Fans ‘Coachillin’ in the desert

By Alyssa Ruiz

Music-goers flocked to Indio, Calif. over the weekend of April 15 to attend the first weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

This year marks the 17th anniversary of the festival and it continues to evolve and become more popular, attracting a widely varied audience ranging in age and music interests.

The three headliners varied in music style as well which pleased music-lovers that were in attendance. The headliners included LCD Soundsystem Friday night, Guns N’ Roses Saturday night, and Calvin Harris who closed the festival Sunday night accompanied by a spectacular fireworks display to end the fun-filled weekend.

Along with the rest of the highly talented line-up were several surprise guests including Rihanna, Kanye West, Kesha, Sam Smith, Lorde, Big Sean and a video appearance by Sen. Bernie Sanders to introduce Run the Jewel’s set.

One greatly talked about performance from the weekend was the reunion of iconic rap group N.W.A. only one week after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and less than a year after the release of “Straight Outta Compton,” a portrayal of their rise to fame.

Another performance that was talked about was rapper A$AP Rocky’s, but not for the same praise as N.W.A.’s.

Due to the windy weather Friday the performer came out 20 minutes after his scheduled set time, after almost needing to cancel his performance altogether. Only being able to be onstage for half-an-hour, fans were frustrated but continued on with their evening.

My favorite performance from the weekend was undoubtedly Disclosure’s with special guest Sam Smith where they performed their hit songs “Omen” and “Latch.” When Smith walked out onstage and surprised the thousands of people in the audience, myself included, I screamed, I sang, I danced, and I definitely lost my voice because of it.

Music aside, Coachella is a festival like no other. It’s a place where celebrities and people from all over the world come together to make memories, take the perfect Instagram selfie that shows off their extremely bohemian outfit, ride on the ever-so-famous Ferris wheel, and dance under the desert sun with a watermelon wedge in their hand.

Keeping art apart of the festival, architectural sculptures, symbolic murals and decorative trash cans were spread out throughout the fairgrounds. The trash cans were to encourage people to recycle, making for a fun, visually colorful and captivating sight.

Once the sun went down the neon lights flashed on illuminating every palm tree on location and creating a vibrant and electric energy to bolt up into the dark, night sky.

The night also brought out the wind and dust, because it is the desert after all, but that didn’t stop people from enjoying the madness of bouncing from stage to stage to see their favorite performers. 

Overall this three-day long event definitely makes for an unforgettable weekend, allowing people to experience music and art in a happy and hippie environment giving them the opportunity to meet new people, make new memories, and enjoy witnessing their favorite artists perform live.