Coachella was a dream of mine for many years, but one of those dreams I’d labeled as “maybe one day” and filed into the back of my mind. Each year the lineup would be released and I’d scroll down the list, lusting over my favourite artists and wishing I could be there. This year, my friend and I were buying tickets and my skype cut out – completely disconnected. During that time I managed to get two tickets to the first weekend. I immediately called my friend, shaking and screaming with excitement, only for him to tell me he got tickets to the second weekend - double lucky!
We attended last weekend, but it got off to a really slow start. After my camera was stolen in Los Angeles, I was feeling a bit down. The drive from LA to Coachella took twice as long as we expected and we arrived late at night on the Friday with rain blanketing the valley. I decided to sleep and missed the first day of Coachella (shhhh). The second day was much more successful and I fell in love in love with Bon Iver all over again. Third day was pretty late, but it was awesome singing along to Somebody That I Used To Know live and dancing to Beirut – Nantes.
It turns out that American’s don’t know how to “concert” – they make three key concert errors.
Firstly, when we went to see Kasabian playing there was a slight mosh pit going on, which was really awesome, except for the meter radius everyone had around them. It was so easy to walk through the people to get close to the front, which was kinda cool, but it just felt a little awkward really.
Secondly, after Bon Ivers set, everyone sat down, obviously waiting for Radiohead’s set. Literally, as soon as the music stopped, everyone fell to the ground like flies being ambushed fly spray. This was just outright annoying, I wanted to leave to see another act, but I was too drunk and too far into the centre to move away freely, so after a few minutes of awkward swaying I decided to just sit down and wait.
Thirdly, towards the end of Radiohead I was over it… I hadn’t really wanted to see them this weekend and I was trapped, so I tried to make my great escape. In New Zealand, people resent you if you try to get closer to the front of the concert, which seems to be kosher here, and they are pretty kind to you if you want to leave as you’re freeing up space for them. Here, in the land of the free, if you are trying to leave people give you evil glares, barely make space for you and will make sarcastic sounds. Some people will try to push you back further towards the front… I don’t understand this, at all? Do you not want my prime concert location? Can an American please translate this for me?
Aside from the little differences, Coachella was an unbelievable experience. It’s such a big festival, it’s like it’s own little CoachellaLand. At present I’m looking into visas and to the process of moving to Coachellaland forever. But for now, at least I get to set up house there for this weekend. Temperatures are looking to hit 30 degrees plus and we’re camping, which I think is going to be a little crazy.
I had a great time in Tijuana, Mexico – Couchsurfing for the first time and I can’t wait to post about it. Often people post about Couchsurfing as a way to make travel cheaper, but I think it’s more than that: for a period of time a person invites you into their life. It’s a really personal way to travel and it’s a great way to meet locals.