Did we meet, Boourns?
Did we meet, Boourns?
Random, probably stupid idea, but recognition, mostly driven by radio play, is clearly the reason why certain acts overflow (Bastille, Capital Cities, Lorde, etc.) and certain acts are empty (The Replacements, NMH, etc.).
Why doesn't GV use their relationship with KROQ for good next year and get "Bastards of Young," "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea", etc. into the rotation between the time lineup drops and Coachella occurs? Its sad that these acts get passed on because the younger generation doesn't recognize them.
Pros: Do Lab location allows for you to really enjoy the legit artists that are playing this year, as opposed to it just being a minor distraction to people hopping between stages. Yuma Tent was awesome, and was never really too crowded or had a long line, although I arrived 10-15 minutes for the more popular sets. Having the side curtains on the Gobi was a pretty solid improvement.
Cons: (pretty minor) If you purchased a key-less locker, be prepared for a huge line to get your locker. The only difference between these and regular lockers is that the people working the lockers have to set your code for you. I highly encourage your to arrive by 1PM Friday at the latest, otherwise you'll wait easily an hour +. Also, I kinda miss the snail...! Day 3 GA lines were really long (45 minutes) for some reason. Days 1 and 2 were less than 10 minutes
i've been going for 5 years, my sister for 9, and some things that bothered us were:
1) sets cut short, way before curfew. some of the bands could have gotten in another song or 2, that was a disappointment considering how much money we pay for this festival vs. others. my sis went back in the day when Rodger Waters, the Cure, and other headliners were able to play way longer. also..
2) Queens of the Stone Age only had a 45 minute set... wtf. Muse had an hour to set up, which may have been more intricate if it weren't for the sandstorm. But considering their setup in 2010, it was far less superior. did not understand why we couldn't have gotten 15 more minutes of Queens, especially since they are legendary in the area. on the other hand, both bands did an amazing job considering the storm conditions. if sand storms are going to be a regular thing, maybe there can be something done to better protect the stage, artists, and sound equipment.
3) speaking of sandstorms, and this is not the festival's fault, but our stupid neighbors didn't secure their canopy and it punctured 2 huge holes in our tent and scratched up the back of our car. we asked security what we should do and there was pretty much nothing to be done. all in all, we had to leave the next night because our tent was covered in dirt and messed up. maybe they can have some signs inside the festival alerting people to take down their canopys and secure their tents if there's the threat of a storm, because our phones did not receive the coachella app alerts. or they can put more regulations in regards to people securing their tents and canopys. and as our neighbors were probably too messed up to notice a storm anyway from their spot in the sahara tent, they could also have people patrolling the campsite and taking down anything that looks like it could cause damage. that really ruined our last 2 nights, caused damage to a $200 tent, and i don't even want to know how much the car damage is going to cost...
4) the main stage was super divided, which made it more difficult to navigate. also the stage set up didn't seem as cool as past years i've seen, like Arcade Fire 2011, Chemical Brothers, Radiohead 2012. Was much more basic with its visual show. Also, the first day, there were issues with sound. Was really hard to hear some of the singing for Ellie Goulding, Kid Cudi, and AFI. The speaker kept going in and out. Kind of sucks that the first weekend, it's like they are getting out all their tech issues. I think I'll try the second weekend if I am able to go back next year.
5) the conflicts... sunday should have been switched with friday. friday was a pretty mellow day with not too many conflicts except at night. Sunday was so much energy and would have been better to start everything off. all the big band conflicts were so difficult. really regret missing the Knife for the Cult. And only saw some of Crosses, who were amazing, but their crowd was tiny as everyone was at Outkast. They should have gotten an earlier slot, I seriously regret missing the end of their set because my friends were at Outkast. It was like when I missed New Order because one of the staff told us Daft Punk was at Phoenix's stage (so mean!). Big life regrets, man. Coachella problems. Bryan Ferry should have been earlier as well to avoid conflict with the Replacements and GirlTalk. Saturday and Sunday... I wish I could go the second weekend just to see all the acts I missed for other ones. Maybe they are trying to push everyone towards being double-weekenders... in that case, I should become a stripper because this festival is threatening to eat through my savings.
things that were good:
1) maintenance of porta potties, good job.
2) great food, really enjoyed the Me So Hungry burgers and grilled cheese truck. breakfast burritos saved my life in the morning. only thing is do NOT go to that chicken kebab place (called fried chicken and fries or something)... horrible cold food, murdered my stomach and bitchy customer service when because i dared to interrupt the girl for a fork while she was flirting with her coworker, my bad.
3) big shout out to the staff and security they hired this year, really nice, upbeat, and hilarious people. probably the best staff i've seen at any festival so far.
