Last year my 13-year-old Teenage Mutant Ninja daughter begged me to take her to ‘Coachella’, a three-day musical soiree on a polo field in the middle of the California Desert. Truthfully, she was relentless; and after a good work over, I promised I would take her the following year. My older MN Children were shocked that I ‘folded’ so easily, I did not let them go to Coachella so young: My oldest daughter went when she was a senior and my son went when he was in 10th grade after I forbid him to go (He left for school on a Thursday and returned on Sunday evening! Oy – another story.)
Boy the year flew by quickly! 365 days after the ‘promise’, I arrived at Coachella with a very exuberant 8th grade MN Teenager and 75,000 music lovers! I had kept my commitment. Wasn’t I too old for this? I kept reminding myself that I was definitely adventurous! Perhaps this was my Woodstock?
Over the years, I had heard Coachella horror stories. I made it clear to MN daughter that I would be watching her very closely. In typical teen style, a few days before our departure, she started to re-negotiate the parameters in which I agreed to this adventure. ’Would I let her and her girlfriend go around by themselves?’ She went crazy as I would not acquiesce until I saw Coachella for myself.
I loved my freedom probably more than my daughter! The music, the people, the sites – I walked around iPhotographing each and every detail with my Ninja Girlfriend. Once I heard enough music at one stage, I walked over to the next stage or sat out in the field for another performance. It was very civilized and clean. Before I left, my MN Children teased me, that I could not identify any of the bands, but it was not an imperative to enjoy the experience.
The two competing scents throughout the weekend – Churros and Marijauna: the latter won! Beer and Alcohol were served in special sections to those with Heineken ID wrist band. They could not leave these areas with their drinks.
My MN Daughter realized that I was happy to give her some independence. I trusted her. Clearly, I did not trust everyone else. Somewhere in between, I found some balance. I believed she would make good decisions. If I did not believe so in the first place, I would not have brought her to Coachella.
The Sahara Stage reminded me that I was old. The techno/hip-hop/electric music gave me heart palpitations – the music was very loud and POUNDING! If I had stayed longer, I would have needed a Zanax. The young people loved it and were packed in!
Woodstock in 1969 was a three-day music festival on a rainy weekend on a cow farm in New York with 32 rock acts and 500,000 in attendance; Coachella 2012 was a three-day music festival on a rainy (1st) weekend on a polo field in California’s Desert with over 150 musical acts and over 75,000 people in attendance. Woodstock is an iconic musical event; Coachella will always be a quintessential experience in my young MN Teenagers life and for me, a burst of life and pure exhilaration. And one more thing to cross of my Bucket List!