I went to Coachella.
However, by venturing into the desert I actually went home.
The talent at Coachella is second to none. There are definitely aspects of the festival where improvements can be made, but in terms of artists, I don’t think another festival holds a candle to this line up.
So how do you choose? How do you choose between staying in the beer garden with friends, grabbing food and running into the most beautiful people you’ve ever seen in VIP, Skepta, The Belleville Three or anything inbetween? Well, for my first Coachella (as I constantly had to repeat) I decided to go home.
I made an effort to see Toronto acts. Why? I know I know. I could see them at MOD club, or beg this person or that person for a ticket, but I wanted to see how Toronto was received on the international scale. I went to see Nav who brought out the Weeknd, and Future who called out the best or worst thing to happen to Toronto (depending on who you ask), Drake. I ventured into the Sahara tent for Tory Lanez, and caught the middle part of Majid Jordan’s performance.
In short: Toronto was received well. Really fucking well. The talent and popularity of Toronto artists could not be overlooked and to witness that was pretty rad.
I saw groups go absolutely wild when Drake was brought on stage and then recite “Gyalchester” in its entirety. Yes, when living in Toronto it’s easy to overlook the celebrity of our current pop stars. It’s easy when we are constantly exposed to a new OVO merch drop, radio show or label signee from around the 403W but seeing these artists at arguably the biggest festival was something special. People went wild wild for them. When the Weeknd came out people rushed over to the tent, simultaneously exposing the up and comer, Nav, to hundreds of new fans.
I’m proud to live in Toronto, and if these stars prove to be a reason why someone takes a second glance at Toronto and contemplates visiting, then yes, let the kids sing.
Of course I mixed in the acts I deemed unmissable- The xx, Nicolas Jaar, BANKS, Stormzy etc (as well as a Day 3 bacon grilled cheese en route from the magical healing Rose Garden to Lorde at mainstage- duh).
Going to Coachella and in turn the desert was such a wonderful experience, but to be able to feel a sense of home while standing in the middle Indio, CA was truly heartwarming, and a little emotional- just like Toronto likes it.