why i am not going to coachella

April 16, 2009

While all you assholes are donning American Apparel summer shirts and reading new LA Times offshoot Brand X’s guide to all the music worth seeing while baking alive at the Empire Polo Field, I will be doing infinitely better things that don’t include being woken up by the desert sun using my tent as a heat storage compartment at 7am only to realize I’m still drunk from when I fell asleep 3 hours before (oh wait, that was 5 years ago when I went). Here are only a few of the many reasons why I am not going to Coachella this year and why I really have no interest in going in future years, regardless of who is on the schedule:

  • Festivals…ugh: The very idea of a sweaty, crowded music festival makes the social anxiety inside my heart go pitter patter and the thought of being one of 160,000 people corralled into an area the size of 20 city blocks (that’s 8000 people per block) makes me think less cultural community and more death and pestilence. Good luck fighting the mob to get within 1000 feet of the stage.
  • Civil obedience: To clarify from above, some festivals turn out to be a roaring good time, but those are the ones that defy their festival-ness. Woodstock, Altamont, even Bonaroo (maybe) have come over the hurdle of hosting the hoardes through essential ensuing chaos, but nothing is more unattractive than an under control crowd watching music that’s supposed to make us go ape shit. I’m talking about the difference between drinking water all day and still smelling like whisky a week later. The mood at Coachella is too docile for anything that shatters the framework of the existing system and if you’re not starting fires in trash cans and getting naked in the mud while peaking on acid, being at a festival is basically pointless. 
  • Heat: This a big ass “duh” since it’s Springtime in the desert, but, you have no idea what heat is until you’re half-drunk, hoping to be high trapped between the merciless sun and the naked bodies of those around you. “Stifling” is a word that does not come close to the panic created when every breath tastes like sweat and flattened grass.
  • Indio: Leave the Coachella Valley alone. Let’s stop trying to have our cake and eat it too because if rich Californians want to cash out their pensions and escape the city by buying condos on a 7th green in Palm Desert, they obviously aren’t interested in having half of the life they tried to avoid coming back to haunt them, invading their quiet zone for three days a year and buying up all the PBR at the grocery store (that’s why they got rid of the ice skating rink at the mall!).
  • Prices: Only USC students and trust fund babies that don’t work for Abercrombie and Fitch Headquarters can afford $385 for three days of this stuff. It’s almost as ridiculous as asking $600 for a SXSW badge.
  • Facilities: Being at Coachella strips you down to your animalistic needs. Your body goes into survival mode and all it needs is food, water and a place to shit–none of which are an easy task on the Empire Polo Field. The bathroom line takes at least 45 minutes and to get a $10 hamburger, the wait could be twice that. $4 water bottles are a bust and you’re better off just waiting to die.
  • Better stuff to do back home: Between the Long Beach Grand Prix (which will inspire another rant all its own), It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s performance of The Nightman Cometh at the Troubadour (two-nights sold out!) and Record Store Day (featuring a Crystal Antlers in-store), who needs to drive through Riverside to have fun? And with the heat expected in record numbers come Sunday, I’d rather just relax on the beach. 
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