Week 12- Art Coachella Experience- Elyse Vega

This week instead of the art experience, I was given the opportunity to write about my experience at Coachella. Now, to be honest, I was one of those people who hated Coachella, and by hate, I mean declared I would never attend the event, thought that people who did were ridiculous. The reason I felt this way was because I viewed and still do see Coachella as an event that people attend, just to show others they attended- in a sense, it’s overrated. However, after gaining the opportunity to go for free, I figured, “who the hell doesn’t accept anything that’s free, let alone a $500+ event.” So, I took the opportunity and I can truly say my mind has been changed in some ways and stayed the same in others.

First, let’s talk about the pros and cons of my experience at weekend one. Cons: extremely hot, extremely overpriced, extremely overcrowded, and sleeping conditions. Don’t get me wrong, I am a California girl to the bone, anything below 70 degrees is actually the next ice age for me, but this was just ridiculous. It’s a MUSIC FESTIVAL, somewhere that people like to run and jump around at, and 102 degree weather isn’t a very suitable condition for those activities. Numerous people had actual heat strokes or passed out due to dehydration, and that’s juts not something that you should sincerely have to worry about when you pay 600 dollars to attend something. Bottom line, IT DOESN’T NEED TO BE IN THE ACTUAL DESERT. Next, the overpricing!!!! I’ll give you all a clear description with one example: After’s ice cream. Here in Long Beach, we are lucky enough to have a cool ice cream joint right by campus, an I know this, because I love it and eat a scoop of ice cream every other day. A double scoop of mint monster at beloved Afters, is $6,  Coachella, a double scoop is $14!!!!!! And  no, this is not a joke. Needless to say, my purchases were limited over the weekend. It’s overcrowded as all hell, with attendance numbers having practically doubled since 2012, it’s a task trying to find open shade to sit at or see an artist you like close up. last but not least, the camping grounds. So much to say, so little time, but here we go. I had never been camping before this Coachella experience so maybe I am just unprepared and biased, but man, I did not like that at all. you’re in the grass lots, like parking spaces for tents, and it’s just villages of tents and people. Not to mention it gets very cold at night out there. There were limited showers and the outlets seemed to be a mile away, it just didn’t seem thoroughly planned out.

Even with all of these cons, there were also definitely pros. For one, aesthetic is a huge reason why people go period. Though I am someone who definitely doesn’t make picture taking a priority, I know when to appreciate something, and Coachella decoration and art are meant for just that. All of the geometric art pieces, oversized statues, kitchy food, they’re great for pictures, and I’ll admit, I had to give in and snap a few for the memories as well. Next, even with the overwhelming mount of people, for the most part, they’re all in a good mood and helpful as can be; this is a great opportunity to meet new people. Throughout this experience, I made two new friends that I sincerely hope to run into again, and I wouldn’t have that without Coachella. Another perk is the opportunity to see celebrities! In all honesty, I didn’t see one celebrity, not  real one for that matter. The only slight celebrity I saw in the flesh, was one of Snoop Dogg’s sons, and I can’t even pin point his name, but for some reason, I was still excited. Others meet Kylie and Kendall or Vanessa Hudgens, and to be honest, I wish I had, so that’s definitely something to look forward to. Moreover, the best thing about Coachella, THE PERFORMANCES. Hands down, the best part about any music festival is just that, the music, but man is Coachella jam packed with stars. Every artists has a surprise performer and not only that, but they often like to debut their new music at such events. For example, the star of the weekend was Kendrick Lamar, saved the best for last, Sunday evening, we stood in front of the stage for 3 hours before he performed just so we would be relatively close to the stage. His entire performance was his brand new album, which was released the night before. He began to perform and people literally lost their minds, I mean crying tears due to awe, (or maybe drugs, who knows). But the point is, artists go big or go home for Coachella, so I understand, to a point, how someone could willingly pay that amount of money for such an event.

Overall, it was definitely an experience, one that I would do again you ask? Now only time can tell, but as for now, no, I wouldn’t ever purchase a ticket out of my own pocket for Coachella, but that’s not bad. I’m not against going because it’s dumb, I had a bad time, anything like that, but it’s just not a music festival for me. I understand now how someone would anticipate this event all year, get excited like I do for others, and that’s great, to have perspective. In the end, I guess it’s just like at in that way, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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