Coachella Weekend 1: Highlights

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There are two types of people in the world, the ones that couldn’t care less about Coachella and the ones that anxiously wait for it every year. Love it or hate it, we can’t deny the major impact this grand festival has on popular culture and the music and fashion industry. It’s just THAT big of a deal.

I happen to be one of those who love it, not for “the ‘gram” but for the right reasons. Coachella is a complete experience; there’s great food, striking art installations, fantastic artists that pour their hearts into each performance, and just good vibes all around. This year was no different, so here are my Coachella Weekend 1 highlights:

THE MUSIC

I won’t go over every single performance because 1) I couldn’t see everyone and I don’t want to lie, and 2) I’m pretty sure you’ve already read reviews on the artists you actually like; but to be honest, sound issues aside, there was no bad performances this weekend. Everyone was just way too excited and gave their everything!

Anyway, let me start by saying that this year’s festival was historic. For the first time in its 20 years of existence, Coachella had a K-Pop group (Blackpink) and a reggaeton Latin singer (J Balvin) perform their own sets for the 100,000 attendees. And I might be a little biased because I’m latina and super proud, but they absolutely killed it!

I was also really impressed with Childish Gambino’s set. He is a true artist and I dare to say his was one of the best performances of the weekend; that’s why when he asked the crowd to put every phone away I just complied for a couple songs… #NoShame. Another group that deserves a special mention is Weezer. They have been around since 1992, and although some of the attendees didn’t know who they were (seriously Gen Z?), they blew everyone away. They invited “Chilli” from T.L.C. to perform “No Scrubs” and Tears For Fears for “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”. So yeah, as I said, historic.

Let’s also talk about Ariana Grande. Whether you’re into her music or not, it’s important to recognize that she is the youngest woman to headline, and close, this festival who has been mostly dominated by men (there have only been four female headliners in the 20 years Coachella has been running… I repeat, four.) She rightly started her set singing God Is A Woman, delivered an astounding performance where she showed off her insane vocals/moves, and gifted us with an *NSYNC reunion (kind of, Justin was MIA), and for that I’ll always be grateful.

This year was full of amazing shows and special guests, and the greatest thing was that for most of these artists, performing at Coachella was an accomplishment that a few years ago seemed so far and out of reach. They’re hard workers who stayed true to themselves and re-shaped the music industry; like Billie Eilish, who is just 17 years old and her eclectic style has landed her on top of the charts, Khalid, who became an international sensation in just three years, or Rosalía, who came all the way from Barcelona, Spain, demolishing language and cultural barriers. These are just a few of the many dreamers that became doers and who are encouraging us to do the same.

THE FASHION

What I love the most about fashion at Coachella is that there’s no rules. Comfort will be always a priority, of course, as you are in the desert standing up for hours while exposed to dust and UV rays, but that won’t stop anyone from showing their personal style. With that being said, there were also eight trends that could be spotted all around and throughout the entire weekend:

  1. Tie-Dye: With it being one of this season’s most popular trends, I was not surprised.

  2. Animal Print: Again, not surprised.

  3. Neon: Not only is it vibrant and fun, but great when you’re trying to spot someone in the crowd.

  4. Utility: Yes! Totally down for the extra comfort and storage space.

  5. See-Through: It doesn’t matter what kind of fabric we’re talking about, it looks sexy and it’s refreshing.

  6. Combat Boots: I love them but if I see another pair in the next couple weeks I’m going to throw a fit.

  7. Bucket and Cowboy Hats: *Listens to Old Town Road once.

  8. Belt Bags: They are back, people!

THE ART

The art installations at the festival are always huge, fun, interactive and work great as backdrop props for pictures, but they also set the aesthetic and mood for the entire festival.

This year some of the installations included 3-D murals of paisley motifs, a series of colorful steel and wood towers, a gigantic rocket and lab managed by hippos (?!), and seven gigantic succulent sculptures. The now famous roving astronaut made a comeback, updated with animatronic arms and video-projecting capabilities; and last year’s colossal rainbow tower was back in place letting us know about its permanent residence at the festival, right next to the iconic Ferris wheel.

If you are into it and you have the chance, I’d highly recommend going to Coachella at least once in your life. You won’t regret it! It hasn’t been even a week since weekend one ended but I already miss it. I’m sure this second one will be full of surprises and will go even smoother. This time I’ll be watching its livestream in the comfort of my own home… where there is AC, cold drinks, and no combat boots in sight, but until then,

Thank U Next, Coachella 2020.


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Daniela Maldonado | Art Director