It really does take many kinds of people to make a world, some good, some bad. And then there's the really bad, and the ugly. And now that Coachella is upon us once again, we're reminded of the ugliest types of people to be stuck in a blazing desert with, and preparing to deal with them is just as essential as packing sunblock in our suitcase.
For those who've never experienced Coachella and are coming for the first time, we've curated here a list of the most unpleasant types of people you'd encounter at the three-day music festival to be wary of. We'll call them douchebags, because that's exactly what they are. Douchebags. For those who have been to Coachella, be warned that reading this list will result in heavy eye rolling and rising blood pressure from the rage of these mentions.
7. The People Who Bring Their Kids
It's awful enough to see adults bring their babies to the movie theater to see a non-family friendly film, let alone a full weekend's exposure to drug-and-alcohol-fueled benders, nip slips and sweltering heat. If you can't leave Junior at home with a babysitter, at least have the decency to not take up space in the crowd and stand in the back so that people can enjoy the music without being interrupted by a child's high-pitched screaming.
That being said, how the hell do parents enjoy the concert when they have to cater to their kids' low attention spans and mood changes?
6. The Douchebag Who Didn't Buy a Wristband
Some people saved up their hard-earned cash or birthday money from Grandma just to buy wristbands for this thing, but there's always someone who stands outside with puppy dog eyes looking for free or discounted tickets.
If you're generous enough to hand someone your extra wristband, good on you. But there's something douchey about a complete rando expecting someone to decide to give them a ticket, sometimes for absolutely nothing in return (and nope, the promise of good Karma is not enough).
5. The Creepy Older Guy Looking to Score
Arguably, these guys are everywhere in the world. But when the music festival comes calling, that's where inebriated, altered-judgment honeys will be in spades, and these creeps come prepared with their attempts at cool haircuts and pinky rings to regale babes with stories of knowing so-and-so in the music business and seeing so-and-so in concert live 20 years ago. It's especially bad at a festival with throwback acts like Coachella; these fellas can make up the excuse that they're here to see Steely Dan or whatever. Just don't take up any offers to see the “bitchin' pad' they're staying at for the weekend.
4. The Music Elitist
Every music festival has them, but the ones at Coachella are an interesting lot. Mostly because the wide array of musical artists is more than at any other festival, bringing fans of older acts together with fans of newer headliners, seminal bands, newcomers, novelty acts, DJs, etc., Coachella is basically a microcosm of society, if you will, and self-appointed music scholars always see themselves on top.
Are there a lot of people who don't come for the music and come to just look cool and take drugs? No shit. People like that will rub anyone the wrong way. But the worst offenders of musical snobbery denigrate even those who are here for the music but aren't “hardcore” enough to know who Wire is, or don't know every single release by PJ Harvey or the true meaning behind Leonard Cohen's song “Everybody Knows.” Or the person who loved Pavement way before they played here. Or blahbity blah blah blah… yeah whatever, guy. Give it a rest.
3. The Person Obviously Not There for the Music
This category could be an umbrella category for a variety of types: those solely looking to get wasted and drunkenly embarrass themselves; models (correction: “aspiring models”) who come for the photo opps and think that just maybe some astute blogger will feature them in their style issue; the person who just wanted to tag along with their friends and be cool, complains about the heat throughout, and generally annoys the fuck out of everyone. Sigh.
2. The Non-Native American Wearing Native American/Tribal Attire
“But I just want to pay homage to [insert Native American tribe]!!” Yeah, I'm sure whatever tribe you think you're honoring would be grateful to see their traditional garments or headdresses bastardized by some white boy/girl getting shitfaced and throwing up over themselves during an MGMT set. Sadly, no matter how much we clown on these d-bags every year, they still don't get the hint.
Applying some other culture's attire to your pasty skin is not going to score you points with that culture, it's a stupid display of disrespect and entitlement that you think you have the right to emulate a culture that isn't yours. Ever heard of redface, brah?
1. The Bro
My first year of attending Coachella, I chose to camp with my friends. While me and a friend decided to check out the rest of the camping grounds, I received a warm welcome by a panel of bros seated behind a beer pong table, holding cards up with numbers to rate the hotness of each girl who walked by.
Bros are by far the epitome of douchebags, with their raging testosterone and need to display it. Loud, obnoxious, often shirtless, and running in packs, every stereotype of a bro that exists is completely true, sometimes even understated. And try as you might to ignore them, the only way to completely avoid them is not hanging out within a two-mile radius of thumping bass or alcohol. And due to their giant, possibly steroid-enhanced bodies and equally giant friends, they can push their way through the front of a crowd with ease, rudeness and gusto. The only solace we have is catching them at their drunk point, where they hilariously clamor to maintain control of their inebriated bodies, but alas, they cannot.
HONORABLE MENTION: The Trendy College Girl
We pity anyone unfortunate enough to have to stand next to a gaggle of these ladies and hear their vacuous commentary on everything while you're waiting for a set to start, during the set, and after the set. They're not not there for the music, but definitely there more for the experience and to pose for pictures in profile against the sunset for their blog.
Yet, we don't categorize them as douchebags here because they're just mostly annoying caricatures, and they don't really kill your vibe that much. If anything, their bubbly personas and energy just add to the atmosphere of this eclectic and bizarre event. But they're definitely notable to at least be included in this list, and irritating enough for me to want to steer clear of their nasally voices and flower crowns wherever we go.