For the majority of Coachella attendees, the experience has nothing to do with being backstage, having press passes, or using DSLR cameras (they didn’t allow "professional" grade cameras inside this year). You probably go on a whim and cobble together a weekend through a cloud of smoke and a river of booze.
On the ground, you just exist. You do whatever you want to, when you want to. Make sacrifices, leave shows early, stay late, eat your face off for an hour, drink beer, get high, whatever. The crowd is overwhelmingly nice. People are happy to be there, whether it’s cold and raining, or scorching hot, and the good vibes go a long way. For the most part, you feel safe. Safe enough to let your guard down, if even only slightly. You commit to the experience of being there and you stay as present as you can, enjoying every moment that passes.
Enjoy this fan's-eye view of Coachella 2012.
All photos by Jordan Yearsley