sand tunes: coachella 2014

I have been getting so behind on my posts, there is a LOT to update you about!  I’ll start with my most recent weekend trip, to Weekend 1 of Coachella!

Zach and I sort of stumbled across this trip, and I’m so glad it ended up working.  A good friend of ours’ parents had been renting a winter home in Palm Springs, and they told him they would give us the house for the weekend.  We had to buy our ticket wristbands after-market, so they were pricey, but with the money we were saving on lodging, it was worth it.  Now, I am not normally a music festival person.  I’m rarely familiar with bands that aren’t mainstream, and can have little patience for long, drawn-out sets.  But Coachella’s formula worked for me.  The sets for all bands were 45 minutes-1 hour long, and since they were pretty short, each act played their most loved, most fun tunes.  Plus, there were never any quiet stages.  There are 6 stages, and if they were between acts, they were still playing music over the speakers to keep the entertainment going.

Lesson 1: don’t fly in on Friday.  Since we woke up around 5:30am CST to catch our flight, it was really 3:30am in California.  I’ll explain why this was a bad idea shortly.

We flew into the Palm Springs airport, (which is outdoors!), and stepped out to the curb to this view.

photo 1 (11)I had never been to Palm Springs before. I loved the mountains, the beautiful landscaping, and the mid-century homes.  You know you’re in the desert when you drive on the edge of town and see fields of nothing but sand.  Anywho, we went straight to the house to change and get ready, then we met our other group of friends at their house, where about 20 people we staying!

(Our friend’s house, not where we stayed.  With Jody, half of the couple we stayed with)

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(Isn’t this plant cool??)

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They rented a school bus for the weekend, so we all climbed on and drove the 20-ish miles to Indio, where Coachella is held.

photo 1 (12)The first day it was HOT.  About 99 degrees and no clouds, it was hard not to notice.  I drank 6 bottles of water that day and only had to take 1 bathroom break!  Luckily, once the sun goes down, it drops 30 degrees, and we put on our long sleeves.  Some acts we saw on day 1 included: Outkast, Zedd, Girl Talk, Ellie Goulding, Chromeo, and Duke Dumont.  It was an epic day!  So epic, that we were awake for 24 HOURS.  Remember that lesson I wrote about?  With the time change, we were awake from 3:30am-3:30am.  The shows stop at 1am, but then you have to walk pretty far to transportation, and since we took the bus, we had to wait for everyone to show up, then drop people off, THEN drive back to our house where we were sleeping.  By the end of the night, my feet and legs had shooting pains, and we fell asleep instantly on the bus ride home.

Some pics from day 1:

(Our house mates, Fred & Jody, me & Z)


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(Our jewelry-inspired temporary tattoos.)

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(Daytime shots)

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(There were lots of cool art installations, most that looked different or lit up at night.  I loved the astronaut and the garden caterpillar, [not pictured].  There was also a ferris wheel that looked pretty at night.)

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(Sitting break near the end, so exhausted!)

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(We sat down before shows to secure our spot for our big group, many are not pictured.)

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After a MUCH needed night’s rest, we were ready for day 2.  We decided to go a little later in the day, to beat the heat and catch the better shows.  We ate lunch in downtown Palm Springs, which I might add, is adorable.  What a cute city!  As we were driving around, we realized it was a WINDY day, and sand was blowing everywhere.  We were told in advance that this might happen, so we packed our bandannas to put around our mouths/noses.

A good look, eh?

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Despite the sand storm, it was a cooler, much more comfortable day.  Some acts we saw day 2: Pharrell (SO fun!), Kid Cudi, Sleigh Bells, Dillon Francis, Fatboy Slim, Skrillex, Nas.

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(Our group taking pics in a mirrored art installation, which lit up at night.  You can see the sand-haze in the air).

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There was one tent that played nothing but EDM (electronic dance music), and had the coolest video screens and lasers.  We watched a show way back behind the tent from the beer tent, and enjoyed it even more from back there, because we could see the entire light show.

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(some closer-in shots)

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Side note – SO many people carried big strange things on a stick, or a big blow-up item.  The crowds got extreme sometimes, and it really helped keep groups of friends together.  Our group would have the guys put their hats up so we could find them again.

Compared to day 1, day 2 FLEW by, almost too fast!  Before we knew it, it was time to go.

(Frankie, Freddy, Z and I jammin in an open area).

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By the end of the night, we were DIRTY.  We could feel the sand on our faces/bodies, in our eyes/ears/noses, but couldn’t really tell how much of it was there until we got home that night and looked at pictures like this one…. (LOOK at my face!)

photo 5 (2)… or in the mirror at home!  I walked in and said, “OHMYGOD!”

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Even though it was really late, we all took long showers then got in the hot tub before bed.

The next day, we hung around the house on a beautiful day, sat by the pool, and went for lunch at a local deli.

(The house)

photo 3 (6)Lesson 2: Stay until Monday.  There was a whole other full day of acts we missed because our flight left on Sunday.  I’m not sure we even had the energy for it, but it would have been fun.

Some random Coachella tidbits:

-For a big music festival, we barely saw anyone who looked “gross”, or who looked so messed up they needed medical attention.  That says a lot.

-The food choices were great.  And with it being California, they even had a lot of vegan/veg options, and healthy options.

-The bathroom situation, although porta-potties, was decent.  They were tented out of the sun, and men’s and women’s were separated.

-It seemed clean and well organized.


I would definitely go back!!