Coachella is my favorite time of the year, like my birthday and Christmas combined. While I've been there before, this was my first experience documenting it on my phone, tweeting about camping, crowds and, umm, music.
What follows is an annotated history of my journey through the festival starting Thursday afternoon and ending when I got home this morning at around 4 a.m. Not all of it is about music, but people go for the experience as much as the bands. And I had some experiences.
Here is my 1,600 word review, split into 140 character chunks and annotated when necessary.
Thursday, Day 0
Leaving for #Coachella now, will be tweeting the hell out of it. Apologies to my followers who couldn't care less. 12:05 PM Apr 15th
60 more miles to #Coachella. #tweetingwhiledrivingfail 3:25 PM Apr 15th
Waiting to be searched just to get into car camping. No end in sight. #Coachella 4:53 PM Apr 15th
When I tweeted this, I had no idea the awful experiences other campers would have. Our search went pretty quickly, only about half an hour, but I heard horror stories of campers who got there later in the evening and had to wait in the line for upwards of four hours just to get through security before even setting up their camping gear in the dark.
Seven hours from my door to completely set up in the #Coachella campsite, my new home for three days. Let's get comfy! 7:35 PM Apr 15th
Hipster Vegas. #Coachella 9:20 PM Apr 15th
This year, since attendees were allowed to bring their own beer, walking around the campsites Thursday night was like walking the strip, except for the fact that the people here were dressed in American Apparel and Toms. Open containers were all around, including in my hand(s).
Am I hearing someone famous right now? People are going crazy for dj standards at #Coachella. Seems too obvious to be super excited about. 9:51 PM Apr 15th
There was a DJ tent in the campsite, and everyone was gathered there dancing. I assume that everyone was just drunk and brimming with excitement and anticipation for the three days to come, since the music really wasn't that impressive in the tent.
#Coachella http://twitpic.com/1fxshx 11:36 PM Apr 15th -Aww, sad. Isn't it a little early to be passed out by your car?
Overheard at #Coachella; "Sleep tonight, take drugs tomorrow." 2:00 AM Apr 16th
Friday, Day 1
Busted my ass rollerskating at #Coachella last night, which will make sitting for the next three days a challenge. Epic fall. 10:45 AM Apr 16th
Yes, they had roller skating, which proved not to be the best idea, since I had been two-fisting PBR all night and barely remember lacing up the skates, let alone signing the release form that was shoved in front of my double vision.
My first show at #Coachella: POS. Just like my car in high school. 1:25 PM Apr 16th
@rlycanthos They were actually called POS. Kind of a rap/rock thing. Not my favorite. 2:11 PM Apr 16th
According to DJ Lance Rock, I'm supposed to cover my mouth when I cough. Who knew? #Coachella 2:30 PM Apr 16th
For those who don't know, DJ Lance Rock is the skinny guy from Yo Gabba Gabba! who teaches kids important lessons, like not to bite your friends.
Yeasayer #Coachella's biggest disappointment. Not because they weren't awesome, but because the crowd was absolutely insufferable. 4:56 PM Apr 16th
Correction: Yeasayer was not the biggest disappointment. Their crowd was, but MGMT ranked far higher on the Disappoint-O-Meter. The Yeasayer show was actually pretty phenomenal, in its buzzy, spacey glory, but I kept getting knocked around by bros who would be hard-pressed to name even one song by the band.
@rarariot debuting a number of new songs right this moment at #Coachella. Sounding good, too, despite technical difficulties. 5:54 PM Apr 16th
Passion Pit just took the stage at #Coachella. I've heard they're not great live, but they're spot-on so far. 7:08 PM Apr 16th
Why is every girl at #Coachella dressed like Kelly Kapowski? 7:33 PM Apr 16th
Or like extras from the original Beverly Hills, 90210. Seriously, floral-print baby doll dresses? Why bring those back?
Phone fail last night, saw Grizzly Bear, a touch of Echo/Bunnymen, Vampire Weekend, and heard Jay-Z from my tent. It got cold quick here. 10:17 AM Apr 17th
Grizzly Bear was packed to the gills, I could barely get in the tent, and people were crowded around all entrances just to get a peek at their live show. Vampire Weekend did virtually the same set they did when I reviewed the show last Tuesday at the Marquee, and I'm sure even your grandmother has heard by now that the Jay-Z show was amazing, with fireworks and Beyonce in a shirt with obscenities on it. I should have tried to stay for that show, but after excessive drinking the night before and the blazing sun, I could barely keep my eyes open, and it got too cold to be wearing tiny shorts the second the sun went down.
