I was somewhere around the Sahara Tent on the edge of the festival when the FOMO took hold.
The Fear of Missing Out. The unbearable heaviness of being that is part and parcel of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival when a minimum of six performances — of 166 acts on the official festival lineup — are going on at any given moment.
Wherever you are and whatever you are doing at North America’s preeminent “big footprint” summer music event doesn’t ultimately matter. There is always the unshakable sense that something else better and buzzier — the topic of conversation that will no doubt dominate all discussion of Coachella Weekend 2 for perpetuity — is unfolding several hundred feet away despite all of your better efforts.
Around 4 p.m. Saturday, as Carbon Airways bludgeoned the Sahara Tent masses with the teenage sibling duo’s signature blend of electronic and rock-inspired sounds, the sense that life was somehow passing me by invaded and I hastened to exit the aircraft-hangar-sized space.
But where to go next? The choices were almost overwhelming.
The stylings of Scottish electronica trio Chvrches on the Outdoor Stage? Dark R&B singer-songwriter Banks in the Gobi Tent? The British indie rock quartet Bombay Bicycle Club back in the Mojave? Guy Gerber upwind at the Yuma Tent?
In addition to all those performers, the Coachella-goer is conceivably conflicted about attending any number of sideshows and beguiling non-lineup events that similarly vie for FOMO attention.
There’s the Cirque du Soleil meets “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome” environs of the Do Lab — Coachella’s homegrown proto-rave that has finally graduated to its own published placard of acts and offers cooling mist hoses with ambient trance grooves and glistening, be-thonged revelers.
Rock-throwing distance from both the Ferris wheel (which has become a crucial visual signifier of the festival) and the Heineken-sponsored pop-up tent (offering “amazing Coachella views” from a second-floor aerie), there is an actual brick-and-mortar polo lounge open to the festival throngs this year. In addition to heightening the FOMO, the place serves some actually pretty decent nachos, yards away from a newly established craft beer hut.