Sara Ali writes from LA and gives us a first-hand account of what it feels like to be at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival with her friend, Parishae Adnan.
Musicians, artists, fashionistas, music lovers, teenagers, couples, parents and more … they all congregated in the modestly populated town of Indio, California this past weekend to experience the world-renowned Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Coachella has been held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio since 1999. The idea for the festival emerged from a Pearl Jam concert on the same grounds in the early 1990s, when the site showed its potential for hosting a large festival. Over the years Coachella has grown into a three-day affair filled with music, food, art, and fashion. Each year the bar is set higher than its precedent, and this year was no exception.
With some of the notable headliners including AC/DC, Tame Impala, Jack White, The Weeknd and Drake, Coachella was a musical paradise. The festival started around 11am each morning and went on until midnight each night. Every waking moment there was someone to see or something to do. The main stages and the tents had a constant flow of music. If you were tired of watching Mac DeMarco in the desert heat you could easily move into the Sahara tent and feel the thundering beats of Whatsonot.
People swarmed the polo grounds from all around the world to experience the infamous festival. With the diversity of its population, there came quite an interesting diversity in fashion as well. While most men opted out of wearing shirts and stuck to wearing a variety of shorts, the women’s fashion was much more distinct. Fringe, lace, bell bottoms, mehndi, bindis and heavy jewelry were the staple pieces in women’s Coachella fashion.
My own Coachella experience had been built up in my head ever since I was a child. I always expected Coachella to be the greatest weekend of my life, and I knew that the year I would finally be able to go would be the best year of my life. And it was.
The Coachella excitement begins in anticipation for purchasing tickets. Around 90,000 people purchase tickets for the event, which creates a lot of room for problems due to internet servers and availability of tickets. My advice to any 2016 festival goers would be to buy tickets during the pre-sale so your ticket is set a year in advance.
The next step in attending Coachella is making sure your outfits, for all three days, are in order. I went straight to my favorite designer, Huma Adnan, and picked clothes from Fnkasia so I would stand out amongst the crowds of people. It is pivotal to keep in mind that the festival is in direct, scorching sunlight all day and that you will be pushed around by others, so your clothes should be comfortable and lightweight.
After all of my travel and lodgings for my three-day adventure to Coachella were figured out, I was ready to begin to enjoy the festival itself. It is an extremely overwhelming feeling when you take your first steps onto the polo grounds as you are immediately immersed into so much culture. You feel the ground shaking from music playing on a distant stage, you see eccentric characters walking around in their well-thought out clothes, and you feel like you are truly a part of something incredible.
Photography by Parishae Adnan