Imagine it’s a Sunday morning. It’s your only off day, you sleep in, and you have nothing to do. You sit in front of the TV, make yourself some cereal, and turn on the music channel. Beyoncé is currently playing, majestically walking across your screen as she hits the high notes like no one can. You catch yourself nodding your head to the beat, your foot tapping along. You turn the volume up, and it almost feels like she was really here in your living room, giving you a live performance of Hold Up, how she sassily wrecks cars over unrequited love. But only almsost.
As an avid music lover, one of the things that has always been on my Bucket List ever since I was a kid, was to go to a concert, to see my idols and my favorite singers and rappers live, to experience their music first hand, and to truly feel it. I haven’t been to many concerts, mind you. I’ve heard about Coachella a lot, but never did I pay it a lot attention. For me it was just another thing to add to the list of things I would never experience. Coachella, a congregation of all of my favorite artists, a three day long festival filled with music, party, joy, and freedom, the ultimate festival. Sounds like heaven. And when I heard that I finally had an opportunity to come along to California, Indio, I could barely believe it.
As we drove down the roads from Yosemite National Park along the Western coast of California, we were already in party mood. Windows down, volume up, lyrics ready. Learning the lyrics to my favorite songs is essential for me before going to concert. How else am I supposed to party along and feel the music, if I can’t sing along? At least it is to me. After what seemed like an eternity of a drive, countless playlists, and many many more photoshoots along the way, we eventually arrived at our hotel in Palm Springs in the dead of the night. The hotel wasn’t exactly cheap. No accommodations were. Whether Airbnb, motels, or even camping. They knew Coachella was around, so the prices naturally skyrocketed. So before you guys consider going to Coachella, make sure that you have very deep pockets, because the tickets alone are about $650.
What you also might need is a lot of patience, because the traffic right before entering Coachella is an absolute nightmare, filled with thousands of cars, carpools, and Ubers. We luckily left the hotel about an hour early to get there on time. There wasn’t exactly an opening time, just a personal schedule everyone makes for themselves, depending on which artist they want to see. My brother, the music lover and pop culture freak, he of course took the role of planning the schedule and artists.
Several long minutes later we finally parked our rental car and got out into the scorching heat of the California desert. It was beyond hot, dry, and sand everywhere. I don’t like sand. It’s coarse, and rough, and irritating. But it didn’t bother us a lot in the prospect of finally entering one of the world’s biggest music festivals. Now, one thing we’ve learned on this trip, is that it’s one hell of a leg work out. We basically hiked a mile through the heat just to get from the parking lot to the actual festival, which was packed with people from all around the world. And of course with security.
Security was insanely strict. If you somehow manage to enter the premises, starting at the parking lot, without a valid wristband and you’re spotted, you’re a goner. Your wristband will be checked twice, when both leaving and entering. Backpacks and handbags were not allowed, only small bags. But since all of us had their wristbands ready and read through the rules the day before, we had no problem entering the festival.
As we walked towards the huge Ferris wheel which was visible from miles away, we were also able to hear the music and the booming bass getting louder, vibrating through the ground. To say we were excited would be an understatement. We were finally here, the once in a lifetime experience where you get to see all of your stars live and more.
After that, it was only a simple routine to follow for three days. Constant walking, dancing, and singing sure wears one out at the end of the day, but it is so worth it. The people came in all kinds of colors, cultures. Nothing was too crazy, Native American headdresses, men in high heels, rainbow colored dresses, or birthday suits. No one cared what you looked like, because we were all there for one reason only; to be free and have fun.
Also the line up this year was mind-blowing. From Beyoncé to Daniel Caesar, Eminem to Khalid, SZA to the Flatbush Zombies. Three days or pure music, each and every performance was a unique experience, no show like the other. And just the feeling to be in the middle of it all, to stand among the cheering masses, to sing and dance along with thousands of strangers, connected only by the love of music. In one word, it was amazing. Definitely beats the TV in the living room, no matter how much you turn up the volume.
So if you have ever considered going to Coachella, or if you just love music and partying, we strongly recommend you to save up some money, and give it a shot, because there’s hardly anything that beats this experience.