By Jermaine Bell
My story of Coachella Day three really begins after the Beyoncé show the previous night.
Waiting for Yoncé (I can call her that now) was grueling to say the least. By the end of the show my whole body ached. I mean seriously, every step hurt.
I wasn’t planning on staying at the MainStage all day for Beyoncé, so I hadn’t eaten since the morning. I made a slow walk back to the camping hub and all I wanted was something DECADENT. I settled on a mozzarella sticks, grilled cheese with marinara sauce and provolone. THIS WAS THE BEST THING I ATE ALL WEEKEND. It was like Queen Beyoncé was rewarding me for my loyal service that evening. In inhaled that sandwich and came back to my campsite. I told my neighbors I was pretty tired and I’d hang out in the morning and I passed out in my tent.
The next morning, I woke on a mission to hang out with my neighbors. My Swiss neighbors had brought some Greyere cheese with them, as their town is next to gruyere, and they were happily sharing a bit of their culture with us. I grabbed my grapes and we all had some drinks and enjoyed each other’s company. By this point we were a pretty solid group of six. We’d eaten meals together at our campsites, made some memories seeing some shows and even half learned a silly dance.
A neighbor from Boston brought his Nintendo Switch with him because I’d mentioned a few days earlier that I wanted one, but had never played it. That was too cool! I never would have thought I’d play a 2-player game in the desert like that! Sundays at Coachella for me are often about trying to hold onto a moment that’s fast slipping away. This year was no different.
My neighbors from Boston were set to pack up and head to LA to hang out with some of their friends. They had a great time at Coachella, but just wanted to enjoy some extra time with their friends. We snapped a group photo, exchanged contact information and made plans to do it again next year.
I had to send Wendy my Day Two thoughts and I hadn’t written a single word so I got that done and then broke down my campsite. You see, I had to leave after Cardi B’s 6PM set, so it’s much easier if everything was already packed and in the car. I won’t lie, this is always a bummer, but it’s necessary to make the flight that gets me to work Monday morning.
I headed in because I wanted to have a great spot for Japanese Breakfast, an artist I found on Youtube about a year ago. I’ve seen her twice since then and she’s always been CRAZY good, so she was actually one of the artists I was most excited to see. Once again, just like Friday, I had a hard time getting into the festival – the gates were locked! After about 30 minutes they finally opened them, but so many people had gathered that now there was an incredible force pushing against me and the crowd toward the security checkpoint.
I made it in and bolted across the festival over to the Gobi tent where JBrekkie (her nickname) was playing and there weren’t very many people there so I was able to make it to the front of the crowd, center stage. She came out to little to no fanfare, a stark contrast to the Beyoncé set the previous night. “Holy Crap! I didn’t think anyone would show up!” exclaimed the lead singer, Michelle Zauner. I love her positive vibes and her show was just as up lifting. I was really happy I got to hear “Road Head” before I had to jet away to catch the Aminé set.
On my way there I ran into two friends I met at the front of the crowd at Tank and the Bangas. The same two who helped me secure that front row spot at the Beyoncé concert. Clearly we were destined to hang out together these three days. That’s the magic of Coachella. So I sat down and eagerly chatted about how amazing Beyoncé had been as we enjoyed Amine’s set while seated just outside the tent.
The lineup Sunday afternoon was sparse and we had a lot of down time. So we all went to grab some lobster rolls and lemonade and chill out while we caught the Dej Loaf set. From there we were just a short walk away from Cardi B! Her album is really great, and I knew this would be a fun set. Cardi brought out at least 6 guests including Chance the Rapper, 21 Savage, G-Easy, and Kehlani! Once “Bodak Yellow” rang from the MainStage, I knew it would soon be time to go. I was feeling good — we all made plans to attend another festival later this summer so we hugged and I made my way to the airport.
I snapped a couple quick pics as I walked back to my campsite, ready to make my journey back to NYC. And while I didn’t want to leave, I knew it was time for me to go. When I got back to the campsite, everyone had gone into to see the evenings’ shows. I gave the rest of my food and drinks to my neighbors with a note to have fun!
This weekend has its ups and downs, twists and turns and all kinds of surprises! The best surprise was being able to share my journey with you and I’d like to thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed my stories and hope to see you in the desert some day!