Last year I went to Coachella and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I got to see 30 shows in 3 days, reconnect with old friends and meet new ones, and enjoy southern California’s beautiful weather. Highlights from Coachella 2012 for me include:
- Seeing my favorite musician Thom Yorke and Radiohead play a 2 hour set (the real reason for my attendance)
- Going crazy in the Sahara Tent seeing some of my favorite DJs (Swedish House Mafia, Martin Solvieg, Flux Pavilion, Calvin Harris, R3hab) live for the first time
- Being completely entranced by the vocals of Frank Ocean, The Shins, Bon Iver, The Weeknd and Florence + the Machine
- Witnessing the madness that was Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg in Southern California — cameo appearances by Wiz Khalifa, 50 Cent, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Hologram Tupac
While last years lineup had heavy hitting headliner as well as depth throughout the day, this years Coachella isn’t as appealing up front. However, in my opinion this is still the premier music festival in the USA and there are many reasons to attend.
Why you can enjoy Coachella 2013:
- Enjoy the secondary sets: while I am not impressed with the headliners for this years festival there is some serious depth that should get any music enthusiast excited. Must see non-headliners include: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the XX, Beach House, Passion Pit, Of Monsters and Men, The Lumineers, Alt-J, Ben Howard, Two Door Cinema Club, Pretty Lights, and James Blake. Those shows alone are worth almost $300.
- Go CRAZY with EDM: What I enjoyed so much about Coachella last year compared to ULTRA is the ability to step in and out of electronic shows vs being stuck in the genre all day. I personally enjoy doing about 2 or 3 hours of EDM in a day, and then chilling with other kinds of music the rest. If you are new to EDM going to a show at Coachella is as low risk as can be — there is no pressure to stay at a show for too long, you have a perfect opportunity to check out the scene and see multiple acts, and if its not for you head to another show. Electronic sets worth seeing this year for me are Hardwell, Tommy Trash, Nicky Romero, Eric Prydz and Paul Oakenfold.
- See new artists: While at Coachella take the time to check out some new acts. Before Coachella 2012 I did not know Wolfgang, Neon Indian, the Arctic Monkeys, Childish Gambino, or AraabMuzik. I really enjoyed seeing all of those shows and have shared those artists with friends. Coachella is a great spot so discover new artists, fuel up on new music and reinvigorate your iPod through the summer.
- Enjoy the diversity: Coachella offers so many different things to do. The weather is beautiful, there are numerous beer gardens and food stands, the campgrounds have their own party, and there are always multiple shows going on. In one day you can see three hours of indie rock, two hours of EDM, two hours of rap, and then end the day with a headline show. This diversity is why I think Coachella is the best as compared to other festivals.
- Bold Prediction: given the lack of star power with the headliners this year something special has to be in the works. In the summer of 2010 I went to a Phoenix show at MSG that would have left a lot to be desired if not for DAFT PUNK making a surprise appearance and for the last 30 minutes of the set. Why would Daft Punk come out of hiding and play with Phoenix? There is a strong history for the two bands. Laurent Brancowitz, guitar player for Phoenix originally was in a band with Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manual de Homen-Christo. My guess is that Daft Punk makes a surprise appearance with Phoenix again this year.