Two rookies take Coachella

Amanda Swartz and Evin Nesburn

As first-timers at Coachella, we did not know what to expect. We went into the experience open-minded. After the two-hour drive to Coachella Valley, we quickly got ready and headed to the festival. On the way, we stopped by Hadley’s to get the infamous date shake. We had to stop drinking it after a few sips–it was too sweet!

When we arrived at the festival, we realized we got there way too early. We had almost four hours before a singer performed that we wanted to see. It was good, however, to get a sense of our surroundings.

After seeing Jaden Smith, we headed to a friend’s hotel room to relax for a bit before making it back to Coachella. Sadly, we did not make it to the festival until around 11pm, right before Childish Gambino, because of all the traffic. During the peak of traffic, we hopped out of our Uber and power-walked almost two miles to make it in time for Childish Gambino’s spectacular performance.

As we arrived at the Coachella Stage, everyone was sitting on the ground in preparation for the headliner’s show. We kindly walked over our fellow concert-goers and made it quite close to the stage. With no idea of where Gambino would come out, he ended up popping out right in front of us! We were ecstatic.

While we were initially worried about the crowd, there ended up being enough space for us to comfortably enjoy the concert as we sang and danced to the music. At one point, Childish Gambino was merely feet away from us as he sang “This is America.”

Because we were so close to the stage, getting out of the concert area took a while. That night, our bodies were sore and we knew the next two days were going to be both rewarding and taxing.  

The next day, we slept until almost 2:00 p.m. When we woke up, we immediately got ready for the festival and headed out to see some of our favorite artists, such as Wiz Khalifa and Juice WRLD. Since we arrived so early, we were in close proximity to the stage, which made the experience much more enjoyable. A highlight for us was Wiz Khalifa’s outstanding performance. The crowd was exciting and not too intense!

We woke up early on Sunday to get our homework done in the only time we had. The Uber-drop off location was relatively far from the entrance of Coachella, so we took one of the many bikes that were being driven back and forth for a grand total of 10 dollars a person. It was well worth the money to protect our feet.

We arrived at the Coachella Stage at 6 p.m. and camped out in our spot until midnight in order to be close to Zedd, Khalid, and Ariana Grande. Zedd’s visuals were definitely a major highlight of our Coachella experience. Everyone could tell he genuinely loved DJing and it shined through in his performance. By the time Khalid came onto the Coachella stage, we were both tired and dehydrated. Luckily, we found an unopened water bottle, which was extremely necessary after being in the heat all day.

After seeing Khalid’s outstanding performance, we waited more than an hour to be close to Ariana Grande. Although our feet were numb and our ears were ringing, we thought Grande was unbelievable. For the hour and a half she was on the stage, she barely stopped dancing and singing. She even changed into three different outfits!

We left Coachella around 12:30 a.m., but unfortunately the long parking line held us up until around 1:30 a.m. Afterwards, the drive home took around two and a half hours. On Monday morning, we woke up bright and early at 6:00 am, a mere two hours after falling asleep.

At the festival, the bathrooms were plentiful and lines were not too long. Thankfully, we were able to avoid using a porta-potty because of the convenient, indoor, air-conditioned trailer bathrooms.

While waiting for a restroom was not a time consuming ordeal, other aspects were. Unfortunately, to secure a spot close to the stage, it is necessary to stay at the same stage for hours. Expect your feet to hurt, back to ache, and your ears to ring after your weekend at Coachella next year.

The festival offered a variety of options food options for every taste palate. Although the food was delicious, it was not worth it due to the steep price.

Our first Coachella experience was extremely exciting! We genuinely enjoyed all of the performances we saw and everyone’s unique sense of style. We definitely will return for Coachella 2020.

Here are some pictures from our exciting weekend:

Evin Nesburn
EDM Artist Zedd performing on Sunday at The Coachella Stage.
Amanda Swartz
Childish Gambino performing on Friday night at The Coachella Stage.
Amanda Swartz
Wiz Khalifa performing on Saturday Night at The Sahara Tent.
Amanda Swartz
Ariana Grande performing Sunday Night at The Coachella Stage.