First-timers heading into Coachella Weekend 1 may have a preconceived notion of what the festival will be. You see the glamour pictures all over social media of guys and girls in their “Coachella outfit,” leading to a barrage of #Coachella hashtags paired with snappy captions.
Obviously, there’s a reason people keep coming back since the first Coachella festival in ’99, and it’s not to take pictures.
KAYZO, who headlines the Sahara Tent on day one, gives his take. “People and fans assume it’s kind of a bro fest,” he says. “A takeover of people who maybe aren’t respectful at a music festival, but I think it’s quite the opposite. It’s a bunch of cool people here to enjoy their favorite musicians and respect each other. It’s actually way more chill than a lot of other festivals.”
Each year, audiences wait for the highly anticipated Coachella lineup to be released, and each year there’s something for everyone, whether it’s hip-hop, EDM, R&B, rock or plenty in between. With doors opening at 11 a.m. and headliners taking the stage as late as midnight, stamina is required as well.
Neil, 27, says, “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon!” Sam, next to him, chimes in: “Everyone is gonna have style!” With a chuckle, he adds “I’m just bitchy.”
While there probably are a select few who come for the fashion, pictures and social media likes, the majority would have to agree that music is at the core. Garrett, a 31-year-old based in Los Angeles, brings up a great point:
“People think it’s one style all the time, it’s either hip-hop or it’s just house, but it’s a mix,” he says. “Everyone has to know if you go to Coachella, you need to love all music. It’s not one thing. You have to love so much music. I hate when people were upset Kanye wasn’t headlining … well, Tame Impala are headlining! They played here a couple years ago. If you don’t know Tame Impala … it’s everything.”
Coachella isn’t just a rave and it’s not just hip-hop, it’s a whole melting pot, from the music to the art to the food to the people.
Daniel Ju from the Bay Area says, “A big misconception is that only a certain type of Coachella basic people go to Coachella, but there’s actually a huge mix of diversity here. That’s pretty cool.”
This is true. With racism and discrimination still rife in society, it’s refreshing to see diversity in all races and ethnicities as they come from all different areas of the world and pour into the campgrounds. All ages, too. This is a no-judgment zone, to truly enjoy and reap the benefits of live music.
While service is spotty, most people are smart enough to bring their phones and a portable charger. But before you worry about posting, consider being present in the moment.
Bryan De Los Santos, a 28-year-old Palm Springs native who works for the local Desert Sun newspaper, says, “A lot of people think it’s an Instagram-type moment type of festival, or you do it for the fashion and the love. If you come to Weekend 2, you’ll see a lot of locals. A lot of people who will appreciate the music. It’s a different vibe. You get to see people really get into the music. It really is a misconception that people don’t see beyond Weekend 1.”