Mountain Mayhem: Back to Coachella
There are quite a few spots that I consider to be a happy place and one of them is the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival held in the spring near Palm Springs, California. I first learned about it in 2006 reading a Los Angeles Times article about Madonna making an impression the day prior, flying in for a short set in the Sahara Tent (the festival’s original dance venue). The French DJ duo of Daft Punk played next, making their debut at Coachella with a standout performance, playing in their robot costumes from a giant pyramid illuminated with LED lights. I first made my way there in 2008 and nearly every year till 2014, but not since. This spring, I felt the call to the music and pursued plans for a Palm Springs sojourn. After a three-year hiatus, Coachella returned over the weekend of April 15-17 and April 22 – 24. We were in and opted for Weekend 1.
Lining up logistics for trips can be a bit of a process to connect the dots. I recruited a friend to be a co-pilot and thanks to great friends and connections, we set off on an immersive experience with a wide variety of music to a unique culinary moment.
Both weekends are designed by festival producer Goldenvoice to have identical lineups. With the exception of surprise guests and acts – one of the benefits of being so close to L.A. where many of them live or spend time. On opening night, we caught a last minute addition to the lineup – Arcade Fire, who performed a high-energy set in the Mojave Tent. The following week they played in London so we felt fortunate to have seen them back at Coachella.
On Saturday night, we joined the long table for dinner in the Rose Garden at the festival with the roving restaurant group Outstanding in The Field, dining family style with new friends.
On Sunday, en route to the festival, we went to the Soho Desert House pop-up, seeing our friends from Supergoop who had just been in Aspen for a pop-up on the gondola plaza.
Throughout the weekend, to keep discovering music, we kept the best-in-class live stream of the festival on the television.
And next year, I hope to be back.
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In this week’s Stuck in the Rockies, columnist Ted Mahon takes a spring ski trip to the Southern Sawatch Range and offers a primer on Colorado’s high peaks.