Coachella really does feel like the happiest place on earth. You’re in a perpetual hug of palm trees, surrounded by great music and people who love to hear it. The experience is good vibes all the time...most of the time. As long as you’re not planning on taking an Uber home or getting in the margarita line on Friday evening at the beer garden by the Outdoor tent.
We’ve given you the necessary utilities needed to survive the weekend, but after spending three days in the sun, on our feet and in line for the bathroom, we’re mining our experience to hand you a play-by-play to prep you for Weekend Two.
Day 1 - Friday, April 10, 2015
8:34AM - We decide it’s a good idea to arrive early to the festival and catch an entire day of music and festival-goers. We stayed up until 4AM the night before, drinking and prepping for the weekend. (We don’t recommend this.) Our friend K comes in the hotel room way too early to greet us with bagels, but we are supremely grateful. It’s going to be a long day.
HOT TIP: Make peace with that fact. Get pumped.
10AM - We arrive at the Fuse house and meet up with our host Erik Rivera and catch a surprise warm up from Andrew McMahon. We’re stoked to catch the first arrivals at the festival so we peace out and catch the Fuse shuttle to the general admission entrance. The walking has just begun.
HOT TIP: Wear comfortable footwear. If you didn't already think of this, we can't really help you.
11:30AM - There are surprisingly no lines at the entrance and we float through security. We’ve
arrived, but we’re definitely not the most excited…a few guys scream, “We made
first artists we catch are the end of Los Rakas and gear up for HAERTS.
HOT TIP: HAERTS are dope!
1:11PM - We’ve already worked up an appetite and it’s time for lunch. Festival food and alcohol is already overpriced to begin with, so why not splurge on craft beer and good pizza for the same price as a generic flavor?
It’s 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza for the win and to be honest, I haven’t had a more authentic Italian-style pizza in the States. This pizza is flimsy, crispy and full of flavor. Perfection with a side of Babe's Belgian Vanilla Blonde Ale. Yum.
HOT TIP: You're here for an experience. You already spent money on it. Spend a little more, even if it seems like a lot. Treatcho self.
2:02PM - After lunch we catch pieces of Cloud Nothings and the fashionably late Action Bronson, but not before running into the huge art installation, of hippopotamus proportions. Corporate Headquarters, a huge three-story art installation by Derek Doublin and Vanessa Bonet provided hours worth of entertainment for festival goers taking a break from the music.
HOT TIP: Run here for a moment of shade.
- Sylvan Esso singer Amelia Meath awes us with her balletic dance
moves and nightingale croons. We snap a few photos and rush off to catch Charles Bradley's set. Walking around for the next couple
of hours helps us appreciate one of the best things about the festival: the
layout. Because the outdoor stages and tents are stacked so close to one
another, show conflicts are not necessarily deal-breakers. Sure, you won’t
catch a full set, but that’s what a ticket to a solo show is for. In one
afternoon we catch pieces of Angus & Julia Stone, Kiesza, Ride, and Raekwon
& Ghostface Killah. Then we need a break from the heat.
HOT TIP: Survey your surroundings. Learn how to navigate Coachella. Choose your own destiny.
5:30PM - We realize the Sephora tent is where a lot of the flash tattoos we see on every single girl at the festival are coming from. More importantly, we realize there is a huge air condition vent in the building.
HOT (COLD?) TIP: if you need to cool off, grab some lipstick and a moment of cool air.
6:35PM - After hours of bopping around, it's time for a drink. We want something more refreshing (and let’s be honest, a lot stiffer) than a beer, so we head to grab margs between the outdoor stage and the main stage to listen to the War on Drugs before Alabama Shakes gets started.
Another layout perk is you can drink closest to the stage you’re watching and still hear pieces of the set, so plan your breaks accordingly! All is well until we realize exactly how long the line is. Do not get in that line on Friday evening if you’re thirsty. Needless to say, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes cured our bad mood with her powerful, gut-punching vocals.
HOT TIP: Alabama Shakes might be the best band in the fucking world.
7:45PM - After another quick slice and a bathroom break we are nudged by a colleague to meet up and skip Steely Dan. We agree and find ourselves pleasantly surprised—Caribou knocks us out of our shoes instead of the aging rockers.
HOT TIP: Sometimes you have to break plans and go with the flow.
9:30PM - We rush to catch Tame Impala at the main Coachella stage and we’re rewarded for the mad dash. We catch the unspeakably epic new eight-minute-er “Let it Happen” and the radio darling “Elephant,” which riles up the crowd with its booming, repetitive guitar line and catchy dance elements.
HOT TIP: Never miss a Tame Impala performance.
10:00PM - We realize there's a beer tent to the left of the main stage with a round bar that's not quite as busy as the rest of them. If you’re not lucky enough to earn VIP status (through whatever means necessary) and you’re into the act on the main stage, this is the hangout spot for you. You can grab food, bathrooms and a drink while catching the tunes from the band on the Coachella stage.
HOT TIP: Listen to everything we've told you so far, including this.
11:30PM - We decide to sneak out early and avoid the crowds by grabbing an Uber. After all, with all the options in this day and age, there’s no reason to drive. Unfortunately, everyone has the same idea, and after walking at least nine miles throughout the day, we find ourselves at the end of the yellow path with no cab, no Uber and no strength left. Miraculously, our colleague calls and saves us by picking us up in the parking lot.
