Coachella has become such an all-encompassing cultural moment in Southern California that it’s commonplace to quip with strangers about the shortened lines Whole Foods during its first weekend.
The Goldenvoice-run festival declared itself sold out of all 99,000 weekend one tickets after just three hours, and for anyone that couldn't get a ticket—or stump up the $400 minimum bet immediatey after New Year—they could slump at home enjoy three channels of near-perfect streaming from the physical and financial comfort of their couch.
In partnership with T-Mobile, Coachella has significantly built out its streaming portal in the last couple of years. Across the Coachella stage, Outdoor theatre, Mojave, Sahara, and the Gobi (sadly, no Yuma tent underground heads), the organizers curated a suitably eclectic blend of acts, allowing you to flick hurriedly through stages far faster than you could walk between them!
With the highly starched and locally ubiquitous Jason Bentley of KRCW and AJ+ host Francesca Fiorentini filling in the gaps in live programming with band and DJ interviews and on-site soundbites, Coachella 2017 was a captivating bit of television and gave space for experimental 16mm films about the festival, as well as a tribute to the beloved Do LaB stage and insights into the festival's brimming art installations. The streams themselves often subverted the more raw Boiler Room format and employed the use of real-time psychedelic effects, most notably during Moderat and Tycho, who’s washed out and sunset baked aesthetic is arguably more aligned than anyones with the iconic festival.
While its no substitute for actually being there, posting on the couch means drinking an affordable cocktail, not having to wrestle wade through one hundred thousands of Instabasics and Aderall-charged Sahara bros to get to a clean bathroom, and it’s absolutely free!
Not all of the streamed performances have transitioned into permanent content on the Coachella YouTube page (sadly both Kendrick’s and Lady Gaga’s masterful headline performances don’t seem to be available), but here are some choice cuts from a weekend of excruitating FOMO soothed by the stream.
Richie Hawtin - Emery Warman's "Miami Connection" (Whyt Noyz Remix)
Father John Misty - "When the God of Love Returns There Will be Hell to Pay"
Radiohead - "Idioteque"
Chicano Batman - "Friendship (is a Small Boat in a Storm)"
Warpaint - "New Song"
Future Islands - Seasons Waiting on You
Classixx - "Eyes on Me"
Image via Time Out