Main Photo @masterwilliams
Coachella has been getting dissed lately. And by that I mean that the longtime festival-goers who have been heading to Palm Springs since this whole music event started are bummed. Some complain that the acts aren’t as indie, others say that it’s become too mainstream and crowded (now the long lineup of non-stop music is repeated for a second weekend in order to fill the demand). But in the three years that I’ve gone I’ve noticed one change more than any of the others — the emphasis Coachella is placing on sustainability. Heck, if that’s what’s next for mainstream then I am totally ready to rock out to that!
I am thrilled to see young people / millenials start to care more and more about their environment and their impact on it. And don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed Azealia Banks and Florence and the Machine just completely killing it on stage, but my highlight was definitely cruising the conscious corners.
The food choices were shockingly widespread and abundant for a festival. Booths offered organic, gluten-free, vegan and local options and you could tell just by looking at the menus that local vendors were given tons of priority. There were incredibly fun stations where you could actively take part in helping the festival stay as green as possible. The TRASHed area was “pretty rad” as they say out here in Cali. With it’s #artofrecylcing (ongoing awareness program) partnering up for the big weekend, they dispersed artist-painted trash bins that were used for recycling that were like art pieces themselves. They also offered different prizes: for every ten bottles that were picked up and brought to their tent, you could exchange that for a full water bottle. And with that afternoon heat hitting the high 80’s and 90’s, trust me, those $2 water bottles add up!
NRG had an incredibly lively setup as well. I spent lots of time learning about how solar power energy actually works and to be honest, it blows my mind that we don’t rely on it more. People were pouring in and out of the tent throughout the day, charging their phones (solar charging setups were in full effect) and hanging in the shade while the sun did all the hard work by keeping their cell batteries alive. NRG also provided over 250 solar panels to Coachella this year to show just how easy the transition can be.
NRG energy wheel
And to cut down on the gas of driving to the festival, Coachella rewarded those who took place in “Carpoolchella” by secret spotters went around searching for the marked cars and distributing awards such as VIP tickets for next year.
I definitely don’t consider myself to be a music snob, but I’m still a tough critic. I have to say, Coachella as a whole was yet again a great experience — I was introduced to new artists I otherwise may have never heard, new methods to practice what I preach with consciousness and sustainability, and threw on my old school hippie clothes that honestly made me feel a little bit closer to my parents’ generation if only for a short weekend. It may not be Woodstock, but it’s still a dang good time. And if you’re not digging the music then at least you’ll love the taste of the dairy-free coconut ice cream. Trust me on this one!!