Thursday, April 19, 2012

An Actual Coachella Survival Guide

As a frequent attendee of America's most talked about music festival (see here, here, and here), I feel as if it is my duty to inform you that the last thing you need to be instructed on is what type of stupid headband you "can't live without" in the desert.

Unfortunately, in recent years Coachella has become a "scene" - although I guess like everything else within a six hour distance of LA that was kind of expected - and with the popularity of fashion blogs and fashionable concert-goers, the focus has sadly shifted from music and carefree memories to "What paparazzo can I trick into taking my picture?" and "OMG she's so 'Festival Chic' guys!" There are few things that annoy me more than the words "festival chic".  Part of the fun was bumping into people you know randomly, discovering new bands and running around Empire Polo Field like a kid on Christmas morning.  There is something really magical about the desert.  Driving from L.A. to Palm Desert is exciting - you pass Joshua Tree and it feels like all of your troubles melt away to that desolate space out there.  Now spread out over two weekends, the festival feels like the inside of an L.A. club - everyone staring you down and judging your outfit.

I've had way too much fun there over the years to completely swear off Coachella forever.  Maybe one day when I'm old and grey I'll venture back to the desert to watch Lady Gaga thrust from a wheelchair in the Sahara tent with glow in the dark face paint smeared across my cheeks.  I can be like the elderly woman that offered me a bite of her Philly cheesesteak sandwich during Leonard Cohen's set a few years ago.  Or like the old hippie guy in the beer garden that handed me $100 bill and told me to "Enjoy the music, music lover." And then promptly stumbled away.  But for now I'm taking a break and checking out other festivals around the country this summer.

In any event, forget about floppy wide brimmed hats, moccasin boots and macrame bikini tops.  Here are the things you'll actually need to survive if you decide to venture out to Indio for Weekend 2 of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which begins tomorrow.

An Actual Coachella Survival Guide
by Golden Girl Olive

1.) Extra, extra, extra, extra EXTRA toilet paper.  I'm serious.  Even if you're in V.I.P. they run out of this most basic necessity.  You can buy the handy little Charmin travel packs and put a new one in your purse each day. If you like to consider yourself the boy scout of festival-going, distribute them to your friends too before going inside.

2.) Water.  That shit is expensive inside and wouldn't you rather spend your hard earned money on liquor? Bring an empty plastic bottle in your bag and refill it for free at the water fountains.  It's also helpful to have on hand for when your friends start "passing out" from dehydration.

3.) A shitload of hand sanitizer.  Mud, yuck.  Porta potties, yuck.  Accidentally stepping in puke in your new gladiator sandals, yuck.  You can never have too much hand sanitizer when it comes to Coachella.  One keychain-bottle for each day of the festival.

4.) Adrenaline Needles.  Depending on whom you go with, you may or may not be re-enacting this scene from Pulp Fiction.  So make sure you have some of these babies on hand for those in your group that will be choosing to go extra hard this weekend.

5.) Airplane barf baggies.  As a courtesy for your fellow concert-goers.  You know, for when the lights just get to be too much.

6.) A Megaphone.  For when you lose your cellphone in the dance tent and still need a way to touch base in an obnoxious way with your friends.  At the end of one Saturday night, I once saw a hippie using one to ask passerby for "more acid" from on top of his VW Bus, which was made to look like a yellow submarine. So, I guess you could use it for that too if you want.

Your Golden Girl,


All photos property of VisforOlive.  Do not reuse without permission and/or credit of site.

* Do I even need to say it? This list is a joke.  Do not attempt to do anything illegal.  More specifically, do not try to blame it on your favorite sarcastic Golden Girl.* 

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