For kids who grow up in the Coachella Valley, this is the argument that will never die. Any conversation about the incredible music festival will eventually devolve into a shouting match between die-hard music lovers about the relative superiority of one weekend compared to another. I have heard every possible argument about these three-day adventures into musical Nirvana, and I think it’s time to finally put the argument to rest. Without doubt, the answer to the timeless question “Which weekend of Coachella is better?” is… it depends.
When choosing which weekend to buy passes for, there is a lot to take into consideration besides basic scheduling. Weekend One and Weekend Two of Coachella represent two completely different vibes. To ensure maximum personal enjoyment of the festival, you have to make sure your expectations of the festival fit the style of that weekend.
Weekend one of Coachella Fest is the stereotypical “Coachella Experience”. While wondering around the Polo Grounds, you’ll run into a wealth of actors, models, and artists who have taken a break from fame to sweat and dance in the desert. You’ll be surrounded by people who planned their outfits months in advance and probably spent more time getting ready between days than they did sleeping. You’ll be able to take every Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Profile Pic you’ve ever wanted. The grass on the polo fields will still be alive and the bathrooms won’t be covered in shit and vomit. Unfortunately, the artists will probably be a few minutes late to their set and won’t plan on bringing any guests to their set. Even though Weekend One lovers often claim that the artists always get sick before their Weekend Two performances, the history of the festival actually reveals more no shows during Weekend One than Weekend Two. Also, there is generally much stronger winds during Weekend One, but the first couple of days aren’t particularly sandy or dusty because the grass anchors everything to the ground. If you’re looking for a pristine weekend in the desert full of Sothern California culture and celebrity, then Weekend One is the best weekend for you.
Weekend Two is all about the music. The grass is dead, the venue is trashed, and the dust hangs thickly in the air as bodies that seem possessed by music run from one stage to another. Most of the celebrities have fled back to the cool breezes of LA, and the soul of the Desert returns to the Polo Grounds. The phones used to blast social media the week before will be replaced with signs professing love for a band or rapper. The artists will bring out a laundry list of their friends to play collaborations and dance around. You’ll probably get a few moments of pure psychosis, like Cage the Elephant’s frontman ripping into the skin of a pineapple, Kid Cudi wearing cutoffs and a crop top, or DJ Snake bringing DMX out to perform for 10 minutes. If you want to escape the world for a few days to see the best possible performance your favorite artists can give, you’ll thoroughly enjoy Weekend Two.
At the end of the day, the way you enjoy music best is incredibly personal. Whether you prefer a weekend long experience of SoCal, or a bunch of individually incredible but separate musical performances, your ultimate goal is to have the time of your life, so pick the weekend that best fits the way you think.
Whichever weekend you choose, make sure to follow me @alloyisdead and @TypicalBSMedia on Twitter for future updates on The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.