Sun rays radiated through the atmosphere and landed upon the shoulders, backs and nipples of the near-naked human beings frolicking in the middle of the California desert. Littered with rainbow buildings and crash-landed airplanes, the world’s best musicians made a soundtrack for this madness at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
This year’s lineup was almost too good to be true. With artists like SZA, The Weeknd, Miguel, Haim, noname, Børns, Chromeo, Cardi B and Beyoncé herself, half of Coachella was spent singing and dancing with your favorite musicians while the other half was spent sprinting across the grounds to catch the next set you wanted to see.
And the performers knew that if there was one place to bring out all the stops, Coachella was the place to do it. What better surprise than bringing out even more musicians? Artists this year could not keep themselves from bringing out their favorite collaborators. SZA brought out Isaiah Rashad for “Pretty Little Birds” and Kendrick Lamar for “Doves in the Wind.” Cardi B invited a majority of all of the featured artists from her new album “Invasion of Privacy,” including Kehlani, G-Eazy, YG and Chance the Rapper. Queen B made her Coachella set even more memorable with a much-needed Destiny’s Child reunion, dumbfounding sister choreography with Solange Knowles and some flirty stage-sharing with husband Jay-Z. Needless to say, Coachella became the best spot for celebrities to link up and celebrate the hottest tracks of the year.
Aside from the music, Coachella is the best costume party you can imagine. Over the three days of music, extravagant ensembles of glitter and glamour were worn by everyone from A-list celebrity attendees to traveling college kids like me. Notable standouts were Rihanna, of course, who wore strictly couture across the festival’s three days, and Kylie Jenner, who made one of her first public appearances as a “cool mom” since giving birth to her daughter, Stormi Webster, in February.
In addition to the clothes, another added bonus is the food. All in all, Coachella brought its festival goers an unprecedented number of options, with goodies ranging from flaming pad thai to juicy cheeseburgers to vegan tacos to lavender lemonade popsicles.
Whether you’re watching your lucky classmate’s Instagram story or official coverage from Rolling Stone, you’ll see that Coachella 2018 was an undeniable success and well-worth the hefty price tag. It was the most bittersweet, sporadic, three-day-long near death experience I have ever gone through, and I can’t wait to do it all over again in years to come.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 23 print edition. Email Michael Muth at [email protected]