By Matthew Oxman
Stages/Sound: Coachella is the absolute best music viewing experience you will ever come across. Every stage has perfect sound quality, because the festival provides speaker towers that run all the way to the back of the crowd. The ability for people in the back to hear like they are up close means that there is no need to push forward so the festival stays spread out, and never gets too crowded. The sound is backed up by enormous LED screens that make the audience feel like they are right up close to the stage. I honestly can’t describe how much fun it is to watch music at this festival.
Greening: Coachella tries to be clean. They offer great rewards for people to pick up bottles in exchange for full water bottles, merchandise, or even VIP upgrades. Unfortunately, the crowd seems to believe that it’s Coachella’s responsibility to clean up after them so the fairgrounds become overrun with bottles, food scraps and other miscellaneous trash.
Crowd: The crowd at Coachella is much better than their reputation of being a bunch of Hollywood assholes. Yes, everyone is more dressed up and prettier than any other festival but I don’t consider this a bad thing. This crowd also dances much more as a whole than any other mega festival crowd, which creates a really wonderful vibe for the entire event. There are exceptions as always, but overall the crowd is great.
Sponsors: Coachella does a better job with their sponsors than any other festival I have attended. Sponsors don’t just have a booth to give out their information, they all add a service that is valuable to the attendees. Some sponsors will give you a place to get out of the heat, charge your phone, or have your picture taken and emailed to you later.
Security: Coachella did a really good job with keeping the lines short to get in or out of the festival. The search ranged from short to more intense, depending on the person doing it. I don’t have any complaints on the security process.
Food: The food is incredible. You can find a large meal that will get you through the day for $10. There are also a lot of different vegetarian and vegan dishes so everyone has a wide variety to choose from. My biggest problem with Coachella is the drinking system because you have to go into beer gardens to drink. This is a huge bummer for people who like to drink (or have friends that do in my case).
Art: Coachella’s commitment to making their venue a living wonderland is nothing short of amazing. This year attendees were greeted by a three story astronaut art car, a shade structure comprised of different grasses and flowers, a two story robot, and a huge pretzel-like art installation that changed colors thanks to dozens of projectors. All of this is combined into a magical place to watch your favorite music.
Organization: Coachella is the benchmark for festival organization. Every show starts exactly on time. Every last detail is well thought out and executed creating the absolute best music festival experience you will ever come across. The only lines you would come across were for the water but this could be avoided by going to some of the less popular fill stations.
Camping: The camping continues to get better with every year. This year they added a dozen little buildings to explore on your way into the festival. They do a great job of giving attendees different forms of entertainment including yoga, snowball fights, dodgeball, silent disco, as well as a couple different live music venues. They also made the smart decision of opening the gates earlier this year, which cut the line-waiting time in half.
Art: Coachella’s commitment to art is legendary. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars turning their venue into a magical wonderland. No one does it like Coachella. Check out this incredible astronaut art car that roamed the fairgrounds.
Overall: Coachella sells all of it’s tickets before the lineup comes out because it is just that good. You will have more fun here than you could have ever dreamed of. I am going to give if four and half stars because it was a perfect festival that was just too dirty to get a full five stars.
Which weekend was better? For the third consecutive year- weekend 2. The grass is not as nice as weekend 1 but the weather was much nicer and I am confident in saying that the weekend 2 crowd is more easygoing than the weekend 1 crew.