So I decided to bite the bullet and shell out the mini fortune for VIP tickets to the Coachella Music Festival. I couldn’t very well spend another weekend by myself eating polenta on the couch. Though it was a last-minute decision, after a well placed phone call to my friend and ticket broker Brent, I secured not only the coveted pass but also a room in a house at the PGA West golf resort near the festival. Score!
The only potential downside is I would be sharing with two girls I didn’t know. The list of possible negative scenarios ran through my head. What if they’re sitting around all day with big piles of blow? What if they’re kleptomaniacs? What if they’re just plain mean girls? After having my concerns assuaged by Brent, I headed down to the desert with my best friend Alice who had managed to procure a ticket from Radioheads manager and our chihuahuas Lola and Cricket. We stopped for nothing…except to buy gas…and 6 bottles of Champagne. What?! A girl’s got to be prepared in the desert! After a 4 hour drive which usually takes 2 (that’s what happens when 100,000 extra people descend on a small town) we arrived at a gorgeous house. Upon entering and opening the fridge I realized my fears had been unwarranted. Soy milk, organic eggs, agave syrup, asparagus, fresh coconuts and a nice Sancerre lined the shelves. A note on the counter said “we’ve gone to the festival, help yourselves, look forward to meeting you!” Ah, women after my own heart. After a quick freshen up we got to the festival just as the Black Keys were walking onstage.
The next few days were the perfect mix of amazing music, fun, friends, good food and drinks, debauchery and recovery, rest and relaxation. Now you might see a line-up of some amazing bands at some upcoming festival and think “wow that sounds great, but I’m getting too old for that sort of thing” but i’m here to tell you that’s not the case. There’s nothing quite like seeing a slew of amazing bands in one place, you just have to take a few simple steps. If I learned anything from this weekend (besides the fact that Florence Welsh from Florence and the Machine is a GODDESS) it would be this:
How to survive a music festival as a grown up in 10 Easy Steps:
1. Forget Camping
If the last syllable in your age isn’t “teen” then you will be better off not sleeping on dirt, showering every day after hours of dancing around and not having to listen to EVERYTHING going on in the tent next to you. Even if you have to share a not so great hotel room with friends, it will still come with a bed, a shower, and air-conditioning. All key elements to survival.
2. Stay Hydrated
This seems obvious, but often when one has a beer in one’s hand he may forget he also needs to drink WATER! Stick to the one for one rule. One water for each alcoholic, caffeinated, or sugary beverage.
3. Eat A Good Breakfast
Although at Coachella they offer tempeh wraps, fresh fruit and smoothies, at many festivals you’re stuck with a choice between funnel cake and corn dogs so having a good breakfast will ensure you’ll have at least one good meal that day. I’ll admit the view from our dining room was inspiring…
…so after finding a great natural grocery store called “Sprouts“nearby I whipped up these for breakfast
4. Take Your Vitamins
I laughed when I looked in the cupboard and realized the girls had bought the same Acai Berry flavored Emergen-C. It’s good stuff with not only more than your days worth of vitamin C but also electrolytes and B vitamins for energy. Try that plus an immune boosting multi-vitamin to help keep you from getting run down.
Take a little time to take care of yourself. You’ll be amazed at how starting your day with a little yoga, a walk or jog will make all the difference in how you feel the rest of the day.
6. Wear Sunscreen
Need I say more?
7. Drink Good Drinks
O.K. This might not really be a key to survival but it sure helps in the satisfaction department. We brought down our juicer and started the day with grapefruit-orange-cucumber-ginger juice. We chilled whole Thai coconuts so we could drink out of them by the pool. And Alice being a master mixologist made some of the most fabulous cocktails ever. People are still talking about them. Click for her recipes for Spicy Ginger Margaritas and Cucumber Chili Margaritas
8. Go With Other Grown Ups
Some people love drama, some people love to fight, some people like to drink until they forget where they’re staying, then to ask a police officer for directions, then to get arrested for public intoxication. None of these people are people you want to party with at a festival. Only go with people you know you won’t have to babysit.
9. Eat Again
In all the excitement it’s easy to forget to eat, but if you’re out in the elements and dancing and drinking you need to keep some food in your belly. Especially before bed to prevent hangover. Now pre-bedtime snacking is not advice I would often give, but we’re in survival mode here. These are the quick late night snacks I made this weekend. Unfortunately it didn’t occur to me to snap photos at 2 AM, so sorry! Asparagus Nachosand Cherry Tomato Parmesan Challah Toasts. Please also revisit step #2.
10. Take a Day of Rest
Even Jesus needed one. We chose to spend Monday in the relaxing mountain town of Idyllwild on the way home from the desert. We stayed at the Strawberry Creek Bunkhouse, one of my favorite weekend getaways. Fresh mountain air, gourmet food and live music at Cafe Aroma (Folk? Bluegrass? Not sure but there was a guy who played a wicked accordion) and a glorious hike did wonders for our weary souls.
Even if you do have to work on Monday after a festival weekend, go straight home after, have a good dinner, curl up with some cocoa and go to bed early. Batteries must be recharged.
Follow these steps and tell me if you don’t have one of the best weekends of your life. They will also come in handy for other occasions like trips to Vegas, college reunions, destination weddings, new years eve celebrations etc. Please Enjoy These Rules Responsibly XO, Jacq