“Life inside one of America’s best music experiences isn’t what it looks like on TV…it’s way better”
Coachella in our seventh session.
Built from the ground up in the valley of the San Jacinto mountains, in an arid desert climate, spinning windmill blades against the sea of desert lights moving closer to a sunset hour that signifies we made it home….we made it home.
This is my happy place. And when we arrived and took in the view from the outside we peaked into a Coachella that looked to have re-invented itself from an upstart indie music festival to this shiny new EDM toy on display for the entire world to see.
Related: 2015 Coachella Survival Guide
Take a picture, take a picture, take a picture. A photo matted, filtered, glossy to the touch, recycling decade old trends into re-interpreted media bullshit, printed in gossip magazines to fit into tiny electronic square boxes for you to double tap on your iphone so all your real friends will think you’re cool. Advertising trendy feathered haircuts, hobo sahara tent couture fashions and ironic t-shirts screaming: eat, sleep, rape, repeat only to be nullified by the lonely internet trolls and narcissistic talking heads who weren’t there. That kid’s shirt was really fucked up, I’m mean really fucked up but the giant box you like to listen to loves to talk shit about people or whoever and the tweets are watching so be careful. Life’s on display these days in real-time. You shoulda known better.
Welcome to 2015.
From the outside this is the image you get fed of Coachella. Believe me some of it’s real. Some of it is a lie. And some of it is so outlandish that you might never know what to believe. That’s life. And the questions I pose to you are – aren’t we born to feed our ego like this to an extent? Isn’t this what motivates celebrity, culture, pushes art forward to try and do and come up with some cool weird shit? Don’t we want to come up with our own conclusions, and define our own experiences and make decisions about what’s real or fake on our own? And isn’t this the curiosity and search for validity we’re all looking for in some way? I can’t blame you for wanting to take part in this or coming back – FOMO is a son of a bitch! I can’t blame you either for hating this to. From the outside looking in Coachella looks fake as fuck, but you can say this about any piece of pop culture that’s been over exposed, exploited by the media and trolled by the culture vultures that exist in our world today.
But this purity we seek in our experiences lies underneath this superficial facade because the spirit and positivity of Coachella is always alive. This is evident the minute you step foot on its well manicured polo fields for the first time, every year you come back and every time you see the sun go to rest behind the mountains every night. This authenticity is on display at Coachella the second a band takes the stage and their performances are etched into your memories for the rest of your life.
This past weekend was no different. This past weekend we collectively witnessed Caribou steal the “Best Set of the Festival Title” from their first drumbeat, saw Todd Terje introduce the Olsens in a seven minute disco odyssey that blew our minds and watched Porter Robinson change “Worlds” disappointing thousands of EDM kids with his Sad Machine and all this took place on the festival’s first day.
In essence, Coachella, is about exploration, it’s about getting lost and connecting with the moment with the music. These moments can be collectively shared or they can be a wanderers’ journey towards enlightenment. Either way, when you arrive this acceptance of just letting go and letting it happen becomes extremely prevalent in the choices you make under her supervision and judgement and fear are withdrawn. This is why everyone you see at the festival is always happy.
Because Coachella will always take care of you. She will always give you exactly what you need and nothing more. You just have to follow the signs or listen to your ears. This sounds or feels like Jackal randomly dropping OG MACO’s – U Guessed It in the Do Lab, a slow dance with Duke Dumont and company or getting thunderstruck by Angus Young and AC/DC at their “For One Night Only” main stage revival tour. This feeling manifests itself in many different ways all in the same manner only with different accompaniment unique to each individual’s own experience.
It could’ve been the Do Lab dominating the weekend, pushing the newer sounds of Lighting In a Bottle with its ever growing presence. St. Lucia getting super wavy during a Sunday daytime set or Kaskade turning up the crowd at sunset. Coachella is where the best musicians/djs in the world shine the brightest. It’s the biggest festival on one of the world’s biggest stages, with arguably the best crowd of knowledgeable music fans that solely came for one purpose – to listen and feel the music.
If you’re a musician or band it doesn’t get any bigger and you know it, you feel it and you either embrace it or you let it overwhelm you. This is why you see so many amazing performances throughout the entire festival. This is what the fans appreciate and this is what they come for – to see you kill it! So a quick word from the wise on when this moment comes, when this time comes for you to take the main stage in front of eighty thousand people, to have your moment that will come to define your career – you really, really, really, really just need to do one fucking thing…shut up and play the hits…Aubrey – we’re looking at you!
Coachella in the end, when it’s all said and done, when all the hype and Hollywood superficial-ness are done playing tricks fucking with the masses is able to keep its authenticity among its fans by continuing to bring people of all walks of life together to share a moment of happiness. Coachella continues to give their fans a unique opportunity and ability to embrace variables, to spread kindness and share their love for life and music with a community that shares its same values. This more than anything is the reason people connect to this festival and the reason people always travel back every year to the desert. This is the reason year after year we show up, buy tickets without a line-up, bare the heat during the day at our campsite and always have the second weekend in April marked on our calendar. Coachella thank you for sharing this amazing journey again with us for the seventh time it was so special in so many ways, always unforgettable and never disappointing. Weekend two you’re up. Enjoy…the polo fields are waiting.
Writer + Photography by: Ditto Ramirez
Check back tomorrow for a complete photo set from Coachella ’15 Wknd 1