4) the crowds were great depending what bands you went to. I checked out a lot of the rock bands and old-timers, and loved the people and energy around me. Stay away from the top-40 and EDM sets and you'll be away from the annoying crowds. Or just move your spot until you are next to people who seem chill, crowd Feng-Shui is real.
5) lots of cool guest artists this year! good job.
despite all of it, this weekend went by way too fast, i am sunburnt and have gained 5 lbs of dancing muscles. wish i could hop back in a time machine and do it all again. loved all the rock acts this year, keep it up!
The cutting of sets was pretty shitty. I get it needs to stay on schedule, but in the middle of a song? Totally not necessary.
- Friday felt insanely crowded. For much of the weekend, getting from Outdoor to Coachella stages was uncomfortably and unusually difficult.
- Moving up Outkast's set time at the last minute only to have them go on a half hour late (at their original time) only to be cut-off was annoying. Though probably not the festival's fault.
Second, it's a significant disservice to the artists. I would typically blow about 200-300 bucks on CDs of the smaller acts I enjoy each year..., and the fact that GV made it harder for me and others in attendance to actually support the acts on the bill for their effort is disappointing.
AC / DC - Steely Dan - Ride - Fly-Lo - Raekwon & GFK - Lykke Li - Caribou - Todd Terje - Rev. Horton Heat - Charles Bradley - Eagulls - Allah-Las - Jon Hopkins
Swans - Belle & Sebastian - Jack White - Parquet Courts - Run The Jewels - War On Drugs - Perfume Genius - Drive Like Jehu - Alt-J - Bad Religion - Jungle - Kasabian - Royal Blood
Built To Spill - St. Vincent - Ryan Adams - John Talabot - Angel Olsen - Sturgil Simpson - Mac DeMarco - Joyce Manor - Orwells
I agree a lot with the OP on this one.
- Moving the Do Lab. This was perfect, helped the noise bleed so much.
- Security Lines. Quick moving, were friendly.
- New Gobi. Was very nice, enjoyed the changes.
-Surprises. I don't know if the credit should even go to GV here, but it was a lot of fun to see all the surprise guests. Its part of what makes festival performances so fun (or bad if youre outkast) you just do not know what to expect. Ill never forget seeing Nas and Jay on stage together.
- Leaving the festival. This was my first time staying at a hotel instead of camping. Getting to the festival wasn't too bad, but leaving. Holy Shit. It took 3 hours to get back to our hotel on Friday Night, and a more manageable 2 hours (sarcasm) on Saturday and Sunday. There was no real traffic control inside the lots, I saw several accidents from people trying to cut each other in line, and it was a mess still once out. They need a new plan of action.
- Security - While it was nice to get in quickly, I wasn't even patted down, asked to empty my pockets, or have my bag checked on sunday. You first think, wow cool that was easy, if I had drugs id be happy, but once you really think about it..whats keeping someone from bringing a weapon in? Im not super paranoid about that stuff, but with so many people In one spot..you never know.
- Finally..the music. I am more of a fan of the more popular acts than the discovery acts (if that makes sense). I saw Pharrell, and loved the hell out of it. There were 2 defining moments for me that showed whats happening at Coachella.
1st was Outkast set. Andre was awkward, whatever. The problem was the crowd. All these people got there because they thought it was a big deal, but they really didn't know anything about Outkast. I was dead center 2 people from the rail, and I was literally the only person I could see that knew the songs. Not Hey Ya or Mrs.Jackson. Im talking Gasoline Dreams and Elevators. Aquemini and hell even B.O.B. It was disgusting to me. This is literally history and everyone looked like they were watching Spanish television.
The 2nd was Calvin Harris on the main stage. I was there waiting for Beck and Arcade Fire. What.The.Fuck. I had a good spot and I was chillin in the grass, bout 10 minutes before he starts we just got bumrushed by a ton of people. I proceeded to get fist pumped in the face about 32768 times for the next hour. I know this EDM shit is popular now, but why bring it to the main stage? Have an artist like that either stay in the Sahara or close the stage in Swedish House Mafia (2012). I don't know. Im not an expert or the one getting paid to make those decisions. But I think its getting out of control.
Overall, I had a good time this year. But I really don't know if Im going to go again next year. I think the lineup would have to blow me away at this point. The costs are rising, and the positives (for me at least) and dwindling.
Last edited by TanTan; 04-15-2014 at 01:47 PM.
