Up until the day that I flew to L.A., I had been reading tons of posts about why Coachella is a terrible institution filled with awful people, all looking and being their absolute worst. It seemed like I was destined to gawk at the slimiest of L.A. bros, empty-eyed girls dressed up as hippies, and 17-year-olds who are way too into MDMA.
I'm from NYC, so I hate a lot of things—and I 100 percent knew I was going to hate Coachella. I've actively avoided music festivals all my life, and it had gotten to the point where all I could think about was being engulfed by the Molly'd out caricatures everyone's always complaining about.
I'm from NYC, so I hate a lot of things—and I 100 percent knew I was going to hate Coachella.
And yes, there were definitely some fools present. A good amount of time was spent near dudes with terrible tattoos who wrestled each other while trying not to spill their beers. Later, I saw a beautiful 19-year-old grinding atop some poor guy's shoulders at the 2 Chainz concert. She was angrily yelling at everyone under her to pass her their weed, then throwing her head back and letting the smoke slowly curl away with the hope/knowledge that people were Instagramming her.
All that said—without any initial enthusiasm or agenda, and with a ton of hatred in my shriveled black heart—I can definitively say that Coachella isn't nearly as bad as what you and the Internet might think. Whether the people present were posing for the cultural lens that everyone knows is trained on this spectacle or genuinely enjoying this weirdly thorough version of bacchanalia culture, if they were there they were probably happy. And that was a unique thing to see.