Inside the drug culture at Coachella

Categories: Music Festivals

secondphotokidsanddrugs.jpg
Ed Carrasco
Coachella after party, not necessarily involving drugs.
Oakland resident Kimchi Truong was 24. She passed out on the Coachella grounds last weekend, likely due to an overdose. Her death, Thursday, was shocking. But what's really shocking is that this kind of thing doesn't happen more often.

This story is about very young people doing a shit-ton of drugs, but let's start with the old folks of the Coachella Valley. Fooling themselves into believing they're not going to die, they populate ticky-tacky communities behind guarded gates, with giant televisions, preposterously lush lawns and mammoth green hedges. They've bought into the illusion that this is paradise, rather than a punishing desert that will remain hospitable only as long as politicians willingly waste the diminishing stash of Western water. The men, who are tan, and the women, who take walks in the morning, came from greater L.A., arriving to places like Indian Wells and Palm Springs to escape the smog, traffic, crowding and chaos.

More »

Riot Fest returns to Denver September 19 to 21

Categories: Music Festivals

riot-fest-denver.jpg
Eric Gruneisen
Last year at Riot Fest in Denver
Riot Fest expanded its reach to Colorado last year, bringing The Replacements, Guided By Voices, FLAG and many more to May Farms.

The Chicago-based festival, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, will return to Denver this fall with the help of local concert promotion company Soda Jerk Presents. Riot Fest promises "more carnival rides and attractions" and more local food options, but other than that we don't know much. Ticket and lineup information is still coming, but we'll let you know when we hear anything.

More »

The nine worst things about Coachella 2014

Categories: Music Festivals

worst1phototimothynorris.jpg
Timothy Norris
Coachella's first weekend was amazing this year! Except when it wasn't. Here are the parts of the festival that rubbed us the wrong way.

Saturday Night dust storm (above)

Conditions may not have been as bad as they were during last year's Red Hot Chili Peppers set, but Saturday night's dusty conditions were still pretty awful. The winds started picking up when the sun started going down, and by dusk, the sky had turned a coffee-stain brown and festivalgoers were wiping desert residue from their eyeglasses and exposed skin. Dust gets everywhere -- in the cracks of your smartphone, for starters, and then, later, in your scalp, nose and bronchial tubes. It's a disgusting affair and a reminder to bring a handkerchief next time. -Adam Lovinus

More »

Paul Westerberg was visibly annoyed at Coachella

Categories: Music Festivals

replacementswesterbergtop.jpg
Timothy Norris
Paul Westerberg wasn't exactly thrilled to be in the Southern California desert last night. "Headed out to San Francisco, definitely not L.A.," he once sang. During his latest reunion show with The Replacements - at Coachella - he often mocked the audience, whom he quickly deemed insufficiently familiar with the band's catalog.

At one point he looked out over the crowd, asking for a "girl who has never used the word awesome," which seemed to be a dig at San Fernando Valley ladies, based a couple of hours West, who largely populated the premises.

So yeah, he was crotchety. But dammit if he didn't get away with it.

More »

Female artists are dominating Coachella this year

Categories: Music Festivals

HAIM1-thumb-565x377.jpg
Chris Victorio
As a dusty wind whipped behind her in hazy stage light, Solange and her ultra slick backing band brought serious chops and swagger to the polo fields as nighttime fell over Coachella. And then Beyonce showed up on stage dancing to "Losing You." It was the first celebrity big surprise (before Pharrell's start-studded performance) of a festival characterized by strong sets turned in by female artists.

By Adam Lovinus

The musical pretext for the Solange set was laid out by two prominent bands on the LA scene, which now more than ever, in terms of bands, food, beer, style and attitude, dominates Coachella. This was illustrated by sunwashed afternoon sets by HAIM and Warpaint Friday and Saturday.

More »

Meet the people who come to Coachella to get sober

Categories: Music Festivals

soberchellamaybe.jpg
Curious Josh
Not THESE people, but this gives you an idea of the challenges involved here.
Did you know that, for some people, Coachella represents a big ol' Alcoholics Anonymous meeting?

Since 2009, New Orleans couple Bob Johnson and Jane Smith (not their real names) have led 12 step meetings on the festival grounds for those who, like themselves, are in recovery. They call their group Soberchella.

By Mary Carreon

But one wonders: Is there a harder place to be sober than at Coachella?

More »

The Coachella drug and band pairing guide

Categories: Music Festivals

Sarhara_Timothy-thumb-560x373.jpg
Timothy Norris
Ever since sunshine acid saturated Woodstock back in 1969, music festivals and recreational pharmaceuticals have gone together like wine and cheese. Which is why we'd like to recommend a few pairings for those so chemically inclined, a fine list of musical acts coupled with good stuff sure to provide complementary and contrasting flavors for your mind's palette at this year's festival.

By Adam Lovinus

Now of course, all of this is at your own risk, we don't endorse any of it, and the author is speaking strictly from a SWIM's (someone who isn't me) sense of experience here cobbled together from the stories of others.

More »

OutKast is coming to Denver with the Mad Decent Block Party, tickets on sale now

Categories: Music Festivals

out-kast-tour.jpg
So news is spreading quickly about this year's Mad Decent Block Party, a fledgling festival tour heretofore specializing in the kinds of hip-hop and dance acts whose members were likely to be wearing floral print hats. It was mostly found in large clubs with outdoor spaces, that sort of thing. Not this year. They're taking a home run cut this year, with Flosstradamus, Griz, Run the Jewels, etc. and your headliner, the mighty mighty OutKast.

Maybe you know our feelings there via this now somewhat obsolete guide to traveling to see OutKast. The Block Party comes to the (newly remodeled) Fiddler's Green on Friday, August 22. Tickets go on sale this Friday, but you can get them now through Mad Decent's pre-sale.

More »

Behind Mayhem Festival's controversial move to Red Rocks

Categories: Music Festivals

8930039.87.jpg
Brandon Marshall. Slideshow
Fans at Mayhem Fest last year at Fiddler's Green.
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival announced its lineup earlier this week, but there was some controversy about the truncated roster for the July 14 show at Red Rocks.

Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Asking Alexandria, Trivium and Body Count (Ice-T's metal band) were announced for Denver, but those are the only bands playing that date so far, a divergence from Mayhem Fest's tradition as a day-long show with multiple stages. Metal fans took to social media within hours, claiming they were duped by the fest's boast of nineteen bands. Denver's Iconocaust, who played at Mayhem Fest in 2012, posted its own public service announcement on Facebook:

More »

The Denver Noise Fest 2014 lineup, featuring David Wright and Mark Hosler of Negativland

noise-fest-2010.JPG
Tom Murphy
Mr. Sturgeon at Noise Fest 2010.
Denver Noise Fest just announced the line-up for its 2014 festival, running Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26. The annual festival is one of the largest and most eclectic of its type in the country. Both nights will feature an eclectic array of noise artists from across the country. And the "Harsh Toast" event held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday will comprise the more ambient side of the festival's offerings.

Friday night's headliner is experimental electronic act Not Breathing, the project of David Wright, whose collaborators have included Cluster, Crash Worship and Steve Roach. The headliner for Saturday is Mark Hosler, who some may know better for his work in art-prankster sound artists Negativland. Tickets are $20 for a two day pass and $15 for a single day. For more information, visit www.denvernoisefest.com. The full listing is below.

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...