If you have read my blog for a while then you will know that it has been my dream to go to Coachella Music Festival for many years. While at University I lusted over the pictures of street style and watched the sets on YouTube, rueing my course for always having deadlines around the time of the festival.
Finally this year was the year I got to see it for myself, and unlike most dreams, it more than lived up to its expectations. Arriving at the festival at 3am on Friday morning, having left San Francisco at 10am the previous day, it is fair to say I was a little tired when we arrived. Pitching our tent and heading to sleep we woke up bright, warm and excited on Friday morning.
Attending the first weekend of Coachella was amazing, all the acts were fresh and ready to go, while all the surprises that happened over the weekend were yet unknown and unexpected. It would be so hard to say who my favourite act was as so many were special for so many reasons. It turns out that Californians don't really know how to party and would rather stand and clap and keep their hair in place then go mad and dance about like its an affliction, as us British tend to do. Having said this, they are also some of the most friendly and lovely people I have ever met, and Coachella was an amazing festival experience.
Arctic Monkeys were the first band we saw who got me excited, despite a little bit of drizzle (apparently this was cause for wide spread panic amongst the Americans) they were absolutely amazing. Alex Turner has really come into his own as a frontman and all three of us were dancing about like it was the end of the world. Later that night we also saw Pulp, Madness and The Black Keys, however it was a midnight show from The Horrors that really saw a smile put on my face. I was yet to see them and this was just the most perfect way to do so, their song 'Still Life' was the first to have me in tears over the weekend.
Saturday saw a return from the sun and it seemed everybody was all the happier for it. Starting our day with The Vaccines at 2 in the afternoon was sure to be a hype, and it only got better with performances from The Big Pink, Squeeze, Kasabian and Bon Iver. Both Kasabian and Bon Iver were absolutely mesmerising, Bon Iver so much so that we decided his set was so delicately moving we needed no more music that night and missed both Miike Snow and Radiohead. Whoops.
Feeling ashamed from missing Radiohead, we made sure Sunday was jammed packed with bands. Metronomy again started the day with a pop, performing against a backdrop of bright blue skys and palm trees; possibly the most perfect background for them in the entire world? Also capturing the sunshine spirit were First Aid Kit, Santigold, Justice, Florence and the Machine and of course, Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre.
I am not a massive hip hop fan, but somebody like Snoop Dogg commands respect. Not really sure what to expect I entered the main stage along with everybody else in time to see the set. I am not sure if the hologram of Tupac blow my mind more or the appearance of Eminem, however it was one of the best shows I have ever seen.
I think Coachella is made so special by its no nonsense operation. If something is not working they fix it immediately, everything is small and close together, the sound is spectacular (English festivals take note) the food is delicious, the grass is green and the sun is always shining (most of the time anyway). Everybody is also so friendly and courteous, offering their drink around instead of trying to burn each others tents come the last night. I bought my ticket on a £20/month payment plan last July, I might just do the same again this year.