I'm not attending the Coachella Festival of Music and Art this year, and while there is nothing worse than hearing all of your friends talk about it in real life and on Facebook and Twitter, not to mention how every blogger and the press go on and on about the festival, I'm gonna give you some reasons to get over it. Or maybe I'm convincing myself? Either way, we'll get through this weekend together. I'm not saying I wouldn't accept comps if they came my way, but as of now, that's just not gonna happen. So here's me raining on the Coachella parade.
1. Money- I don't know about you, but I'm broke as a joke these days. Dropping nearly $300 on a ticket for three days is just not in my budget. Neither is spending money on festival food, lodging, and the transportation/gas to get there.
2. Weather- Did you know it is freaking hot as hell in the desert? The festival is now two weekends earlier in the year than when it started, but it's still hot as heck. While the festival provides outlets for shade and misting, it's still not very comfortable. Last year, I spent most of Sunday pouring water over my head, only to find that when the sun dropped I was freezing my ass off. Not very comfortable.
3. Everybody is VIP/Nobody is VIP- So the ideal Coachella situation is getting hooked up with tickets by someone high on the foodchain, like Goldenvoice. The thing is, most people don't. Even some bands have limited backstage and VIP privileges. A photo pass might only allow you to shoot certain stages, a wristband might get you bleacher seating or better food, but if you wanna be close during performances, you have to wait around like everyone else, and on the mainstage, you end up watching most of the performance on large screens.
Frightened Rabbit at the Casbah, circa 2008
4. "Epic" and "Killed It"- I might have to go a weekend without Twitter just so I don't have to read how every band "killed it" or was "epic". Shut up. Seriously. I can write a review about Coachella before it happens. "Friday and Saturday were filled with amazing performances by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, while Yeasayer and Frightened Rabbit became fan favorites, leading into epic performances by Them Crooked Vultures and LCD Soundsystem. The indie hipsters even embraced Jay-Z. What truly stole the weekend was the long awaited Pavement reunion, and Thom Yorke absolutely killed it with his side project, Atoms For Peace."
5. San Diego rocks- Do you realize how lucky we are in this town to have the venues we have? A band can tour and play 400-1000 capacity venues and end up playing the smallest show on their tours here in San Diego. As Tall As Lions performs tonight at the Loft. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are at the Belly Up and The Big Pink are at the Casbah on Thursday. Frightened Rabbit will be at the Casbah on May 22. In fact, a significant amount of bands set to play Coachella have played in San Diego over the past 6 months or will be here in the next few. If you like the crowds of a festival, celebrate Earth Day on Sunday in Balboa Park and spend the following weekend at the FREE Adams Avenue Roots Festival. Might not be the next hipster bands that you'll forget about next week, but great music nonetheless. Also, just because a lineup has 100 acts, realistically, how many will you actually see?
Vampire Weekend at the Casbah, circa 2007
In all seriousness, I'm sure Coachella will be "epic", but by next week everyone will be talking about something else. Hype and enthusiasm are great, but if you're really about great live music, missing Coachella won't break your heart. At least if you can get past the weekend of tweets.
Incidentally, moments after I posted this, it was announced that Coachella is Sold Out. For my friends that are going, have a great time. For those not, we'll hold down the fort and rage this weekend.