It’s been a while since I’ve been back. About two weeks now and I consider reporting on an event two weeks later to be, at the very least, a while. It’s taken me a while to figure out what to say about it. The timely thing to do would have been to write most of this on my way home, but that didn’t happen. Instead, sinusitis happened, causing me to feel sluggish, no energy and like wet cement had replaced the normal mucus of my sinus cavities. In a word, it was unpleasant. A word I fortunately wouldn’t associate with the Coachella Valley Music Festival in sunny southern California, where I was flying back from last week. I discovered a lot about Coachella over the three-ish days I was there, some good and some not so pleasant.
I’ve decided to tell both sides of the story, which is why my title suggests cutting Coachella in two. Love/hate and all that.
The Good I was kind of asking for trouble by not actually committing to going to the festival until the day before it started. The Artsy Fartsy cuteness of the art. There were a few interactive and responsive exhibits and sculptures on site. The ones I was drawn to most, like a moth were the dandelions. They had mosaic mirror stalks with brightly colored lights for the flowers that would change color in time and tempo with whatever music was playing. I first came upon them when I arrived, as Chemical Brothers were just getting started. This turned out to be great and appropriate music for my introduction to the dandelions. Another example of sound-responsive art were the…I think they were some kind of conifer, maybe? I didn’t really read up on it, but I watched it a while, set against the backdrop of the ferris wheel and pastel-lighted palm trees.
The Bad: It’s things like festivals and large gatherings in general that remind me why I don’t like people. Somehow, in large numbers we turn into really dumb animals that struggle with remedial tasks and lose all consideration for those around us. I’m not singling myself out from the crowd by any means. I’m probably worse because I recognize it at certain points but don’t do much to remedy the situation, with a few exceptions. One being waste. I go out of my way to keep my garbage on my person until I can recycle it or place it in an appropriate receptacle. The same cannot be said for the majority of the attendees of the Coachella Music Festival.
The scene of the campground the Monday after the show was over was appalling. There was a wind carrying debris, mostly plastic bags up into a kind of tornado. It was interesting when it was a single back floating up and down, but then a bunch of jackasses thought it would be cool to start throwing more and more bags into the tornado. Because that’s a good idea. Trash cans and recycle bins had been obliterated. People left behind tents, chairs, inflatable pools, coolers, pretty much everything they brought. One group of assholes had brought a couch with them, which was charming until they left and didn’t bring it with them. I felt bad for the people who were going to have to pick this shit up. We left our spot as we found it, which was a perfect green rectangle in a sea of refuse, and was probably covered after the wind blew through everything as soon as we left.