Saturday, Day 2
The shower situation at #Coachella is abysmal this year. Sold out and only one shower area for all the campers? What were you thinking? 11:44 AM Apr 17th
I can't say enough about how terrible the shower setup was this year. Nobody I went with got a single drop of flowing water on them the entire time we were there. In previous years, the mobile showers were dotted around the camping area, so nobody had to walk that far to simply see how long the line was to clean up. This year, I had to walk 10 minutes just to see how long I'd have to wait. At one point, I waited for 45 minutes before getting pushed into the shower area, which had absolutely no order to it. I gave up and attempted to clean myself up with baby wipes instead. I firmly believe camping is the only way to do Coachella right, but at the time, I would have murdered for clean hair.
Day 2 of #Coachella, watching Steel Train perform to a sparse crowd. Also in search of a Devo hat for my boyfriend. 1:21 PM Apr 17th
We found the hats at the merch tent, but they were blue, not red, and $30. Pass.
Portugal the Man: 25 minutes in and I think they're still on their third song. #Coachella 2:39 PM Apr 17th
Camera Obscura are just precious, such a fun rendition of "French Navy." #Coachella 3:32 PM Apr 17th
Beach House and Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeros both played super impressive shows today at #Coachella. 5:58 PM Apr 17th
I understand Jay-Z and Beyonce were in the audience for Beach House, flanked by bodyguards, unintentionally pulling attention away from Victoria Legrand and company.
People leaving the xx en masse. I wonder if they had just heard of them and didn't know what they actually sounded like. #Coachella 6:49 PM Apr 17th
MGMT just starting, I'm counting on them to break out the weird. #Coachella 9:05 PM Apr 17th
I feel like that set was missing a certain something...oh yeah, it was "Kids." #Coachella 9:47 PM Apr 17th
Like I said before, this was the most disappointing show of the weekend. I understand that they don't want to do the pop-singles anymore, but that's how the crowd knew them. MGMT, you were at Coachella because you would be a draw. You agreed to be the draw, so live up to it. The crowd was angry and vocal about not hearing "Kids" and I admit, I can be counted among them.
Audience at Muse less Coachella, more Bro-chella. 10:53 PM Apr 17th
Sunday, Day 3
Walking in to #Coachella day 3, and it's been as long since I've taken a shower. It's like dirty hippie boot camp. 1:00 PM Apr 18th
Owen Pallett's set is a cool breeze on this hot Sunday at #Coachella, but I'm a fool for the violin since I played it (poorly) as a kiddo. about 23 hours ago
Also worth noting: Pallett made a comment about the Outdoor Stage being the "gay ghetto" since he, Bradford Cox (Deerhunter), and Jonsi were all playing there that day, and they're all fellas who like the fellas.
Cute little off-the-cuff song by Bradford Cox of Deerhunter about babies being made and drugs being abused at #Coachella. about 22 hours ago
Matt & Kim just put on my favorite show this weekend. They have so much fun that you can't help smiling and dancing. #Coachella. about 20 hours ago
This show proved to be the highlight of my weekend. In between songs they wrote, they did instrumental versions of Alice Deejay's "Better Off Alone" and Europe's "The Final Countdown." There was also a streaker on stage at one point. Coachella isn't Coachella without seeing someone's penis, after all.
Hipsters clearly have no idea who Pavement are judging by how close to the stage we were able to get. #Coachella. about 18 hours ago
But the 17 people in the audience really seemed to like the show. My friend and I agreed that the crowd was populated with people we tried to get to buy us beer when we were in high school, since the median age had to be about 35.
Getting sloppy at the end of #Coachella. Missed Phoenix due to drinking, not feeling Thom Yorke, and would rather shower than see Gorillaz. about 16 hours ago
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SHOW ME HOW
At this point, the sticky filth covering us was too much to take, and we decided to drive back to Phoenix right after the show ended. I couldn't sleep one more night feeling like that. Keep that in mind for next year, Goldenvoice.
Peaced out early from #Coachella. Sorry, Gorillaz, I need to get back to Phoenix and shower. about 14 hours ago
Yes, I'm tweeting after 4 in the morning, but I just walked in the door from #Coachella. So happy to be home. about 9 hours ago
So, having lathered, rinsed, and repeated, I can look back on Coachella fondly, and look forward to next year. But first, I have to get some rest. If you want to follow me on Twitter, feel free, I'm OneWhoHolds. And let me know how your experiences were from Coachella.