My last weekend was spent in the paradise that is the Coachella Music and Arts Festival. A magical world where hipsters from all walks of life unite under the Indio sun to drink alcohol, indulge in drugs of every form, listen music, and talk about their ironic lifestyles. We all acknowledge that half of the appeal of Coachella is the trendiness that comes along with it. Many treat it as a fashion show, some just want to be able to say that they went knowing very little about the bands playing, and others use it as an excuse to dance in zero to no clothing. Just as suspected, it was in fact four days full of dirty hippies, wide-eyed junkies, and one too many trendy girls in flower crowns. However, I am not an innocent Coachella goer. You better believe that I rocked a flower crown and had every outfit planned out down to the last accessory. I swayed to the seductive sounds of The XX, wept as Alt-J performed “Breezeblocks,” danced like a fool at Jurassic 5, and hugged more strangers than I would like to admit to.
Although the main reason that people gather in Indio are to witness performances by some of today’s most talented musicians, I truly feel that there is magic in the air that keeps everyone coming back year after year. A magic that I like to call the “festival feeling.” I didn’t understand this feeling until the second day of the festival as I lie in the grass surrounded by my best friends listening to Yeaseyar’s set. There was a sense of freedom that washed over me. Freedom from the judgments of society and the freedom to love and soak up every last drop of joy from that moment and every moment there after. I experienced a complete loss of judgment of others, which was replaced by the beautiful embrace of differences and accompanied by all the respect in the world for the people that were just being themselves. If a 400 pound grizzly bear of a man wants to howl at the rising moon during Modest Mouse, then I say, “Fucking go for it big guy, good for you!”