Coachella Music Festival
Calabasas High School

An Insider’s Coachella — The Experience without the Experience

During the lull between the first and second weekend of California’s legendary Coachella Music Festival, those with the first weekend in their rearview mirror struggle with symptoms of PCD (post-concert disorder), while music lovers anticipating attending the next session plan their wardrobe. During the famous festival Coachella adventure stories arethe main topic of conversation in schools and workplaces.

The Coachella festival is nestled in a valley near Palm Springs and is notorious for its buzzing atmosphere. Here, children and adults gather to party and the festival is celebrated for featuring top-of-the-line artists who perform for nearly 100,000 people who come for the music and, yes, the fashion.

Coachella has gained a reputation for chic couture, with models and celebrities sporting everything from bohemian feathers to bold leather accessories. This has turned the festival to be akin to a huge fashion show.

It’s no secret that the music festival serves as a runway for those wanting to make a fashion statement  — whether in a gorgeous, flowing skirt or barely with any clothes at all. Coachella is a world of diversified experiences  — here the music, the raucous crowds and the unparalleled atmosphere give the event its iconic flavor.

Undeniably, many “Chella” goers think of the festival as an outdoor and untethered party to explore a variety of substances. While this should not be a generalization, it adds to to the prevailing carefree atmosphere of the festival.

“My friends and I were waiting for a performer to come on and a group of guys next to us were shouting at us to do meth with them,” Coachella attendant Talia Shulga said.

While less daring souls might be offended by the lack of sobriety and restrain at Coachella, some argue that the presence of drugs and substance is expected at any music festival. In fact, many agree that whether or not one does drugs, this adds zest to the experience and makes for more interesting stories to tell.

Ellie Burns, who attended Coachella, relates,

“We walked by this lady brushing her teeth and when I asked my friend why she was doing that, I soon realized that it was not toothpaste she was brushing her mouth with, but drugs,” Ellie Burns, who attended Coachella, relates,

Drug consumers are exceptionally creative in hiding their methods at music festivals.

“The girl next to me in a crowd swiftly raised her phone to her face, snorted a line of cocaine off the phone screen and then reached down between her legs to hide the rest in a place she knew nobody would look,” Grace Pouri said.

Drugs in music festivals have a long history, and ravers are creative masters of smuggling and consumption.

Aside from this, it’s difficult not to have a good time at a music festival where thousands dance for hours, infusing the hot desert air with memorable sounds and euphoria. This is why many consider Coachella and similar music festivals to be the “best time of their lives.”

“I was 15 at Coachella and first went therewith artist passes. While my friend and I were waiting for Disclosure to come on, Cameron Dallas and his friends were behind us, clearly drunk. When the performance started, Cameron Dallas had wrapped his fingers into my belt loops and started dancing with me from behind,” Mia Morongell said.

The Coachella scene inspires all people to come together. Despite the alcohol and drugs, this is a unique opportunity for people of all ages to join in the desert for one reason: to party. While the rowdiness may lead some to make the bad decisions that give parents heart attacks, it offers some distinctive things like perception-altering experiences, a sense of belonging, good memories and enduring stories.

“Fergie walked right by us drunkenly slurring something about having just left her kids with a babysitter and hopping on the first flight to Palm Springs… Then she called us pretty. It was a great weekend,” Morongell said.