[Note: This article was originally published in 2015 and has been modified slightly since. But it still totally applies to this year.]
Hey! Everyone that just got back from Coachella! Did you have a great time? Did you hear a ton of excellent music? Did you hit up a bunch of hip pool parties, make out with that mega-babe you met in the beer garden, get your new Reformation outfit onto the Free People blog, Instagram until your thumbs hurt, dance until your feet were sore, and and sit in four hours of traffic on your way home while slightly hungover and completely exhausted? Yeah you did.
Weekend one attendees, we thank you for going out there and popping the proverbial Coachella cherry, for being brave enough to face the insane levels of anticipation and thrust yourself flower-crown first into the dusty gauntlet of the festival.
Excellent work. Well done. You all looked great. Now please excuse all of us who are currently finalizing our exodus plans for weekend two, which is definitely the better of the two Coachellas.
Incredulous? Hear us out.
Weekend Two Is More About the Music
Those aforementioned Coachella parties? Yeah, they’re fun, but keep in mind that they’re mostly also places for celebs and wannabe celebs and models and wannabe models to load up on the free swag and complimentary booze provided by the massive corporate brands that are out trolling the desert trying to get Disney stars to use their hashtag or whatever. Weekend one features a dizzying list of such events, which are typically crowded with the coolest and best-dressed people you’ve ever seen hanging out on their phones and not talking to each other at all. It’s exhausting.
Luckily, the party circuit significantly mellows for weekend two, with only a handful of events being hosted at the hotel pools and mansions of greater Indio and Palm Springs. This reduces the pressure to hustle to a bunch of events that most of us can’t even get into anyways, and actually get our asses to the festival and enjoy the music. Amen.
The Music Is Better
Weekend one attendees may argue that all of the surprises are ruined after round one, as the glut of breathless and extensive media and social media coverage has revealed all of the art, style trends, special guests, musical triumphs and total flops.
Yeah, all of us ditching work early this Thursday or Friday have heard about a few things that are about to go down, but realistically this actually helps us design our schedules and know what to see, what to skip and what to not miss under any circumstances. Plus, the music as a whole on weekend two is arguably better in quality, as bands have worked out any kinks and have also had a week to chill out between festivals. This means that many acts come back bigger, better, looser and more ready to rock during their encore performance. Remember in 2014, for example, when Outkast returned with a vengeance after a shaky weekend one debut? So do we.
The Vibe Is Exceedingly More Relaxed
Let’s face it, Coachella weekend one is an industry circle jerk populated by a lot of execs, artists and managers who are at the festival more to rub elbows and make deals than they are to, let’s say, shred mad air guitar in the GA section during Guns N' Roses. This can make the vibe fairly stiff, especially in the VIP area. Arcade Fire’s Win Butler even announced that it “super sucks in there” regarding VIP during the band’s performance in 2014.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the Polo Grounds, you have tens of thousands of overeager beavers obnoxiously pushing their way to the front of the stages as if their wristbands depended on it. Chaos.
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The advantage of weekend two is that the crowd thins out in general, with a lot of VIP types fleeing back to L.A. and New York, and many of the kids arriving calmer and less tweaked on Fireball and molly, making for a vibe that's generally more relaxed, less imposing and far more fun. Plus, those who don’t have tickets yet will find that weekend two passes are cheaper and easier to come by than ever (three-day passes are currently hovering around $400 on Craigslist) and that traffic getting in and out of the festival is slightly less hellacious.
Even if the temperatures get higher, weekend two will still, in many ways, be vastly more chill. For that, we are happy we have held off.