The 8 finest and eight worst issues about attending Coachella this yr

MUNA’s efficiency was the proper strategy to kick off the weekend.

MUNA josette coachella

Josette Maskin of MUNA performs at Coachella on Friday.

Callie Ahlgrim

MUNA took the Mojave stage on Friday afternoon for a dynamic set that included bops like “Stayaway,” “Quantity One Fan,” and “What I Need,” which we beforehand ranked because the twelfth finest tune of 2022.

The band’s efficiency was unfailingly enjoyable and ended with a bang: Phoebe Bridgers arrived to carry out their duet “Silk Chiffon.” She was rapidly joined onstage by the remainder of boygenius, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus, who supplied harmonies in addition to a jolt of feel-good power.

Coachella was stuffed with welcome surprises this yr, particularly on the Do LaB stage.

james blake coachella

James Blake performs at Coachella on Friday.

Jess Gallo/Atlas Media

Do LaB, a smaller stage that makes a speciality of dance and digital music, enlisted a formidable array of artists this yr to ship shock DJ units, together with James Blake on Friday and ODESZA on Saturday.

Elsewhere, on the Outside Theatre stage, masters of dance-pop like Kaytranada and SG Lewis pulled out all of the stops with thrilling particular friends like Aminé and Channel Tres, respectively. Labrinth’s late-night set at Mojave on Saturday even featured a duet with Billie Eilish.

For festivalgoers who got here to rave, it was a weekend for the books.

Charli XCX’s explosive set proved she’s past able to be a headliner.

charli xcx coachella

Charli XCX performs at Coachella on Saturday.

Courtesy of Coachella

Charli XCX commanded the principle stage on Saturday, regardless of an earlier slot than she deserved.

Armed with hot-girl choreography, a hit-packed set record (the Icona Pop duet “I Love It” nonetheless goes onerous greater than a decade after its launch), and a Troye Sivan cameo for “1999,” Charli had the unmistakable vibe of a headliner — even with the solar nonetheless blazing within the sky.

For a lot of the weekend, the stage turnover was swift and environment friendly.

rosalia coachella

Rosalía performs at Coachella on Saturday.

Courtesy of Coachella

Coachella’s lineup is totally filled with gifted musicians and stars, so environment friendly stage turnover is crucial to the pageant’s success.

Fortunately, all went easily this yr (aside from the headliners) and followers have been capable of see wonderful reveals back-to-back with out leaving the gang.

For instance, Rosalía arrived on the principle stage for a show-stopping efficiency (dubbed “MOTOCHELLA” by followers in honor of her sensible third album) simply 40 minutes after Charli XCX wrapped up.

BLACKPINK proved why Okay-pop is taking up the world.

blackpink coachella

Jisoo, Lisa, Jennie, and Rosé of BLACKPINK carry out at Coachella on Saturday.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Pictures for Coachella

Saturday’s lineup was actually designed for the pop girlies, with BLACKPINK taking the principle stage straight after Rosalía.

The quartet dazzled the gang with ease and beauty, nailing advanced choreography and electrifying the gang with hits like “Pink Venom” and “Lovesick Ladies.”

BLACKPINK has collaborated with A-listers like Woman Gaga, Selena Gomez, and Cardi B — however Jisoo, Lisa, Jennie, and Rosé did not want any shock friends to indicate why they deserved high billing. 

Boygenius introduced the home down with a combination of tender balladry and pure rock ‘n’ roll.

lucy dacus boygenius coachella

Lucy Dacus of boygenius performs at Coachella on Saturday.

Callie Ahlgrim

For his or her first official efficiency because the launch of their debut album, “The Document,” boygenius rocked the Outside Theatre stage on Saturday.

The trio delivered an unforgettable set, kicking it off with Baker-led ragers “$20” and “Satanist” earlier than closing with “Salt within the Wound,” a spotlight from their 2018 self-titled EP.

In between, one of the best associates flaunted their finely tuned harmonies, Dacus championed trans rights, and Bridgers declared, “Abortion rocks. And fuck Ron DeSantis.”

It is onerous to beat that topography.

coachella 2023

Coachella 2023 will return for a second weekend on April 21.

Callie Ahlgrim

Final yr was our first time attending the well-known music pageant and even for all of Coachella’s flaws, we have been shocked by its magnificence.

You would possibly assume the horizon can be outdated information the second time round, however you would be incorrect. Even with sore toes and sleep deprivation, it is onerous to be pessimistic when the solar goes down, the ferris wheel lights up, and the mountains glow with that hazy orange halo.

