#NOTENOUGHREIGN: Coachella 2016

What the hell is a 'Coachella'? Why for over 20 years has it been the biggest festival in the United States (borderline the world, go do research), and what makes it one of the coolest milestones in all festival go-ers/artists alike? Well, I don't fucking know the details or else I think they'd hire me to be their ambassador. What I will tell you is-- go answer these questions for yourself. 

A chilly morning on April 14th do I awake from an eager sleep to finalize my packing situation(s) and do my final checklist. Maxine, my great friend swoops me up at the crack of dawn for a mom-accompanied ride to the airport at 7am. We talk here and there about our plans to get buckwild (in code of course) until we reach the gate. Everyone sort of knows why two fashion-forward 20 somethings are exuding these vibes through the conversation of music, friends left behind and friends awaiting our arrival. Everything until lift-off is normal and expected--then it all hits you.

What the hell is a Coachella?
— 60 something y/o man at gate D1

 We land in Santa Ana, one of California's many lil' sis airports and we dash for the rental car desk. Our vibes are now emulated by a handful of festival goers that we spotted in our gate. Majorie greets us at the desk with her kind smile and ecstatic energy. Her saleswoman skills are off the charts, putting in subtle details about our long (not known) trip to Coachella, California. As we depart from her gracious words of safety, I snap a picture before we exit to the car port.

 

Maxine can't drive. I mean she passed drivers education, but I assure you this statement is real. We are buzzing in what seems to be a much more advanced car than we anticipated, complete with Bluetooth AUX capabilities and our self provided AUX cord. To pass some of the time before our long trip, we do a little sightseeing over in Newport. We park in a pre-paid stall that already had :43 minutes clocked in and ready to go. We were stoked. We enjoyed the beach and all of it's 77 degree beautifulness--until we realize its a little past noon and we are starving. I explain to Max that this is a VACATION. We need to explore different palettes other than 'Beachside Slices O' Pizza' and 'The Oyster House'. A little walking, and we stumble upon Hula Dog: A little bit of Hawaii on the shores of Newport.

 

We jump to the chance of learning about a 'Hula Dog', a tasty rendition of a hot dog with the concept of a pig in a blanket. Topped with flavors I really couldn't explain to you without you partaking in a 3 element taste test like Maxine and I. Todd, the owner of the Newport transplant, explains how his business took off from Hawaii and landed in the beautiful beach city of Newport. We feel inspired as his colleague Crystal gives us so many options and Hula Dog collaborations that we just don't een know at this point. Ryan, who works the cashwrap pumps us up for Coachella as he tells us he has a bud that was currently helping set it up at the time. Like, to walk in to a business you know nothing about and to leave feeling like you could eat there everyday solely based on the happiness and phenomenal custo-service. They didn't know your boy is an all time foodie living in Seattle, WA - voted #13 in states with the best fresh food. Ya dig.

My mouth is watering, so we say our goodbyes and casually stroll the beach with our Hula Dogs feeling fabulous AF. I couldn't tell you what I was thinking at the time- whether it was 'I don't know what to expect from this gotdamn festival' or, 'I wonder what everyone is doing at home in that dreary ass weather hahahahahahlol.' Either way, we finish and embark on a trip of a lifetime. We made a few pit-stops, visiting the outlets en route and some of my friends residing in E. Los Angeles. We even visit a Chik-Fil-A that literally has no line and grab our food in less than 7m. Seattle doesn't have this incentive yet, just receiving their first installment in the city of Bellevue. Thought I would explain this because well, California. After doing a quick trip to Total Wine (because we passed the BevMo-ugh) and copping $8_.__ worth of PARTY, we are on our way.

 

2 1.5 hours of shared driving later, we arrive in the most beautiful area of California IMO. Indio is full of beautiful homes with large walkways and doors bigger than my dreams. We are in full festival swing after visiting Ralph's to pick up our necessary aftermath items. We take a drive through beautiful PGA West Legends where we land at our domain for the next 4 days. Simone, our beautiful and hospitable 'friend of fam' greets us and gives us the run down. We give each other a high five for successfully completing the mission with Coachella Day 1 right around the sunrise.

 

Day 1 of Coachella and we are wristband ready making our 'to-go' drinks. Filling our flasks with memories of being sober slowly depleting as we shuttle our way to the campgrounds. We make an effort to unite our schedules to see everyone we have in mind but be wary- it's difficult when there are 70+ artists like, in ONE day to see. But no worries, because a few swigs from our bottles accompanied from the most amazing weather, you don't really give a sh*t anymore. We enter the VIP gates to be greeted and assured safety throughout the day and cooled off by tents with AIR CONDITION. 2016 PEOPLE. I didn't see one battery operated fan-mister in VIP because.....VIP okay? We didn't stay there all day, it's easy to get complacent in such a glorious realm, we begin our exploration.

So many opportunities to meet someone you don't know, or, feel totally clostrophobic from the amount of people and conversations happening all at once. Our first acts consist of making our way to Dj Mustard's highly engaging tent in the middle of the Sahara.

 

Day 2, let me tell you, feels fucking legit. I mean, to wake up to 75+ degree weather and suddenly find yourself immersed in a mimosa accompanied breakfast with nothing but natural sunlight to make you feel less hung-over than you actually do; sign me up. Everything feels great: leaving our house semi-drunk and ready to find things to do, we get a call. We pick up Ashley, who resides on the other side of PGA west to travel to Chella with us via shuttle. She's fun, stylish and-- a lot more knowledgeable than I am. I feel old and creepy standing with her with all of these famous baby-boomers asking to take pictures of her. Anyhow, this is the day where we know A$AP Rocky is performing. It's a big night but we have so much to cover before that.

I gave up. I tried to give you guys the entire spectrum of just how incredible this experience is and I drank and ENJOYED it. I mean, that moment you feel like you've maybe reached your limit after seeing a mute Kanye West perform on stage along side the A$AP Mob (due to technical difficulties, not known at the time) is when sh*t hits the fan. Night 2 was invigorating and inspiring to say the least, I think. It's safe to say thatblogger can even get caught up in the magic of the evening, the people you meet and so on.

Blake Matthews