There is an uncontrollable epidemic plaguing the students of LMU. Visible symptoms include extreme sleep deprivation, sunburn, over usage of the phrase “it was effing awesome” and in some rare cases, spontaneous weeping. Known as the Coachella Comedown, this condition is experienced by those who are forced to return to school on the cusp of finals season immediately after experiencing the greatest three days of their lives at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
On the ride back to L.A. from first weekend of Coachella 2012, I fell victim to this terrible malady. The world seemed bleak and boring compared to the vibrant make-believe paradise of Coachella. Even with my best attempts, I couldn’t erase the images of Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and the legendary Tupac hologram that burned so brightly in my memory. The shock of school that immediately followed the fun of Coachella was excruciating, and finals being a week away only made reality bite harder. Worst of all, my friends felt the emotional drop, too. Negativity is contagious, and my friends and I all brought each other down as we unanimously agreed that all we wanted was to be back at the festival, back to the world where all we did was dance and rock out deep into the night.
I knew the only cure for my Coachella comedown was to give myself hope that I could experience the magic again, so, like a drug addict, I give into the Coachella craving and purchased a set of tickets for the 2013 festival. A year later, the comedowns don’t get easier, as I discovered while I slowly recovered from a cold the week after this year’s three-day music extravaganza.
Only an event of euphoric proportions could cause such an emotional drain in the souls of music fans, and Coachella provides that boost of euphoria every year. The experience, more so than the music of Coachella, is what keeps fans coming back to year after year. People buy presale tickets to Coachella in blind faith every summer knowing that the lineup will likely be promising, but with almost complete certainty that the weekend will be unforgettable regardless of the artists. Goldenvoice, the company that puts on Coachella and many other concerts across the country, would not be able to sell tickets months before a festival without a lineup if they had not built up Coachella to the highest standard of the full concert experience.
Through my two years of experience with the Coachella comedown, I have learned a few ways to cope with the condition. The first step is admitting that you are an emotional wreck about the end of your music fest romance. This is the hardest step, so be honest with yourself; Coachella is over and it won’t happen for another year. Once you let that marinate, you will have a smooth recovery. Next, find a personal cheerleader – preferably someone who did not go to Coachella – who will lift your morale and return your focus to what really matters in life, which is studying, I suppose.
Finally, cut off the wristband. I know you probably have a competition with your friends about who can keep it on the longest, but it’s time to let go. Coachella rehab is not easy, but remember: There will always be a next time.
As I struggle with this year’s Coachella Comedown, I know that I will be buying another ticket to short-lived bliss and the unfortunate despair to follow as soon as I can. No matter how bad the post-festival recovery can get, I will always have room in my piggy bank and in my heart for Coachella in the years to come.