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Music and Beer Fests ARE a way of life

Coachella 2006-2009
Posted Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 by Naproxen

As I am recounting the numerous stories from this year's Coachella and Dark Lord trip, I started getting all nostalgic about the previous 4 years and how much everything has changed since 2006.  I do a "7 Day Countdown" each year focusing on favorite performances from years past leading up to Coachella, but I haven't paid homage to the social side of the trip.  So while I am still putting together recaps from the vacation, here is a tribute to the past four years of California love!


2006 - No school, got work, need vacation

2006 Lineup

 Andrea, Aliza, Jessica

My best friend Jessica and I had graduated from college and both obtained fulltime positions immediately after.  We had taken short trips together before, but were looking for something bigger and better.  Our friend Andrea had just moved to San Francisco the year prior and brought to our attention this 2 day festival in SoCal, Coachella.  It took all of 10 minutes to decide this was our fate, Depeche Mode and Tool were headlining and Daft Punk was playing as well, possibly the first/last show in the US in years.  We flew into Ontario Aiport, as did Andrea, rented our car and made East to Indio.  Our good friend Paul moved to LA from CT a couple years prior and also met us out there.  It was a grand weekend of CT peeps, sun, and Daft Punk's pyramid.  I literally cried when driving back on I-10 through the wind turbine fields, I knew I would be back next year.  We didn't have time or money that year to explore the area beyond walking around Palm Springs, we arrived Friday morning and left Monday afternoon.


2007 - Begining of the +1's

07 Group

You may think that there is too much camo in that picture, but on the day Rage Against the Machine reuintes to kick your capitalist ass 4/6 guerillas prefer the camo.  2007 saw the addition to our group of Steve, Jessica's boyfriend (now husband) on the right.  The kid to the far left was a single traveler from AZ camping next to us, who we adopted pretty fast, and Paul in the middle that year was a bit emo goth.  Coachella expanded the fest to 3 days that year which was absolutely the best idea ever.  Jess, Steve, and I extended our vacation that year as well, camping at Joshua Tree and exploring Temecula, Newport Beach, and Palm Springs (PS has become a shitty tradition, but tradition none the less).  I was a year older and wiser to the fest and spent the majority of my time solo, seeing the bands I wanted and partying with "festival friends" all weekend.  This might be my favorite year, it is a hard competition with 2008.


2008 - The Begining of the End


08meAnother addition to our group came in 2008 when Andrea brought her beau Sean.  Quite the character, laid back, a perfect fit.  Other relationships, namely mine and Jessica's, were unfortunately faultering due to differences in lifestyles and relationships.  Her and Steve we moving in together, I continued to be single since late 2005, and we butted heads more than once before coming out and afterwards, making a rift that would last until this year.  As with 2007 I spent 90% of my time alone, making new friends and making Coachella mine, living it up in the Do Lab and Sahara Tent.  Paul scraped the emo goth look for natural color and a beard, and an army supply of SPF 100.  This would be the last year our group attended Coachella, Paul and I would be the only two who continued to go.  I did continue the post-Coachella trip this year, driving back with Andrea and Sean to San Fran for a few days including a beer trip to Russian River, then hit Las Vegas for 2 nights (yes, solo!) on my way back home.

2009 - Rolling into new territory

09 poster  09group Because I'm free, to do what I want, any old time.  Jess and Steve were on the fence up until February on wether they could afford to go with their wedding coming up the year after.  Andrea and Sean were out as well for money issues, and Paul drives from LA early Friday morning so he was out for picking me up as well. I'm extremely comfortable with traveling alone and have many times for business and pleasure, and with my intensive post-Coachella plans I knew my only worries would be saving money at every turn to make this happen. I put it to the Coachella boards, a commmunity I had become pretty active with the year prior.  Coachella is interesting in that so many people travel from all over the world to get there, and most are just figuring out their shit as they go (hitchhiking, bus rides, etc).  I hooked up a ride with Reza, a SoCal kid, who offered to give me a ride from the airport and was picking up 3 kids flying in from Mexico.  I also had a ride setup with the "Camping All Alone" group I was part of, from Indio to Vegas on Monday morning, where I would be meeting up with my Brother and Dad for some Bailey's in Vegas shenanigans.  Everything fell right into place for my only year to do Coachella solo.  I pulled Reza, Antonio, Myra, and Jackie into my camping group when we arrived Thursday and we were an international family for the weekend.  Reza and I kept in touch, hitting up Electric Zoo in NYC on labor day weekend.  Even better, he picked up Antonio again this year and they joined our 2010 group.


This is the face of California bliss, Venice Beach 2009