Fun fact: I'm bad at festivals. It's not that I don't enjoy them, per se: there's live music, the outdoors, fried food, great people-watching.
It's just that -- well, okay, I lied, I usually don't enjoy them. I'm not 22 anymore. I don't like waiting in long lines for disgusting Port-a-Potties. The sound is often unpreventably terrible. Trying to see all the bands you really care about becomes a headache-inducing feat of scheduling Sudoku. And the people-watching, while entertaining, often devolves into being so annoyed at/dismayed by the people around me that I'm too distracted to enjoy the music.
I'm great at parties, I promise!
Here's the thing: I truly love a lot of the acts on the lineup at Coachella this year. OutKast, The Dismemberment Plan, come on. And the fact that I'm not going to see the Replacements tonight makes me feel all kinds of superfan failure feelings (see: the name of my column).
I can't be alone in my competing excitement about this year's artists and total lack of desire to physically be on the hot, crowded premises for their shows. Thus, without further ado -- before your social networks start blowing up with pictures of your friends having The Time of Their Lives there -- a step-by-step guide to doing Coachella this weekend from the comfort of your own home.
Step 1: Get dressed. Ladies, you're gonna want one of these.
On the bottom, go for the timeless, comfortable class of cutoff shorts that let the entire bottom half of your ass hang out the leg holes (you can Google image-search that one yourself). Pair with tall, furry boots. If you've been working out lately -- or even following the Coachella diet -- and really want to show off your complete lack of self-awareness, try appropriating the rich, storied culture of a persecuted people with your headgear. Guys, you can do this one too.
Step 2. Hit the hardware store and garden supply center. You want a high-powered space heater and several bags of very dry dirt -- we're in a drought here, after all. On the way home, collect a full trash bag of empty beer bottles, used condoms, and other detritus from the street. (Optional, depending on personal preference: Buy drugs.) When you get home, turn the heater on full blast and close the windows; then scatter dirt and garbage everywhere.
Step 3. Invite some friends over. You're not into big crowds, but come on, you're not anti-social. Bonus points if you can get a local celebrity, like John Waters, Rider Strong, or the Tamale Lady. Instagram the shit out of everything they do, such as taking selfies, taking more selfies, and sitting on their bodyguards' shoulders, smoking blunts.
Step 4. Put on some tunes. To get that special "festival" sound, try turning the volume and bass up until every single element is distorted, then wrap your speakers in heavy blankets. Follow up by either standing with your ear smashed against them or walking half a mile away. Here's a playlist featuring all of Friday, to get you started:
Step 5. Sometime around 5am (your mileage may very depending on drugs of choice), try going to sleep. Hey, look at that -- you're in your own bed! If you want to get that authentic camping feeling, make your friends stay over and sleep in super-cramped positions next to you. Ideally, you'll wake up to the sound of someone vomiting five feet away from your head. I'm lucky enough to have a bedroom window facing 16th Street; again, YMMV.
But don't think about that now. Get a little bit of rest. Drink some water. Tomorrow's another long, glorious day of the best music festival you've ever been to, and if you want to have document the Time of Your Life, you're gonna need your energy.
[More seriously -- we do have a photographer at Coachella this weekend, check back here for cool photos that are not the result of me gleefully Google image-searching "Coachella headdress terrible."]