By Justine Goode
As over 100 students streamed into the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 13, they likely had no idea that by the end of the weekend, they would witness a resurrection. Those who stayed for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s set on Sunday, April 15 found themselves cheering on late rap legend Tupac Shakur as a life-like hologram performed his hit “Hail Mary.” Most students were infants when the rapper died in a 1996 shooting.
“Tupac was incredible,” Molly Chapman ’14 said. “I’m still in awe of how they did that. It was amazing and definitely one of my favorite moments from Coachella.”
The three-day festival, which also ran for a second weekend April 20-22, spanned 30 acres of grass dotted by five stages and a number of whimsical sculptures. A giant mechanical orchid bloomed next to a food court, and a massive metal lobster with flaming antennae watched over the entrance to the Mojave tent.
According to Head of Attendance Gabriel Preciado, 111 students were absent for Coachella on Friday, April 13, and 60 students were absent on Monday, April 16. Last year, only 61 students missed Friday and 12 missed the following Monday.
One band making their Coachella debut was honeyhoney, which featured Brian Gross’ ’12 bass teacher Patrick Taylor.
“It was really exciting to see him play,” Gross said. “One can only play as well as they are taught, so it confirmed my thought that he is right for me. Patrick has been my friend for years, and it is super exciting to see a friend play a show like Coachella.”
Many students found ways to get prime spots near the stages, whether they arrived a few sets early or elbowed their way up at the last minute. Corinne Miller ’12 was almost in the front row for Childish Gambino’s set on Saturday, April 14.
“The set was at 2:50 p.m., so we got to the festival around 1,” Miller said. “We got really good spots for the band before him, so that when he finally came on we were right in front of him.”
The performance was a highlight for Miller, who had played Gambino’s most recent album, “Camp,” on repeat during the drive to Coachella.
Camping out on a site adjacent to the Coachella grounds allowed Graham Cairns ’12 to stay a part of the festival’s excitement long after the last set had been played.
“It was a nonstop party,” Cairns said.
Camping helped him avoid the rush to get to sets on time, and the energy from the day carried over into the atmosphere of the campground.
“Camping is the only way to go,” he said.