Written by Stephanie Trimble for Vancity Buzz
The first weekend of the 2015 edition of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival wrapped up last Sunday and the second iteration starts today – an identical 2nd weekend with the same lineup of musical talent and art installations as the first the only difference being a new crowd.
Highlights of weekend one included Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine belting out hits with her succulent vocals (despite breaking her foot when she jumped off the stage at the beginning of her set!), Jack White performing a vast collection of music ranging from his solo work to The White Stripes and even covering Rage Against The Machine, and the easy daytime acoustic tunes by enormously popular newcomer musician Hozier. While the media masses have focused on Madonna’s unexplained guest appearance and subsequent weird “kiss” with Drake – that one moment during the weekend was far from being a highlight. Guest appearances (Madonna notwithstanding) were much more rare this year than in years’ past, but there were still a few. Ryan Tedder, the lead singer of One Republic showed up to Alesso’s set in the Sahara tent on Friday night and performed several of his hits while Alesso remixed the songs.
This year the success of the first weekend was emphasized not by the musical talent gracing the stages, but by the festival attendees themselves. The crowd was awesome this year! Super chill, friendly, polite, composed and genuinely looking to experience all that Coachella had to offer. This was a stark contrast to the past few years that saw an explosion of rowdy patrons looking to push their way to the front of each set and over indulge in both legal and illegal vices. It was a welcome crowd change; dating back to the roots of the festival.
Each year Coachella organizers Goldenvoice (a subsidiary of AEG Live) aim to enhance the festival experience for attendees making small improvements and changes, and this year was no different. The 2015 edition of the Coachella saw the instalment of permanent bathrooms! It might not seem like much, but a flushing toilet and cool running water after using porta-potties for three days is an emphatic luxury. While the lineup for the girls washroom was long at night, it moved quickly and was worth every minute of wait time.
In addition to a carefully procured musical lineup, there is also an impressive collection of colossal art installations scattered in the Empire Polo Fields where the festival is held. The most notable art this year was the weird looking caterpillar that crawled its way through crowds during the first two days, and then showed up on Sunday as a beautiful huge butterfly. My personal favourite was “Pulp Pavilion”, a set of archways lit up with vibrant changing colours at night.
The big fashion trends spotted on the polo fields so far include temporary metallic tattoos, fanny packs, coloured mirror sunglasses, midriffs, white crochet, patterned loose pants and fringe on bags and shirts. Watch for these trends to make their way up to BC later this summer when Pemberton Music Festival and Squamish Valley Music Festival take place.
For Vancouverites attending the second weekend of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, wear comfortable shoes. I tracked how much distance I travelled over the three days with a fitbit and logged a whopping 34 kms! For more tips to ensure you have the best weekend possible, check out A Vancouverite’s Guide to Coachella.