The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

What I learned…attending Coachella 2016

During the day there’s a vast land of lush, green grass full of people from different cultures, backgrounds and even continents. The desert heat is intense, and the people are somewhat sober.

The music is blaring.

At night, the heat cools off slightly, the grass is barely even visible and the desert has become a graveyard for empty water bottles. The people are drunk, tripping off acid, high on weed or just plain “turnt” off pills, drugs, etc.

The music continues to blast, with the bass so heavy, that words aren’t even being heard outside of tents; just boom, boom, boom.

In the dead of night, it’s freezing and the wind is constant, making things annoyingly loud and tents flap away ever so slightly, or slap people in the face while they sleep.

You probably guessed I was talking about some sort of event, you’re right. And if you guessed Coachella, you’d be 100 percent correct.

I’m not kidding, that was the scene, that was the atmosphere, that was the people; but weekend one of Coachella 2016 was my first ever, so let’s be real honest about my experience.

I don’t think Coachella is worth all the money people spend on it.

*Note: in some instances I will refer to “Coachella” as “Chella,” as it is a nickname that many use.*

My experience in a nutshell:

I’ve attended one-day events such as Countdown (New Year’s Eve EDM event hosted by Insomniac) and things like a Neon Paint Party (Music event in which performers and host shoot paint at you while you dance), but Chella was something else.

I was hired by Smitten Ice Cream one week ago. They asked me to work Coachella in the VIP Rose Gardens area.

I attended several of the sets and was amazed by Zedd, RL Grime and other DJs.

To be honest, I loved every second of being there. This sort of event is just putting me in my element, all-day dancing, all-day partying, etc.

I was not allowed to buy alcohol as a vendor, so that may or may not have ruined my expectations a little bit.

I saw Vanessa Anne Hudgens, the queen of Chella, and I said “hi” to her.

She said, “hi” right back, then walked away.

Lost my breath, because she was so beautiful.

Anyways, I enjoyed myself very much, but as I said, it’s definitely not worth the money.

Why Chella is not worth it:

People spend massive amounts of money just to attend Chella and here I am inside this annual event for free. I mean just look at these prices, according to the website:

  • General Admission is $399 for three days. We’re talking about the basic of the basic.
  • VIP passes go for $899 and that’s just the pass as well.
  • You can pay to camp in your car, in which case you are reserved a 10×30 sized spot, or you can tent camp, in which case you are reserved a 10×15 spot. In both instances camping is $99.
  • Prices can go up so high it’s ridiculous. To reserve a tent and VIP passes for four people, it costs $5,200, and that’s not including everything you will buy inside (food, alcohol, water).
  • Then if you include the fact that so many people are buying drugs to take, the prices skyrocket even further, depending on what poison people will choose to take.

My entire point is that it’s really not worth all that money to trash your body for three days and spend all that money to get nothing back; except some memories that if you’re messed up you may not even remember.

Here are some tips for first-time Chella goers:

  • The essentials: toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, towel, all the things to keep you clean.
  • Wet wipes, baby towels, things of that nature are necessary, because those portable toilets are not the business.
  • Pack lots of water, some alcohol if you’re 21 (according to the Coachella website, each person is allowed to bring one pack of beer.), food and snacks, more water, some cards or games to play, a tent (if you’re camping), more water and even more water.
  • Even though Coachella is blazing hot during the day, it’s extremely cold and windy at night, pack an extra blanket.
  • Pace yourself please. You don’t want to end up like this guy:
A man was inebriated to the point where he passed out at Coachella and EMS were called tot he scene to aid him. Photo credit: Phil Sidavong
  • All in all, things are extremely different, Coachella was like its own village away from the world, so have fun Chella goers, but be careful.

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