Festival Report Card

Festival Report Card: Coachella 2024

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Music Festival, a three-day event offering camping, unfolded over two adventure-packed weekends in Indio, California. Just a 2-hour drive from Los Angeles, the festival commenced with its first weekend from April 12 to 14 and wrapped up with the second from April 19 to 21.

Each weekend was packed with unique performances and surprise guests. Standout moments from the second weekend included unexpected sets from Anyma b2b Eric Prydz and John Summit and a surprise performance by Gryffin at the Do LaB stage.

This festival is not just another event; it’s the highlight of April for many, famous for its massive crowds and widespread appeal. This year’s festival was especially buzz-worthy, with several events that kept the music community abuzz. Kid Cudi experienced a mishap, leading to a canceled tour for his recovery. Grimes encountered technical issues that affected her performance tempo, and Lana Del Rey faced fines for exceeding her allotted stage time.

EDM Maniac was present for both weekends, closely observing and experiencing the ins and outs of Coachella 2024.

Vibes: B

The overall atmosphere at Coachella was agreeable, with attendees maintaining a respectful demeanor throughout the event. Everyone was friendly, but it was noticeable that many attendees preferred to keep to themselves. Despite the individualistic vibe, there was no lack of kindness or decorum. The festival staff were commendable, and the crowd featured a variety of entertaining personalities.

However, the festival’s environment lacked the warmth of PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect) commonly found in EDM-centric gatherings. The spirit of raver culture was not as prominent, with the ethos of PLUR feeling somewhat alien during both weekends.

What stood out was the delightful mix of professionalism and enjoyment the people working at the event showed. From staff to security and vendors, their evident passion for their work and the music added a layer of positivity to the festival experience. A good staff attitude is hard to come by at such large events, making Coachella’s team even more impressive.

Energy levels at the festival were a study in contrasts: high during the daylight hours but visibly waning after nightfall, culminating in very quiet post-9 PM shuttle rides. However, the Do LaB stage was a notable exception, radiating some of the best vibes. The ambiance there was exceptionally welcoming, with incredibly laid-back and hospitable people.

Production: A-

The production quality at Coachella varied according to the artist performing. Anyma’s solo set showcased impressive production, though it seemed lacking in the laser department. It almost felt that Anyma’s performance deserved a few more lasers. Yet, despite this, the overall production was commendable, particularly when the LED screen visuals perfectly synchronized with the surrounding lights. The Do LaB stage, while not as elaborate in visual production, compensated with its stage décor and ambiance, creating a distinct atmosphere.

The festival was a treasure trove of photo opportunities. The wide range of activities and sights throughout the space had us spellbound. Among these were the striking rainbow tower, the stoic stone mausoleum, the vibrant fluorescent art playground, and the tranquil rose garden.

Music: B

While strong, the music lineup at Coachella did not initially seem to justify the high ticket prices compared to previous years. However, the lineup saw a significant boost in appeal during Weekend 2 with the unexpected addition of the Anyma b2b Eric Prydz set, which alone made the cost worthwhile for many fans. This last-minute inclusion was so compelling that people flew into California to experience this masterfully orchestrated performance.

Other major acts, such as Lana Del Rey, Dom Dolla, and Doja Cat, also graced the stages, contributing to the eclectic mix of performances and enhancing the festival experience. Despite these highlights, many felt that last year’s lineup offered better value for the ticket price.

Venue: B+

The venue was spacious and accommodating enough to allow camping directly outside the festival entrance. Due to its vast size, attendees had to walk a considerable distance from the shuttle stop to the entrance and even further if they arrived by car.

The variety of food options was impressive, with each vendor prominently displaying their unique restaurant names above the order and pickup lines. This helped maintain a neat and organized appearance and allowed the vendors to effectively market themselves within the uniform aesthetics of the food court area.

We appreciated several aspects of the venue, including excellent cell service, the abundance of lush green grass, and the presence of speakeasy bars and clubs. However, some areas could be improved. For instance, more lighting is needed across the festival grounds to prevent attendees from bumping into each other, tripping, or stepping on one another, especially since some areas lack adequate lighting within a 100-foot radius.

Although there were plenty of bathrooms in the VIP section, the disparity between men’s and women’s restrooms was notable, with women often waiting up to 20 minutes. Adding more restrooms for women next year would be a beneficial change.

Overall: B+ 

Coachella’s location is ideal, surrounded by pool parties that are perfect for pre-festival gatherings. With ample space, various stages like the Coachella Stage and Outdoor Theatre, and thoughtful amenities such as numerous ADA-accessible sections, the festival remains a prominent gathering for music lovers. There can still be some improvements for the following year, but the festival did an excellent job of making it a memorable experience for everyone in attendance.

Featured image from Coachella.

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