Coachella, through students’ eyes

Lights illuminate every inch of the sky as drones zip through the air above. Below, what once was grass has since been turned into dirt from the footprints of hundreds of people. Creative energy floods the air as art installations and people in fun outfits pass by. Nearby, loud music and screams reach across the festival grounds. 

One of the biggest annual events, Coachella, is a music and arts festival attended by artists, celebrities and ordinary people alike, including many TPHS students. 

One of these students, Chloe Lam (12), attended the first weekend of the festival weekend. 

“There was always so much going on and there are so many things to do and see at the festival itself,” Lam said. “The weekend itself was super chaotic and although it was definitely exhausting, it was so fun. [The best part] was getting to see so many of my favorite artists in one weekend.”

Some of the artists that performed at Coachella were Bad Bunny, The Kid Laroi, Frank Ocean, Labrinth, Billie Eilish, Zendaya, Kali Uchis and many more, who all drew in a large crowd. 

“I know it’s expected during a festival as big as Coachella, but there are always people pushing and shoving; especially during a performance, it gets super stuffy and tiring,” Lam said. 

However, the culture of Coachella includes more than just the music, it is also known for the outfits that people show up in. For Tatum Loseke (11), dressing up was one of her favorite parts of the whole experience.

“You can literally wear whatever you want and the creative freedom gives me the opportunity to show up and out every year,” she said. 

Another reason people go to Coachella each year is to get exposure to new music.

“This year I was with [my friend] and so we kind of just went where we wanted,” Keith said. “We got to know new music, which was great because now I’m listening to new people.” 

As fun as the rest of the weekend might have been, many students were disappointed when Frank Ocean showed up around an hour late and ended his show early. 

“I do understand how his mental health and other issues may have restricted him but I think by agreeing to headline an artist is kinda just agreeing to show up on time and actually perform,” Lam said. 

Keith, who was also planning to see Frank Ocean that weekend, was forced to leave early on in his delayed set because she had to leave in order to make it to first period the next day. 

However, not everyone was disappointed.

“The Skrillex x Fred Again x Four Tet set was only announced Thursday since Frank Ocean dropped out, so that was a surprise,” Loseke said. “I was super happy about it because I like those three much more than I do Frank Ocean, and it’s always good to end Sunday on a high note with dancing and high energy.”

As eventful and exciting as many students find it, others may be hesitant to attend due to its bad reputation and frequent mishaps. This year, there were many complaints concerning late artists, overcrowding and the intense heat. Other problems included Frank Ocean pulling out of his second headlining Coachella show — something many fans were furious about. 

However, Savannah Keith (11), who has been to Coachella twice, thinks that Coachella does not deserve the “bad rap” it gets. 

“It’s really chill, and everyone is nice,” she said. “Even if you’re in the middle of a bunch of people seeing someone popular and you’re at the front, you’re not that squished, and everyone is really conscientious. You’re not worried that anything bad is going to happen to you, and I feel like it’s really safe because there is security everywhere.”

This is not to say there are no safety concerns to address when planning to attend Coachella. 

“If you go, make sure to keep everything on you and be super aware of your surroundings. A lot of my group was getting lost and a few people lost their phones and bags, [which is] not unlikely at a festival,” Lam said. 

Another thing to think about when considering attendance is the overpriced food and the overall expenditure. Fries cost around $20 and drinks cost around $15 dollars, according to Lam. 

“I think it’s worth it if you really like the lineup because you don’t want to spend all that money on food, accommodations, the ticket itself and everything else,” Lam said. 

Yet even when concerns are taken into account, students recommend the experience of Coachella to others. 

“I think if you really like music, not even just the people there but just getting to know new music, it is definitely the place to be … I love it, everyone that I know that has gone has loved it — including me last year as a sophomore and my parents who were 50 — so it’s for all ages,” Keith said.
Read on Issuu.

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