Largely agree with everything that's been said. Certainly one of the most reliable aspects of Coachella/GV is their willingness to constantly improve the experience...even if it takes a few years after partially ruining the experience. Here is what I have to add:
- biking from Indian Palms is still not a pleasant experience. For the first two days, we were directed onto the pedestrian path that starts right at Monroe and 49th and not allowed to go down 49th. Finally on Sunday we were allowed to take 49th a bit further down to where there was another pedestrian path, giving us another half mile or so of lovely pavement. Riding on the dirt pedestrian path is annoying and caused 4 tire blowouts in my group over the course of the weekend. And of course navigating home through the thicker crowds plus the thick dust on the path just sucks.
Solution: If they are investing all this money into making permanent structures because they want this to be a 6 (?) times a year festival destination, then they need to pave a path, maybe one large enough to have dedicated pedestrian and bike lanes, to accommodate the very large contingent traveling to IP, the taxi stand, northern day parking and VIP lots. Not to mention it will help with their dust mitigation. Don't they now own that section of land anyway?
- The Main-Outdoor beer garden entrances are extremely dangerous when the oversubscribed Outdoor acts start alternating with the Main Stage acts at end of the night. Someone is going to get trampled in one of those scrums.
- I really think GV has a long term problem with the dust. If campers have to prepare as if they are heading to Burning Man and even us housed people have to bring goggles and scarves every day, it is not going to be a festival people will come back to year after year. If drought conditions in CA continue (likely) and as the Salton Sea dries up (inevitable) dust of the both the festival-ruining kind (last year) and mildly irritating kind (this year) will become a part of life here.
Along those lines, did it seem like the grass held up even worse than previous years? Not sure if it was just the wind helping to dry things out even faster, the crowds (which despite opening more territory, it is still a very crowded festival in its post-2009 incarnation) or the grass not being in good shape to start with - probably all of those.
- re the general conversation about the music, here is my two-cents. We are currently at the apex of 80s inspired synth-pop and escapist yacht-rock, and the backlash is coming. Personally, I was perfectly happy with the lineup though it was funny after awhile trying explain some of the acts to some of my more musically ignorant friends - I realized synth-pop was frequently the easiest way to describe a lot of it. I'm not excited for when an angrier 90s resurgence comes along as the next part of the cycle, but if acts like Carbon Airways are what the youngest artists are gravitating towards (I didn't see them, but was very curious about them, so I could be off base) then I think some of the gripes expressed here will be temporary. Heck, I even see Lorde making a semi-alienating turn into something less "accessible" next time around.
Anyway, as long as they still book interesting acts like The Knife and have the Yuma where I can go pretend it's 3am in Berlin during Scuba's 3pm set, they could book Katy Perry on the mainstage for all I care. The more mainstream stuff they want to put on the mainstage, all the better for getting rid of the crowds in all the smaller tents. Nothing makes me happier than seeing acts I don't care about playing night sets on Outdoor and Main. That wasn't the case too much this year, but that's ok too.
Craft beer garden - 10 dollar ipas, much cheaper than expected. The restaurant that attached had air conditioned, flushable toilets. Now that's service!
Yuma - Never had to wait. Although i wish the shape was also different. I think it would be pretty sweet if they opened up one side of the tent so you could be outside and enjoy the acts. Sometimes I left because I didn't want to spend my daytime inside
Do Lab - while i like it better in the middle for easier access, I felt that it was able to be bigger given its new home. At night it looked the best I have ever seen it
food - i used to survive all weekend on spicy pie, now i can't wait to try al of the offerings. The asian flavored chicken wings, papaya salad and egg roll tent was my favorite. bummed it was moved into vip for sunday
long line to get in on sunday
heineken house - the dome was way cooler both in temperature and in appearance
I forgot my annual complaint about the bike paths. Seriously, it's time for some permanent or paved structure for bikes. I have bikes. I would ride bikes in if I could, considering my house is a mile away. But since it's a three mile ride in, I drive instead. I add to the traffic problem because biking in is a major pain in the ass.
Biking still sucks, but even this process has improved.
I find I get tired when I'm bored. This year was tiring. Every other year I've gone, I was bouncing from stage to stage for most of the day. This Sunday I didn't even bother showing up until 5. Weak lineup.
Anything is possible...
dancefreak, next year you will have the memo. It's always a learning process regardless of how many times you've done it. That's a big part of the awesomeness.
Hahaha. Do you bedazzle?
Anyone else notice how loud main was all weekend? I would be at outdoor at numerous different times of the festival and could hear main perfectly clear for MGMT, Foster The People etc etc. I'm surprised to not see more posts about it.
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
It's a cash grab from here on out. If you are not less than 25 they want you to dole out the big bucks to see a few rock bands and hip hop acts bands willing to do the festival circuit.
EDM and the under 25 crowd is all that matters to most of the festival promoters anymore. Andre 3000 figured this out two songs into their set.
The outdoor got louder as you walked away from it.