On the down facet, the pageant was plagued with technical difficulties.

bad bunny coachella

Dangerous Bunny performs at Coachella on Friday.

Courtesy of Coachella

It appeared like Dangerous Bunny bore the brunt of Coachella’s technical points this yr. He introduced out Put up Malone as a shock visitor, however their duet was ruined by audio malfunctions.

In the long run, they have been compelled to surrender and Dangerous Bunny delivered “Yonaguni” a cappella.

In response to other festivalgoers, Becky G and Kali Uchis additionally had their microphones minimize out on Friday.

BLACKPINK and Calvin Harris have been each half-hour late.

calvin harris coachella

Calvin Harris performs at Coachella on Saturday.

Courtesy of Coachella

In distinction to final yr, when Harry Kinds and Billie Eilish have been proper on time to carry out, each headliners on Saturday suffered vital delays. 

Half an hour might not appear to be a very long time to attend, however after you’ve got been in your toes all day — and figuring out that it will in all probability take you hours to get dwelling — it looks like an eternity. 

Frank Ocean was an hour late for his long-awaited comeback, inflicting the pageant’s curfew to chop his efficiency brief.

frank ocean

Frank Ocean performs at Parklife Pageant in 2017.

Visionhaus#GP/Corbis through Getty Pictures

There have been conflicting experiences about what brought about Ocean’s delay, with some sources saying he decided to change his stage setup on the final minute (allegedly forcing the pageant employees to soften down a ready-to-go ice skating rink that he not wished to make use of) and others claiming {that a} sprained ankle required him to reimagine the efficiency.

Regardless of the root trigger, a 50-minute delay is nearly unprecedented by Coachella’s requirements. The anticipation was pure agony — particularly since he hadn’t carried out stay since 2017 — and the expertise grew to become much more bitter when Ocean abruptly ended the present with little-to-no rationalization.

In some way, Coachella’s foremost stage is the worst for visibility.

frank ocean coachella

Frank Ocean performs at Coachella on Sunday.

Callie Ahlgrim

All of Coachella’s heavy hitters carry out on the principle stage, which sucks as a result of it gives the worst expertise for followers.

Different levels like Sahara and Outside Theatre are equally large, however structured in a different way to permit increased elevation and higher viewpoints. 

This flaw grew to become particularly apparent throughout Ocean’s set, throughout which he sat inside an outcove in the midst of the stage. For almost all of his efficiency, his precise physique was basically invisible.

Getting dwelling on Friday was a wrestle, since not one of the pageant employees knew the place the shuttle pickup was.

coachella shuttle

The Coachella shuttles run to and from native lodges.

Callie Ahlgrim

In contrast to final yr, we determined to spring for the dear shuttle move to keep away from Coachella’s painful site visitors. 

Though we discovered it a a lot smoother expertise total, getting dwelling on the primary evening was an actual problem. We requested a number of pageant employees to level us in direction of the shuttle’s pickup location and bought a number of totally different solutions.

One particular person directed us to the day parking zone, whereas one other despatched us in the other way.

After we lastly discovered the proper route, we commiserated with different shuttle-takers — and located that we have been removed from the one individuals who encountered this challenge. 

We took an Uber to the pageant on Saturday, which was the worst determination we made.

coachella walk from uber dropoff

Followers strolling to the pageant from the rideshare drop-off level.

Callie Ahlgrim

After driving final yr and taking the shuttle on day one among this yr, we discovered that taking an Uber to the pageant is the worst methodology of transportation by far.

The stroll from the rideshare drop-off location is at the very least 20 minutes lengthy, by means of the mud, within the scorching noon solar. It additionally took further lengthy to reach as a result of site visitors was so backed up.

A few of Coachella’s well-known points of interest have been let-downs, just like the Ferris wheel and rainbow artwork set up.

coachella spectra rainbow sculpture

Spectra was designed by the artwork studio NEWSUBSTANCE.

Callie Ahlgrim

The interdisciplinary artwork set up referred to as Spectra has been a Coachella mainstay for the previous few years. It seems to be attractive from the skin — particularly at evening, when the rainbow glow acts like a beacon at nighttime sky.

However for those who resolve to enter at evening and stroll up the spiral pathway, the view is a serious bummer. The multicolored home windows are overpowered by the white LED lights, making for a really underwhelming expertise.

As for the pageant’s well-known Ferris wheel, we tried to experience it on Sunday, however the lengthy line — and extra ticket charge — merely did not really feel value it.