Welcome to the 14th edition of my series “A Party to Remember!”
I apologize for the long delay from the last episode… I’ve been quite busy working on my travel series in LA!
In this interview-based web series, you’ll learn about the best parties and nightlife all over the world from other travelers and travel bloggers.
Today, I am thrilled to feature an awesome travel blogger named Mimi, who is going to share her experience at Coachella Music Festival in California. This fest is HIGH on my list to attend, and after hearing what she had to say, I am fully convinced to go next year!
If you want to be the next person featured in this series, then please contact me with your party idea and I will send you the guidelines. My aim is to cover nightlife all over the globe, so please try to contribute a party that hasn’t already been covered.
Ok, now I’ll let Mimi take over!
Mimi is a California girl who recently spent the last two years living abroad in Oceania. She’s done everything from jumping out of a plane in New Zealand, to eating snakes in Vietnam, learning how to cook in Italy, and even scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
She’s currently based in the Pacific Northwest for the next year, and blogs about slow travel, craft beer escapades, festivals, and outdoor adventures on her blog, The Atlas Heart.
Question 1: What What was the party/event and where was it?
Coachella Music Festival 2012! Every year around April, a mass of music lovers come together In the inhospitable California desert to dance and enjoy live music from the top and/or up and coming artists of the year. Coachella was one of the original California music festivals, starting in 1999, and arguably still one of the most popular festivals in the country, and even the world. There are a ton of international party-goers that come to California each year for the sole purpose of attending this festival.
The Coachella stages have hosted some of the greatest musicians throughout the years and 2012 was no exception.
The week that I went was unbearably hot at over 100 degrees for 3 days straight. Even with the heat, we managed to have a ridiculously good time. At the time, I had never been to a music festival that was as large as Coachella, and I was blown away by the perfect acoustics and variety of acts. I rocked out to The Arctic Monkeys, swayed to the feels of Bon Iver, and danced all night long for the likes of Calvin Harris, Martin Solveig, Dada Life, and Swedish House Mafia. Oh, and I saw Tupac’s hologram rapping up a storm.
It was, without a doubt, a weekend to remember.
Question 2: How did you hear about this party/event? Did you stumble upon it, or plan to go?
I had been wanting to go to Coachella since I started college in Southern California and heard about it constantly. It sounded exactly like the type of atmosphere I would love, and three days of straight music was a dream come true for me. Also, I had just turned 21 so I thought it was finally the perfect time to experience the famous festival.
As I mentioned before, Coachella was the first large festival I went to so I wanted to do it right the first time around. Once I got a group together with a few of my sorority sisters and bought my ticket, I was excited to hit the road en route to the dusty hot desert.
Question 3: Did anything funny or ‘out of the ordinary happen that night? Please share the story.
Let’s see, where do I even begin? Coachella is another animal all together, you never know what will come next or what crazy thing someone is going to do. However, we did have a pretty funny story in our own camp.
When we were packing for the festival, we snuck in a handle of silver tequila mixed in with our 24-pack of water, we just filled a few water bottles with tequila and put them in the middle of the case so no one could tell the difference.
Well, we were camping and the line for the shower was over two hours long with no shade. One of my campmates was over feeling sticky and gross from the heat and just wanted to dunk her head with water, so she quickly grabbed a water bottle, forgetting some of them still had tequila in them. You can guess which type of “water” she picked, and she poured the whole bottle on her head. Needless to say, she waited in the hot sun for a shower after that.
In terms of the actual festival – the last act of the festival with Snoop Dogg was hilarious. He not only left the stage for a few minutes to smoke a joint with his buddies, but introduced the epic Tupac hologram that people would be talking about for weeks after the festival.
Question 4: What were the top 3 highlights from that night?
- The Do-Lab – The Do-Lab was this genius part of the festival, located in between all the stages. The area had music to dance to, water misters in a circle cooling people off, and best of all, a stage of people using machine water guns to get us soaked. It was the best highlight of our days to head to the Do-Lab between sets to cool off and wash off the heat.
- Calvin Harris Set – I didn’t realize how much I love live electronic music until I went to Coachella. Calvin Harris put on a phenomenal set and everything worked so well in terms of the people, the atmosphere, and his trippy lights. When “Feel So Close’ came on, the whole crowd was on their feet dancing and singing their lungs out in unison, linking arms and spreading the love around – it was perfect.
- Seeing Radiohead & Bon Iver for the first time – My two favorite artists of ALL time, Radiohead and Bon Iver, not only both played at the 2012 Coachella, but played back-to-back on the same night. I was in heaven listening to both of their sets live for the first time, I still can’t think of a better concert moment to this day. Honestly, if I had just seen them at Coachella, my experience would’ve still been complete.
Question 5: What advice can you give for anyone else that wants to attend this event and party like you did?
- Go Camping! Even if you’re not a camping type of person, it’s a completely different experience when you’re in the action and the midst of it all. I’ve tried both camping and off site accommodation for the festival, and nothing beats sharing a beer with your tent neighbor or walking around the campground after a night of music, meeting the mot random and friendly people.
- If you’re camping, bring baby wipes and a canopy. We forgot the canopy and we had to either find another friend at the festival, or find little pockets of shade around our car, the heat was that unbearable. Rookie mistake! Baby wipes are just a necessary means to an end when the shower line can be up to 3 hours wait time. No one wants to wait in that unless you can’t stand the thought of not taking a shower for 3 days.
- Bring in alcohol and whatever else you need but be smart about it. You are allowed to bring in a “reasonable” amount if you’re over 21, which is equivalent to 1 case of beer per person, but whatever you do don’t bring glass! If you want to bring more than that or other substances, just don’t be obvious! The people checking cars don’t really care, they’re just volunteers, but don’t make their job awkward by being that clueless guy in line.
- Enjoy it and actually listen to the music. Coachella has changed a lot in the last few years, and I’m sure even before that. It has become less about the music and more about the fashion and “being seen”, but don’t forget to enjoy why it’s there in the first place: to bring together a love of music. There’s seriously nothing better if you enjoy it for what it is.
Question 6: Which city do you think has the best nightlife?
That’s a hard one! I’d have to say that Melbourne, Australia has a unique nightlife that I really grew to love while I was living there. I especially like how much it’s centered around live music and eccentric bar concepts. They have everything from upscale clubs, craft beer pubs, to bars that serve cocktails in teacups and have waiters walking around in tennis getups. Also, rooftop bars – it’s hard to beat rooftop bars in Melbourne and a late night dumpling run after the night is done.
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, Mimi! Have YOU ever been to Coachella?