by Louisa Cohen

Last time we checked in, I was being picked up any moment by our driver to head to what would have been our first day at The Coachella Valley Music Festival. After the girls and I decided our outfits were ‘Coachella enough,’ we walked out of the Holiday Inn Palm Springs to greet Classy Charles, of Classy Cars LA. Lets just say that good ol’ Chuck was as classy as hotdogs on a stick, with a rusty-orange halo of hair to boot.

No matter – we made the best of our four-hour lounge in bumper-to-bumper traffic and desert heat. Remember our waiter from Part 2 of the story? Well, he just happened to be two cars behind our limo, and ended bailing on his sucker of a friend, and hopping into our ride! Ah well, can you blame the guy? Some friends of ours from Chicago who were camping in an RV were stuck in traffic right next to us… we happily used their facilities and were greeted with cold beer – the only stipulation was that you had to hula-hoop in front of their RV, in the middle of bumper to bumper traffic. My friends are champs, and by this point expert hoola girls. Deaking in and out of the limo to pee, drink beer, and greet friends may not have been the safest option – but we made it to our first day without incident or boredom, and celebrated all the way to the festival.

All seven of us lost our Coachella virginity that day. Coachella really is a life force all its own; it is a community, a hub, where people let go of themselves, get lost in crowds of thousands, where wonderful and bizarre things happen. We were saved by unicorn men, startled by nudity, sedated in the heat, awakened by desert winds, bounced by Jay-Z and surprised by Beyonce. We screeched and squealed, and much like the first time… there were some uncomfortable moments, always overcome by pleasure.

For the next three days, over pints of Heineken, we experienced the festival spirit and a ride of performances. We were draped in the melancholic voice of Thom Yorke, the marvelous energy of Florence and the Machine, and waited with baited breath to see what spectacle the Gorillaz had planned. We sloshed beer in the silent disco, and lay in the warm sun forgetting real life; we climbed up on shoulders finding lost friends in seas of thousands, and warmed one another into the night. We missioned bathroom breaks through techno jungles, and ate corn and hotdogs to our heart’s delight.

We gave our all to the desert that weekend, our minds, our money, our joy, and sanity… and the desert gave back. It was a wet and wild weekend of musical delight, and the best bonding experience with friends I have ever had.