Coachella Weekend 1 – April 11th-13th 2014
We arrived to the campgrounds late Thursday after a long, long day of driving. We were ecstatic and could not wait for the festival to begin. As we set up our campsite we could hear all the campground festivities going on less than half a mile away from us. There was a silent disco, tented dance floor with a DJ and huge crowds enjoying their first night of camping as well. We set up our campsite along with everyone around us, spent the remainder of the night exploring the attractions close by, and then went to bed to get a good rest before an epic weekend.
Woke up Friday morning to incredibly hot weather, with the sun heating up our tent around 7:30 am. After about a 30 minute wait for the showers, girls were not so lucky, everyone made some breakfast and prepared for the hot day ahead. We then caught up with some friends at their campsite not too far away and prepared for the day.
We headed into the festival around 2pm to catch our first show, ZZ Ward. The grounds of the festival were extremely cool. The grounds were so massive and there were modern art projects and different themed tents everywhere. The coolest one by far was the massive Blowup Remote Control Astronaut that would move around the festival the whole day. ZZ Ward put on a great show to start the day, especially since I had never heard of her before.. After ZZ Ward we then headed over to the Mojave Tent to see back to back shows by Aloe Blacc and Bastille. While not being a huge fan of these two artists the vibe at their live show was really upbeat and fun. They were good warm up acts for the next show, Ellie Goulding. She was absolutely unbelievable and sang great live. Just as it started to get dark we headed over to Coachella’s EDM tent, the Sahara tent. The place is decked out in incredible light shows and speakers covering the entire surface of the tent. Martin Garrix, a 17 year old Dutch DJ, put on the most energetic concert of weekend by far! It was an hour long blend of dance, jumping and singing. We left to go to the Main Stage for the final two shows of the night. Girl Talk was a full set of awesome song mash ups from the past few years with surprise guest acts such as E-40, Too $hort, Juicy J, and Busta Rhymes. The final act of the night was the one I was anticipating the most all weekend. It was the first reunion show by Outkast in the last 10 years. Everyone was hyped and people pushed their way to the front to try and get the best spots possible to see Big Boi and Andre 3000. They played for around one hour and mostly played older songs from their 1998 album Aquemini. The crowd didn’t get into the music as much as I thought they would have, and overall I did not know many of the songs that they played for the first half hour of the show. The last half hour was amazing, with them playing Roses, Hey Ya, The Way You Move, and many more great songs. It was a great way to end the first day of Coachella.
Woke up on Saturday morning early with the sun brighter than ever. We could tell it was going to be a hot day as we showered, ate, and began waking up by sitting in the shade of our cabana at our campsite. We planned out our day and then met up with friends at a closer campsite to start pre gaming. First stop of the day was Chvrches at the Outdoor Stage. We watched from the Beer Gardens off to the left and caught some shade while drinking a few beers. After the show it was super hot so we decided to check out what everyone was calling the “Do Lab”. Turns out the Do Lab was a live electronic music stage that is part art installation, and part music stage. With an incredibly cool setting and dancers onstage who spray the crowd with hoses to cool down from the heat, it was by far the most fun and surprising show of the weekend. No one had a bad time at the Do Lab. After cooling down we went to the Main Stage to see one of the best shows of the weekend. Kid Cudi absolutely killed it and threw one of the best shows I had ever seen. There were easily 30-40 thousand people rocking out as he finished up his set with Pursuit of Happiness remix.
Next in line was Dillon Francis at the Sahara Tent. Always with a very cool light show, Dillon Francis always throws a great show no matter where you are. Coachella was no exception and proved himself once again as Diplo came out onstage and declared Dillon the “future of EDM”. To finish up the best day of the weekend, we say Lorde, Foster the People, and to round it off, Pharrell. It was better than the Grammy’s. Pharrell put on my favorite concert of the weekend, bringing out guests P. Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Busta Rhymes, Diplo, and Nelly. He really showed why he has had such a successful career as a musician and a producer. He ended the show with his song Happy and brought up 20 fans to dance with him and all the guest artists.
When we woke up Sunday we were sad to know it was our last day in the desert.
We packed up the campsite and got the car ready to go so when we left at the end of the day we could hit the road back to San Luis Obispo immediately. Some of us had class early in the morning. The first show of the day was electronic artists, Flight Facilities. They were really good and a perfect warm up for the Do Lab, which we went to next. After cooling off and having a great time doing so then headed over to the Gobi Tent to see Rudimental. A group we had discovered at Outside Lands the year before and a definite on our list to see. They put on a tremendous show, followed by another super energetic show by trap artists Flosstradamus. By the end of their show it was already 7 pm and we were exhausted from a long weekend. But we caught a second wind to help us with the rest of the night. And it was a great one. Starting with Calvin Harris at the Main Stage, then moving to the Outdoor Theatre to see a living angel, Lana Del Rey. The night ended with the biggest group coming out of the UK, Disclosure. They put on one of the best shows of the whole weekend and brought out special guests Mary J. Blige, Sam Smith, and AlunaGeorge.
8 hours from Sacramento
7.5 hours from San Francisco
2 hours from Los Angeles
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
Empire Polo Club
Indio, CA 92201