I Take Coachella

by Noah Wali

Coachella 2017 was definitely one for the books, and there’s no doubt about it.  Here on this article of the Dig, if you choose to continue reading (choose wisely), you will experience the story of a 15 year old at the biggest music festival in the world, mostly by himself.


10:00 AM: On the airplane. I am sitting next to an elderly lady who is asking me about coachella and I tell her Radiohead and Hans Zimmer are headlining so she understands Chella in her own terms. I am near my younger cousin Mason, my dad, and a couple friends. The weekend is looking good, and I have my pre-chella playlist going which includes music from Two Door Cinema Club, Kendrick, Lil Uzi, Sasha, Travis Scott, and the legendary Gaga. Things are looking up.

12:00 PM: Landed. Rough flight. The necessary stop at In and Out is made, and I treat myself to a double double animal style, which my body takes down quite well. Having avoided gerardia and whatever other tropical diseases run rampant in the In and Out bathroom stalls, we start the drive from Burbank to Coachella Valley.

2:30 PM:  I awake to my dad bumping “Gold Digger” as we arrive at our friend’s house where we are crashing. Even though I am tired, I’m stoked to see the first artist, Kungs. I get into an argument with my dad about when we can head over, and he ends up telling me to uber myself to the festival, which is a short distance from our house. I’m sitting in the back of Tony’s car, explaining to him that I’m only 17 (for safety) when he asks where I go to college.

4:30 PM: I finally arrive at the final entrance to the festival, after traffic and multiple scanning areas lead me to missing the Kungs Concert. Oh well. I decide to check out the scene before I see Glass Animals and Mac Miller.

6:00 PM: Similar to last year (this is my second year — yeah I’m pretty sick don’t worry about it), I have seen a lot by now. I’ve seen people dressed as bunnies, to people wearing nothing but nipple stars. I’ve seen very drunk people falling over at 6 pm. The smell of weed is pretty overwhelming. I am standing at the back of a Glass Animals concert by myself, self reflecting as I take in the 125,000 people. I look around and smile. I realize how lucky I am to be here, and I decide to ditch the Glass Animals concert and go for a run around the festival grounds. Wearing short shorts and some designer t shirt, I make my rounds yelling at people, telling everyone to get hyped for the weekend.

6:15 PM: Drenched in sweat. I head to the VIP tent for service (curse Palm Springs). I get stopped by a very entitled security guard (DOES HE EVEN KNOW WHO I AM?), who tells me I need to be “patted down” before I can enter. I am not taking any risks. I go to the VIP tent to order some food and sit around to people watch. One of my favorite hobbies. Oh, the joy.

7:00 PM: I meet up with some friends for the Mac Miller concert which ended up being a bust. I am most definitely still feeling the “Chella vibe” but spirits are dampened. I think back to when I was in California last year on a separate occasion with John F. We met a guy who told us a story about his friend who got a tattoo in braille that read “Coachella vibes” and I laugh because I wish John was here.

9:30 PM: It’s time for Travis. I get Snapchat ready, because nothing makes me happier than making you click through eight hundred seconds of shakily recorded, seizure inducing Chella videos. Too much sauce. He opens with 3500. I am stoked, and I begin to jump up and down like everyone else. I’ve come to the realization it’s not necessarily the artist or music you see, it’s the people who make Coachella. If a lot of the headliners played a 15 minute show, people would show up because individuals come for the energy, the passion, and the purple drank.  Waiting at stages before concerts start, meeting new people, talking to the crazy ones, and, in some cases, finding new love (Not me hi Greta #Loyalty). The atmosphere is something I could never experience anywhere else. I’ve done Lollapalooza, but nothing compares to Coachella.

10:30 PM: It’s definitely time to check out Radiohead, because you just can’t skip Radiohead. I stay for no surprises, and then ditch because there are too many people above 25 (you know, the elderly). I head over to Dillon Francis for some late night hype. This turns out to be better than Travis, my friend Max, Lucy, and I determine.

1:00 AM: The Coachella parties begin. 300 people, houseparty, with a pool. What could be better at 1 AM? Turns out, pretty much anything.

4:00 AM: Goodnight. I can’t move my legs. It’s already day 2.


12:30 PM: I get out of bed and check my phone. Around 50 snapchats. 25 of them say “Woah you’re so lucky,” while the other half is, “You suck stop posting so much.” I reply “that’s a fair assessment” to all of them. I am too tired. I uber to a hotel where I know there’s a pool.

5:00 PM: Back at it. New day. I hit Bastille and Two Door Cinema Club within the same hour and I’m feeling pretty good.

7:30 PM: It’s definitely time for Future. When he plays Mask Off everyone goes insane and the ground starts shaking. I can’t get enough of the hype. He brings out Ty Dolla and Drake, and I come to the realization the special appearances are very important at Coachella. I turn next to me and see something I will never unsee. Coachella is absurd.

8:30 PM: Schoolboy Q brings out A$AP Rocky and Tyler the Creator.

9:00 PM: I make my first real Chella friends. I don’t remember their names (yeah I said real, what of it?), but it was like 3 or 4 people. Hell yes. We play soccer with a coconut and no one cares because it’s Coachella (did I mention I was at Chella?). I tell them I’m 17, live in La, I’m a clothing designer, and that my Yeezys are very real. They turn out to be 17 as well. Dope. We go to DJ Snake together.

11:00 PM: DJ Snake was incredible. I was right up front. I decide to skip Gaga and I get fried Chicken with my new friends, so life is pretty good. I don’t really know what I am doing, but I am happy. Phone is off.

2:30 AM:  A security guard is ushering me out of the festival. What? I stayed too late. I need to uber back. My phone is out of battery. Uh oh.

3:30 AM:  I realize I have a portable charger.

5:00 AM: I am home. Does my dad care? No. (Haha yeahhh bro my parents are savages too lmao chella life xD #Litty) He tells me to get some rest.


11:00 AM:  I have my permit, so I drive everyone to a coffee shop to talk. I start editing some of the photos I’ve taken.

4:30 PM: I’m back. Lil Uzi and Playboi Carti are putting on quite a show. The first moshpit occurs. I am right in the middle and find myself flying face first into a number of sweaty armpits.

5:30 PM: I meet Chiara Ferragni, an Italian model with some 8 million Instagram followers. I take a photo with her per my dad’s request.

6:30 PM: Grouplove was fun. DJ KHALED. HE BRINGS OUT ASAD along with 20 other artists and he eventually gets cut off by the Coachella staff for playing too long. Whoops. He was pretty hype. Why are so many people half-naked at Coachella? I’m pretty cold. Why so much PDA? I miss Greta. I realize I’ve missed Evarglow and a JV lacrosse game. Dangit. I suddenly feel lucky to go to OES, and I realized this festival doesn’t even matter. School matters. #FamilyFirst #StudentAthlete

8:00 Pm=M: I love Lorde and her Music. My friend Max says no, that’s not the move. Come with me to Galantis. I have a tough decision to make. I am happy I choose Galantis. It’s so well done and so fun. Later on I hear she released new music. I am upset, but Kendrick is coming up.

10:30 PM: Kendrick Lamar. The greatest artist alive by far (@ me Drake fans). He is a modern poet and the symbol of true rap. Kendrick>Drake. I am so moved by his concert and his music. What an insane ending to Coachella.

Monday morning I make it back. Coachella, I will see you again next year. Never writing this article again though.


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