle as the days go on.  I had forgotten how great it was to spend time with girlfriends, catching up, sharing stories, giving (and taking) advice, and just generally feeling the love that can often be missing from our day to day, crazy, hectic, exhausting, lives.  Going into this trip I had questioned a few times if I was making the right decision - it's expensive, far, exhausting - but if nothing else, these moments alone and with friends, enjoying the sun, avoiding work and the continually piling up responsibilities truly made it all worth it as did the new family I gained over the weekend.  After fully taking advantage of the Cali sun, we finally made it to day 2 of the festival.  Starting at my number 3 of the weekend, Future (dude brought out Migos and Drake, I mean, come on), we also caught ScHoolboy Q (plus A$AP Rocky), Bon Iver (FINALLY), Gucci Mane (yassss) and closed out the night with Lady Gaga (I missed you Bey).

Day three started off in much the same way - sun, pool, food, coconut water, mimosas - before heading over for the final hurrah.  (Dear Lollapalooza, stop doing four days, it's too much). Sunday was Kendrick Day (yes, double caps), so I was pretty stoked from moment one.  After hanging at the campsite for a bit we made it in for Honne (feat. Amine - check him out, my friends have cool friends), before venturing to the Do Lab for Shiba San (if want to find all of the festival goers on the most drugs go here, the people watching is next level).  Finding the rest of the crew there, we made the mistake of seeing DJ Khaled (for 10 minutes, it's all we could take, trust me on this, never go see him).  From there, Justice and Hans Zimmer before my number one show of the weekend - Kendrick Lamar (praise). I'm already a fan, so this may not come as much of a surprise, but dude fucking killed it.  After dropping his new album just 48 hours before I had high expectations, and all were exceeded.  Plus, he brought out Future, ScHoolboy Q and Travis Scott, so clearly it was amazing. If you have a chance to see him, do it (but again, do NOT go see DJ Khaled, cannot stress that enough).  Throwing caution to the wind (also, good judgement), I opted to stay and hang at the campsite post-fest that night.  (Is this an appropriate time to use "yolo"?).  After a bit we wandered over to the HP sponsored "dome" - a giant structure with AC and bean bag chairs that plays a super trippy 3D video of essentially nothing for all the drugged out festival goers. A bit of a running joke amongst the group, it was actually pretty cool.  The AC was definitely a welcome change, and the graphics were pretty awesome (and damn does HP know their audience).  From there it was silent disco time. In the campsite there is a small area that has an arts and crafts station, neon dodgeball, and a giant dance floor with a DJ.  The music goes silent and the headphones go on around 3 am, and the whole thing shuts down at 6.  My first time at a silent disco, by far the most entertaining part was taking the headphones off and listening to a bunch of drunk kids try to rap, but that could just be me. Finally trekking home at the crack of dawn, the exhaustion was real, but so was the killer sunrise over the mountains and palm trees.  Some things are worth staying awake for I suppose. 

All in all, the pain and suffering we felt Monday (and Tuesday, and Wednesday) was worth the memories (or lack thereof).  We all walked away from that weekend with a few years off our lives, exhausted, and with new friends that turned into family.  Coachella, I might never see you again, but I love you.

And now, for those of you that might make the pilgrimage out to Coachella in the future, some tips:

1. Don't go too early, it's gonna be a long ass day.

2. Get the mozz sticks, 'nuff said.

3. Water. Water. Water.

4. The bathrooms in the middle by the giant Alice in Wonderland lamps are the best. Go out of your way to use them.

5. Have friends that are camping. Take advantage of them.

6. Enjoy the art installations, they're pretty cool, on drugs or not.

7. Go to the dome. You'll come out a changed person.

8. The silent disco in the campgrounds is actually pretty sick. The music goes silent and headphones go on at 3, but power through for a bit, it's worth it (if only for the people watching).

9. Wear sunscreen.

10. Choose 2-3 acts you refuse to miss, and go with the flow for the rest.  You won't see everything you want to see, and you'll probably see things you'd prefer not to.  It's ok, it's a festival.