April 15, 16 and 17 marks my first visit to Coachella and something I can cross off the Bucket List. Coachella is a 3 day music festival that takes place in Coachella Valley, just outside of Palm Springs, California. Most people go for the bands that were playing. I went for the experience, knowing I would hear some bass that vibrates that soul, even if I had never heard of that bass before. The tickets cost 300 and some change this year, but the experience was so good that I will gladly pay that again, even if I don’t know what bands are playing. There were 5 main things that kept me enthralled throughout the weekend other than the music; it was like all the music was just an epic bonus.
1. Full Body Reset
Leave your mind and problems at home and let your body get back to nature. The only thing that you can think of during the day is how hot you are and how much water and beer you should be drinking (one day I drank 20 bottles of water and 20 beers and peed thrice). Night falls and it’s still perfect weather for the beach. The beats are bumping and you could give a hoot about the unchecked e-mails in your inbox. Currently I’m having trouble getting motivated to put in work on my thesis. It’s the only thing I think about but it’s the last thing that I want to work on. Coachella took it off my mind and when I came back I was ready to make some progress. Use a get-a-way like this to give your brain a break from whatever you think about most.
2. People Watching
There are people everywhere. A lot of them use this weekend to do a lot of drugs in public. Watching someone scream, yell and love an inanimate object never gets old. My favorite time to people watch came during the night time main stage events where all the different drug cultures came together to watch an artist they were all familiar with. The ravers come out of their techno-tents full of flashing lights and pumping bass to intermingle with the ultra-chill and relaxed stoners who enjoy sprawling out on the grass to enjoy some calming tunes, while the psychedelic crews are always close by just wanting to touch everything with a look on their face that shows they aren’t anywhere close to this reality. Everyone is fascinated and driven by something a little different and the building tension is just hilarious to watch as they all come together to get a good view of the stage and listen to some music.
3. The Technology
All of the lights. The lights. The sound. The video. I got geeky on it. Check out the videos and pictures below and just think about all the work that had to go into setting it all up. They also made a conscious effort to be as green as possible by having trash, recycling and compost bins everywhere. They even had a stage that was powered by a generator run off people riding stationary bicycles as well as several other very creative initiatives to minimize waste throughout the festival.
4. The Artwork
5. The Energy
You can feel it as soon as you enter the venue and it continues all weekend. It’s fantastic.
Research shows that if you’re trying to buy happiness your enjoyment from experience type purchases start out high and go up over time, whereas enjoyment from tangible goods like a new TV or clothes decreases over time. So if you’re in the market to perk yourself up with a purchase, make it a trip somewhere instead of a new computer, you’ll find yourself smiling more.
Special Thank you to Stephanie for letting me borrow many of her cool photos that she took at Coachella, including the Featured Image.