Well I’m finally back from my week long road trip from Vancouver, BC to Indio, California for Coachella 2013 and I have to say it was arguably the best and most magical experience of my entire life. I make grand statements like that often but let me assure you, I am not exaggerating. For those of you who have considered attending a music festival before but haven’t had the time, or gotten around to doing it… get off your butt and do it. You will not regret it.
Here are some of the highlights of our insane trip…
After waking up at 5am we left Vancouver heading south through Seattle. After stopping in Portland to stock up on tax-free camping supplies, we were making good time and decided to take the scenic Oregon coast. WARNING: Do not attempt! We ended up having to cut back over to the I-5 and lost about 5 hours. After 20 hours of straight driving, we decided to sleep in Redding for the night.
We woke up super early again in Redding and continued down the I-5 through Sacramento. After about 6 hours it really started to feel like we were heading into the desert. We also drove through YOLO, California. If you don’t find that funny, you need a sense of humor. Another 6 hours of driving and we finally arrived in sunny Indio, CA where we waited in line for our camping spot. SUGGESTION: Get out of your car while in line, and you will meet the coolest people. We met a hippie florist from Redondo Beach who spent the rest of the weekend with us. She was amazing.
We thought the first night would be pretty calm in the campgrounds, but after setting up camp it was pretty clear that the drinking started right away. We even got the chance to check out the silent disco, which is a wicked cool experience where you listen to music on headphones and dance underneath a big colorful marshmallow sphere. It was truly unique.
Day 3 began bright and early with a few beers and a lot of sun. After basking in the heat for a few hours we decided to make our way into the festival. After hitting up the Do Lab to be misted for half an hour and cool off. We got caught up in the beer gardens for too long and ended up missing Metric, but made sure to catch the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (CRAZY!) and Tegan and Sara (GREAT!) and the end of Bassnectar’s set where we fell in love with the Sahara tent.
After that we headed back to the crazy campgrounds and stayed up way too late. Lesson learned. Seriously, the sun comes up at 6 so get some sleep.
We decided to take it easier today so that we didn’t burn out too fast and were able to catch more shows. We made our way to the festival grounds in the early afternoon and followed the same routine – Do Lab misting, and then beer garden. This day we managed to catch 2 Chainz, Bat for Lashes, Kill the Noise, The xx, Phoenix, and Knife Party.
The xx’s performance was completely mind blowing. I’ve loved both of their albums but haven’t had the chance to see them live. It was a fantastic and beautiful show. After the shows we made sure to head back and get some real sleep so that we could give it our all on the last day.
The final (and very sad) say of Coachella saw us following the same routine as before. Mist, beer, shows. Rinse and repeat. On the last day we managed to catch Jessie Ware, Alex Clare, Grimes, LA ROUX (highlight of my trip), Pretty Lights, Wu Tang Clan and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was an emotionally charged day, as we knew we would be saying goodbye to our new friends and goodbye to a moving experience in the desert.
We had packed up our site earlier in the day so we didn’t have to do it at night. After a few short hours of sleep we began our trip home, which was supposed to be shorter than the trip there but seemed like it took much longer. After another 2 days of driving, we arrived back in sunny Vancouver, where I had a good day and a half of solid sleep.
The highlight of the festival was definitely La Roux’s performance, but it’s genuinely so hard to pinpoint a single moment when I was having the most fun. From dawn to dusk the energy and vibe of the festival and the people in it is seriously so different from life at home that is really hard to put into words. I will look back on this trip fondly and know that I will DEFINITELY be back this year.
Did any of you guys get a chance to check out Coachella, or are you planning on checking out another music festival this year? Let me know below and maybe I’ll see you there!