COACHELLA. COACHELLA. COACHELLA (coachella.com). WHEN YOU’RE HERE YOU UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE TALK ABOUT IT SO MUCH. IT IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE FOLKLORE (POST) HIPSTER. IT’S JUST THE PERFECT FESTIVAL FOR LOCATION, PEOPLE AND ATMOSPHERE
Getting to Indio is already a wonderful journey: starting from Los Angeles (with the classic pickup truck and the radio blaring Hip Hop Nation to enter immediately into the right mood), you road for about two hours and half the entire historical Interstate Highway 10, crossing almost lunar landscapes cluttered with giant wind turbines and hot springs that make this land frequented by tourists throughout the year. When you pass the sign ‘Indio and Other Desert Cities’ you feel of being in the right direction .
The music is the main reason to go to Coachella because everybody play there. And when we say everybody, it is not an euphemism.
The list of names is endless and planning your day at Coachella to see all the musicians is a challenging job and almost impossible. Music aside, the attention is directed to the public mainly because Coachella is dotted with beautiful women (slightly) dressed and muscled surfers from the near Venice Beach but also the iconic Ferris wheel overlooking the Empire Polo Fields along with twenty installations (mobile or not)- including ‘ Balloon Chain’ by Robert Bose view at Burning Man 2013 – captures the audience’s attention.
Coachella is an almost perfect machine at the organizational level, effective both day and night, from those who work there that welcome you with a smile at every corner of the festival. No one is ever in a bad mood, no one is ever impatient, nobody does ‘power games’. The atmosphere is relaxed (and not only for legalized marijuana for therapeutic purposes).
Coachella is also made up of very precise rules. You must activate your entrance bracelets, pass 3 checkpoints in a couple of miles to finally gain access to the festival. You can only drink alcohol in certain protected areas and once you overcome the initial shock you realize that there is a functional logic in this. And because California has more than 42% of the Mexican population, it is not a surprise that margarita is considered the official cocktail of the festival.
Get ready to bring home a dose of good humor, some new bands to listen to and a reasonable cough because of the sand that occasionally rises from the desert.
Text by Emanuela Virago and photos by Thierry Lebraly