Coachella 2013: Lessons learned after Weekend 1

Dusk on the first day of the first weekend of Coachella 2013.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Coachella returns for its second act this weekend. Here, The Times pop music staff offers some lessons learned in the first weekend that will make the festival sound that much better the second time around.

Grab lunch at Roc’s Firehouse Grill. You can sit down, be waited on and there’s air conditioning. If you’re catching Passion Pit, walk to Local Natives right after. Don’t miss Jurassic 5. Get to Major Lazer early, because the crowd overflowed the Mojave tent Saturday. Try not to get burned out by the back-to-back Brit pop Sunday, but Jessie Ware and La Roux are essential. And pack a hoodie and bandanna just in case there’s another sandstorm — you’ll thank us later.


— Gerrick Kennedy

Plan your day out carefully. If you want to see a particular band, allow for a 30-minute window of error. Walks between stages take much longer than you think, as do the walks from most parking areas. If you want to go to a nighttime party, be sure to arrive when it starts or risk being shut out entirely by the crowd.

— Jessica Gelt

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The Make-Up’s reunion hasn’t attracted anywhere near as much attention as those of Blur and the Stone Roses. But Saturday evening in the Gobi tent, the reformed Washington, D.C., soul-punk crew put more energy than either into an explosive (if modestly attended) gig. And frontman Ian Svenonius might’ve offered the finest stage banter heard at Coachella. “You’ve suffered through so much indignity to come see us here,” he told the crowd with a deliciously straight face. “Now we wanna suffer for you.”

— Mikael Wood

Charge your phone and know your transportation options. If by chance you find yourself trying to hail a cab from Coachella and your cellphone has died, taxis are found in Lot 13 at 52nd and Madison streets — and nowhere else. “It’s for safety reasons,” a cab company operator said later, which is tough logic to swallow after a long, lonely walk in the desert.

— Jessica Gelt

The indoor cocktail bar at the Rose Garden: Generally, we stick to light beer at Coachella, but we made a brief exception for one Sunday afternoon indulgence. The mix of Jameson, ginger juice, lemon and a hodgepodge of supposed electrolyte pick-me-ups felt somewhere between a highball and a detox juice. Is that contradictory? Sure. Delicious? I’m trying to replicate it at home right now.

— August Brown

Leave your inflatable friends at home. A group of shirtless bros were swinging around an inflatable doll as they walked to the festival from the parking lot Friday afternoon. Sadly, they had to ditch their “toy” at the security checkpoint. In hindsight, maybe they should have opted for an inflatable pink flamingo, which was spotted dancing along to Purity Ring.

— Gerrick Kennedy


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