It’s about that time. I’ve already got my suitcase out, done the laundry needed and have a last-minute Target run planned. I’ve got my hotel booked, an extra pair of shoes in the car and two new mix tapes (although they’re on CD) ready to roll.
But before we discuss the most important piece of the puzzle, I’d like to bow in the general direction of the weather gods. According to both Weather.com and whoever handles the weather app on my iPhone, Weekend I of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will be uncharacteristically merciful. Overcast and no higher than 72 on Friday and Saturday, there’ll be a lovely sendoff on Sunday when highs will reach a glorious 82. Even if we lose the coin-flip 50 percent chance of showers on Friday, I just want to say thank you, thank you and thank you.
Weekend II attendees are in for more traditional Coachella weather, with mid-90s and the chance at triple digits expected for all three days.
Regardless of which weekend you’re attending, (that is, if you’re already in possession of the long sold-out tickets), the single most important item that you need is a game plan. And since promoters Goldenvoice released set times late Tuesday night, there is no reason not to have a basic, adjustable strategy in place before you head to the front gate.
I typically go for quantity over quality at the festival and spend 20 or so minutes with each act before moving on. The take-your-sweet-time-and-see-what-you-see plan works as well, but there’s just too much to miss that way -- at least in my book. And I hope to be in by 2 p.m. on Friday, but with an off-site check-in, you just never know.
2:05 p.m.: Oklahoma orchestral rockers Other Lives
2:40 p.m.: Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar
3:15 p.m.: London indie rock quartet Yuck
3:50 p.m.: Hoping Brit-poppers James play “Laid” in the first part of their set
4:30 p.m.: Austin axman Gary Clark Jr.
5:10 p.m.:Jimmy Cliff and Tim Armstrong
5:40 p.m.: Stellar San Francisco songwriters GIRLS
6:20 p.m.: L.A. classic rock folkies Dawes
6:30 p.m.: Can’t resist catching some of Arctic Monkeys
7 p.m.: Have to start with 2 Tone ska icons Madness and hopefully make it for a bit of Manchester quartet WU LYF
7:35 p.m.: Singer/songwriter M. Ward
7:50 p.m.: Pulp! Jarviiiiiiissssss!
8:15 p.m.: OFWGKTA crooner and soulman Frank Ocean
8:50 p.m.: Mazzy Star! Oh, Hope. How we have missed you
9:30 p.m.: German digital punks Atari Teenage Riot
9:45 p.m.: The Black Keys
10:15 p.m.: French shoegazer Anthony Gonzalez aka M83
10:50 p.m.: Psych-rockers the Black Angels
11:20 p.m.: Reunited Swedish punks Refused
12 a.m.: The Horrors
1:40 p.m.: New Brit post-punkers the Vaccines
2:15 p.m.: Atlanta garage goofs Black Lips
2:30 p.m.: Vancouver singer Dan Bejar, aka Destroyer
2:50 p.m.: Beautiful Harlem MC Azealia Banks
3:35 p.m.: Madonna/GaGa beatmaker Stuart Prince, aka Jacques Lu Cont
4:00 p.m.: fIREHOSE! Mike Waaaaaatt!
5:15 p.m.: Manchester punk icons Buzzcocks
6:05 p.m.: Chicago renaissance man Andrew Bird
6:30 p.m.: Young Brit chanteuse Laura Marling and then a few songs from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
7:20 p.m.: Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum
7:45 p.m.: Annie Clarkm aka St. Vincent’s cerebral pop
8:10 p.m.: The newly reinvented Shins
8:40 p.m.: 1,2,3,4, it’s Leslie Feist.
9 p.m.: L.A. beat master Flying Lotus
9:30 p.m.: Midwest sad-sack Justin Vernon, aka Bon Iver
10 p.m.: The auditory and cinematic weirdness of Godspeed You! Black Emperor
11:05 p.m.: RADIOHEAD!
12:05 p.m.: Santa Barbara throwbacks Gardens & Villa
1 p.m.: L.A. DJ Collective Mantastique
1:55 p.m.: Mexican garage punks Le Butcherettes
2:15 p.m.: Canadian folkies First Aid Kit
3:10 p.m.: Afrobeat royalty Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
3:25 p.m.: Santigold’s pop precision
4:10 p.m.: Jersey indie rockers Real Estate
4:20 p.m.: Electro house DJ Porter Robinson
5:30 p.m.: The superstar riot grrrls of Wild Flag
6 p.m.: Ex-S.D. DJ badass Gaslamp Killer
6:05 p.m.: The Swedish party that is the Hives
6:55 p.m.: The Weeknd’s bad boy R&B
8:20-8:30 p.m.: I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do between Girl Talk, Company Flow, Beirut and Clavin Harris -- as they’re all playing within five minutes of the same time. My only real conundrum of the weekend
9:40 p.m.:The Bay Area’s DJ Shadow will have something special planned
10:35 p.m.: A contact high w/ Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg
And on Monday, there will be sleep. Lots and lots of sleep.
Who knows if I can stick to this schedule, but the weather should help with the miles and miles of walking it entails. Really, though, it doesn’t much matter. I’ll have a hell of a time trying.
Blogger Scott McDonald covers music in San Diego for a few different publications and is the editor of Eight24.com