I went to Coachella for the first time this weekend. My first music festival. My fist time in Palm Springs. My first time camping in over 10 years.
It as an experience I will truly never forget. I’m writing this from my office desk on Monday morning, and feel like I am re-entering the world. Like I’m coming down off of some drug I didn’t take.
Music sounds different. I feel different. Is this post-festival feeling cliche? Probably. But I get it now. I understand why people return year after year.
I left covered in dust, back aching from sleeping in a tent on hard packed desert sand, with no voice and running on minimal sleep.
But I left with a feeling that I have never felt before. Every performer encouraged being your best self. Harry Styles preached to the crowd, “Be whoever you want to be in this field tonight”, and “Go outside. Be kind to each other. Spread it.”
That feeling is palpable in the crowd, everyone at Coachella was radiating kindness. Complients on eachother’s sparkly outfits, flying fringe, feathered cowboy hats and neon winged eyeliner. Everyone was free to be themselves.
Billie Eilish told the crowd to forget about their bodies, forget about what you look like tonight and just dance. She reminded to take care of the planet. We only have one and we are only here once.
If Coachella has taught me anything, it’s to take better care of the ground beneath me, love the people around me more, and accept every dark crevice and bright peak of myself.
Listening to music feels different after screaming with thousands of people for 3 days straight.
I’m the kind of person who gets sad after experiencing such great heights of happiness. And I get so excited when I know I’m about to experience something great. On the first day at Coachella, I told my friend how lucky we were to be there, and how lucky we were to have each other as friends, who were willing to buy tickets a week before the festival – because who knows when we’d get to go again. And on the drive home, listening to my Spotify on shuffle, I cried. At so many songs.
The emotion I was feeling was so strong from the gratitude of getting to be there and the sadness of it being over.
We camped with hundreds of people, having the bare minimum to get through the weekend: chunky glitter and melted peanut butter sandwiches. I’ll never forget it.
I’ve always been a creative person, and over the last 3 years, I lost that part of myself a little bit. Moving to California, getting stuck in the mundane day to day life. It’s April 18th, 2022, I am 25 and I’m making it a point to carry this momentum with me.
I want to make meaning in this life, do things that matter, create beauty, acknowledge beauty. I want to feel it all, do it all, portray it all the best I can.
Is it dramatic to say 3 days in the desert, walking 28 miles, barely eating and losing my voice singing to grammy award winning artists has changed my life forever? Because I don’t care, it did. It changed how I feel, and it brought me a little closer home to myself.
To everyone considering it, go. You win, music festivals.