Things that are traditionally associated with Coachella: Pretty girls in cut-off jean shorts, music, and barn-burning heat. One of those givens has been robbed from the equation this year, with Day 1 of America’s most famous music festival playing out under grey and gloomy skies. It’s jarring to see the iconic Empire Polo Fields—with their big blue skies, sandy mountains, and statuesque palm trees—subdued by the dreary oppression of overcast.
It was raining when we got here, and the ponchos were out, but still, people didn’t seem to care. Girls have their legs exposed, guys are wearing tank tops, and yet, there’s an unnerving number of jackets at a festival notorious for its unbearable hotness. In years past, one of Coachella’s greatest drawbacks has been the stifling weather (hello, heat exhaustion), but we bet anyone here would sell the American Apparel tee off their back for just one ray of sunshine.
We haven’t been here long, but backstage, Ke$ha, who isn’t slated to perform, was feeling a little press shy. Scratch that. The “Tik Tok” singer, wearing a thigh-length denim boyfriend button-up, seemed intrigued by posing for a photo when we approached her, until her publicist stormed in right on cue and declared that she “wasn’t doing any press.” It was annoying. It’s a strange world we live in when someone who makes their living off the media won’t pose for a simple picture. (Can’t wait for your next album, Ke$h!).
Right now, Alex Turner, the twitchy Arctic Monkeys frontman, is blazing through “Brick by Brick,” off their last album, and guess what, the skies are opening up. Backstreet Boys songwriter Frank Ocean takes the stage soon at the Gobi tent, and we’re still trying to figure out how to take in headliners the Black Keys and second-stage king M83 at the same time. See you kids at the party tomorrow!