HOT TIP: If you don’t have a way out, leave pretty early...or figure out your nearest shuttle pickup/dropoff spot.
Day 2 - Saturday April 11, 2015
3PM - We're up a little later today after the nine-mile walk the day before. Brunch, Bloody Marys, a stop by the Fuse House and a Pandora shindig aside, we are headed back out to brave the grounds.
HOT TIP: Sleep in when required. Deploy hair of the dog tactics strategically and liberally.
4:23PM - Traffic is way worse than the easy ride through the streets yesterday morning. If you're shuttling through general admission on Saturday, leave a bit early to beat the traffic and catch the early afternoon acts. We catch a pedal cab to try to catch Jungle in time, and we make it.
HOT TIP: Bring extra change to jump in a pedal cab. Pay your driver well... they don't have a set price, so let your conscience be your guide!
7:10PM - We’re up close with Glass Animals, and lead singer Dave Bayley’s moves are as unorthodox as his music. With Bayley’s flailing arms and Edmund Irwing-Singer’s seductive bass, we’re hooked for a few songs.
HOT TIP: Appreciate brilliant frontmen.
7:50PM - Dinner is calling, so we run off to our now-go-to spot at the left of the main stage to grab tacos and post up before Jack White.
HOT TIP: When you find something that works one day, stick with it the next day.
8:15PM - Our coworker tries to coax us into running to Father John Misty—and if you have the energy, you should!—but after two long days of running around, we need to veg out for a second. So we do.
HOT TIP: Don't be afraid to veg out. Embrace your inner cucumber.
9:15PM - The break from walking is rewarded by Jack White’s performance. We sway along to his pre-set jams (a medley of 90’s hip hop hand-selected by White) and make our way to the stage to be rocked by his entire set—probably the only complete set we caught all weekend. We were struck when White dropped some wisdom on our asses: “I hope you realize, for a few seconds in your day, that music is sacred." Also: that drummer!
HOT TIP: When the time is right, just plant yourself and watch a whole damn headlining set.
11PM - We're ready to call it another night, and this time we’re prepared. We walk a couple miles back to the Fuse House, avoiding shuttle and taxi lines.
HOT TIP: Learn from your mistakes.
Day 3 - April 12, 2015
10AM - Up early for the last day of the festival, we’re on a mission. Sunday is packed with some of our favorite oldies and goodies.
HOT TIP: Honor the Coachella sabbath.
12PM - Despite our best efforts we get caught up at the Fuse House before finally heading out.
HOT TIP: Stay focused.
2:23PM - We’ve missed the cutoff and somehow get stuck in the “Parent Drop-off” entrance when we try to avoid traffic. This means two things: the line is huge on the hottest day of the weekend and being a little older than these minors makes us feel just a little worse about…not being young enough to brave the heat any longer.
HOT TIP: You are not a child. (Unless you are a child.)
3PM - We make it in and find a desert oasis titled ICE CREAM, and damn is it delicious.
HOT TIP: Salted. Effing. Caramel.
3:27PM - Circa Survive puts on a great show and Anthony Green calls a guy a “douchebag” for looking bored and wearing a Drake T-shirt during the set. If you’re lucky enough to snag a spot, head for the shade at the installation Southeast of the Coachella Stage to watch CS and listen out of the sun.
HOT TIP: Don't wear Drizzy merch in front of Anthony Green, we guess??
4:35PM - We try to catch a glimpse of Conor Oberst and Desaparecidos, but instead get our ears blown out by the warm up. Ouch, but worth it.
HOT TIP: If you’re planning on lining up front row, get those ear plugs ready.
5:30PM - After the raddest outdoor dance party with St. Lucia, we head to the grass in front of Jenny Lewis, and she does not disappoint. New song “She’s Not Me” gives us chills, even in the heat and she brings up guests old (Blake Sennett) and new (Haim) to complete her set.
HOT TIP: Fall in love with Jenny Lewis.
7:37PM- We catch the beginning of Brand New complete with smoky, sexy intro and we're finally beat. We head to the press area to sit on the couch for a second and use some clean bathrooms.
HOT TIP: Try not to get mad that the press gets pampered. You'll be press someday, too, buddy. We believe in you.
9:35PM - We try to catch Odesza and are pushed and pulled by a rolling crowd that is stacked up for rows outside the tent. It's not happening tonight for us.
HOT TIP: Show up early for Odesza. And for any buzzy/legendary act you've gotta see, really.
10:28PM - Drake, another fashionably late rapper, takes the stage and we're all but falling apart. We head out for our final few miles just as he sings out the words to "Hold On, We're Going Home"—and we couldn't have asked for a better soundtrack as we leave the weekend behind.
HOT TIP: Clear your Monday and Tuesday for 48 hours of recovery-sleep. (And maybe some more of that #saltedcaramel.)
Don't miss Wristbanded: Coachella Valley presented by Doritos premiering this Saturday, April 18, at 5/4c and encoring Sunday, April 19, at 5/4c. Find Fuse in your area with our channel finder.