The Coachella lineup dropped on January 2nd, the day I drove back to school for the spring semester. I immediately called my brother — a music junkie since birth — to have a discussion I thought would be exciting, gasping at artists we love as we do every year. However, we responded to this year's lineup with a resounding, "Eh, it's pretty good, but it's been better."
Of course, the lineup has its big stars, its hidden gems, and a variety of genres, appealing to a broad audience as per the Coachella standard. But, with a broad audience comes varying levels of interest in the event. I've found that most of the people I know attending the festival are going to hang out with their friends or to simply say that they've "gone to Coachella" in attempt to win "cool" points to cushion their social status.
Which, of course, is fine; I totally understand festival-going as an easy way to have a fun time with friends. Nonetheless, Coachella is, by definition, a "music and arts festival." So, go see the music and arts!
If you don't know where to start, do not fret: I'm here to help. I always do a bit of research before attending concerts; whether I'm listening to artists for the first time or refreshing my memory of those I already know and love, concert preparation makes jamming along at the show far more fun.
I'll admit, I am no musical encyclopedia, but I do know which music I would prioritize if I went to Coachella. Allow me to share!
Here are three Spotify playlists — one for each day of Coachella — to help you get to know the artists you'll hear under the dreamy Palm Desert sun:
Playlist: Day One — From the soul-tinged beats of Daniel Caesar to the contagious indie-pop energy of Bleachers, a Friday at Coachella 2018 is bound to have a wide array of tunes. This playlist reflects exactly that.
Playlist: Day Two — Saturday could get you feeling a few different ways. Gotta dance? Go to Brockhampton and Beyonce. Need something chill? See the feminine folk of First Aid Kit and Fleet Foxes. Listen here for these moods and more.
Playlist: Day Three — Finish off your journey through Coachella weekend with banging raps from Amine, rock-n-roll fun from FIDLAR, and soothing electronica from ODESZA and Japanese Breakfast. Once you're done with this playlist, you'll be ready to hit the desert, stat.
Now, for a few more Coachella tips:
1. Figure out your must-see artists, and block out time to see them. Writing down when and where your favorite performers are onstage prevents you from forgetting and, afterwards, regretting missing their set. However, of course, diverting from the plan while at the festival and making impulsive decisions of who to see in the moment is perfectly fine — and a bit more exciting!
2. See an artist you don't know. Coachella is a smorgasbord of musical talent, making it the perfect environment for discovering new artists within a range of genres. With all the music already at your fingertips, finding a new addition to your music library could not be easier.
3. Indulge your artistic side. Interactive exhibitions, unconventional sculpture, and a gigantic ram statue: what more could you ask for? The art around Coachella brings international cultures, social commentary, and stunning aesthetics to the valley. Take in every artistic experience you can, whether musical or visual.
4. Think before you eat. Coachella is pricey. Pack beverages, snacks, and even meals to avoid paying too much for goodies on site. But, Coachella food is obviously part of the festival fun, so set aside a bit of money to treat yourself!
While these are tips and playlists I trust, take them in stride, and define your festival experience for yourself. Have a Coac[hella] good time!