[If you missed my Coachella Preview or Day 1 of #CoachellaBingo2014, feel free to click links accordingly. Also, if you are curious as to why it took me so long to keep writing about Coachella, I do my best to explain it here.]
Day Two of Coachella, and with it Day Two of #CoachellaBingo2014
The card, as designed by Amanda Lee Watkins:
I wake up at 9am with no voice and an oddly, almost alarming, low amount of control over my body. None of my muscles seem to work, and I spend an hour sitting in the shade mentally preparing myself for the continuous movement that the day would bring.
Also, it is hot as balls.
Eventually I gain the strength to walk over to the phone charging station to distribute more bingo cards, thinking that kids sitting waiting for their phones to charge would not have much to do and would be willing to talk to a stranger about bingo. I am able to hand out a few cards, but people are much less excited than those I ran into yesterday. My pitch doesn’t work as well now that I have lost the ability to speak; it is difficult to successfully communicate with anyone.
Maybe I can’t scream this much at concerts anymore. Maybe I’m becoming an adult.
I leave a few bingo cards at a desk in the activities center, just in case someone important were to see them and think I am clever.
I grab a coffee and walk over to Paige’s camp to thank her and her friends for bingo-ing with me yesterday. We drink a beer and play with a beach ball for a while. Paige tells me that her brothers band (and one of my favorite bands) Cheers Elephant, will be hanging at the festival for the next two days. I have an internal debate on whether or not I can count them as “Running into a celebrity” on my bingo card tomorrow. I am leaning towards yes.
I head back to camp exhausted, attempting to speak as little as possible to conserve my voice with full knowledge that I will most likely lose it all over again at CHVRCHES in a few hours.
Our neighbors make pancakes again, and Chris asks me if I have ever camped the main stage at a festival in order to be front row for a headliner. He was a huge fan of Muse, having seen them four times already in concert and possessing 167 of their songs on his iPod. I had no idea that Muse had this many songs.
I told him that I have in fact held the rail at a festival, and that it is not an easy task, but it is doable if you are committed. I told him that he would probably have to hang in front of the main stage for at least five hours before Muse went on.
Chris began to waver. I assure him he can do it. I told him that if he put it out there in the universe, that the universe would bring it back to him. He said okay.
Me: “What are you going to do?”
Chris: “I’m going to hold the rail for Muse.”
We continued eating our pancakes.
Around 1pm it becomes clear to me that I will have to poop at some point. Yesterday, I took advantage of the nice bathrooms available to me while making a grocery stop, but the shuttle that takes people to the store is done running for the day. I will be shitting in a Port-o-Potty for the first time in my adult life, and I am more than a little nervous.
I grab some toilet paper and my iPhone. I throw on “Don’t Like (Remix)” by Kanye and company, as I am certain this will be a shit I don’t like, and I begin my walk.
Then I poop.
It was a much less daunting experience than I thought it would be. No graphic details that I have to avoid writing about; it was a standard poop that happened to take place in a Port-o-Potty. I am proud of myself for conquering my silly fear, and return triumphantly to camp, my body feeling much more prepared to stand for the next ten hours.
Ray and I enter the festival around 3pm to get a good spot for CHVRCHES. We catch the end of Ty Segall’s set, who is much better than I had imagined him. As he unplugs, Ray and I push forward and settle about four people deep in the crowd.
I ask Ray to take a few pictures of me with the Bingo card. Like Friday, my picture taking draws the attention of a few strangers: Cole, David, and Nick? Nate? Matt? (it was one of those three, I’m almost sure of it). They ask what I am doing and I give them my pitch through my shattered vocal cords. I project as loud as I can despite my ailment, and soon I am handing out about twelve more cards to strangers. Again, it is the markers that they are extra excited about. They take a picture with me, counting as my “Meet Someone New” and begin examining the card further.
This leads to two extremely exciting moments:
- One of the squares on the card “Talk to Someone About Kanye” has gotten immediate attention from the group. Suddenly, there are at least three conversations about Kanye West happening simultaneously around me, and I am approaching a state of Nirvana. All I want is more people to talk about Kanye West with, and I had just willed this reality into existence.
- Due to technical difficulties the start of CHVRCHES was delayed. About two minutes after they were scheduled to go on, I realized that starting a slow clap was not only doable, but necessary. I asked those who I had handed cards out to if they would back me up in my claps, because really all you need to start a slow clap is a core group to believe in it. They agree, and together we set into motion what is undoubtedly the largest most successful slow clap that I will ever be a part of starting. Everyone celebrates and high fives are exchanged as CHVRCHES takes the stage soon after. I triumphantly fill in my bingo squares.
CHVRCHES kills it, and Ray and I hydrate and sit through a “meh” set from Kid Cudi, looking forward to what musical Fatboy Slim is sure to bring us. At Kid Cudi, I spy a kid with a Workaholics shirt that reads “Get Weird”. This is crazy exciting to me. I had put “Get Weird” on the bingo card as a subtle way of being able to address the fact that I ingested psychedelics without bluntly writing “MOM I ATE MUSHROOMS” on this blog. I did not necessarily think that I would eat mushrooms (I have never veered in that direction drug-wise) but I knew that festivals could get weird, and wanted my bingo card to be prepared.
This guy and his Workaholics shirt gave me a square I never thought I would cross off and in a way that I never expected. It was another sign that the universe was playing by my rules.
Ray and I leave Cudi for good and approach the dance tent that will soon house Fatboy Slim. We break out some glow sticks and weave them into our outfits. When in rave, do as the ravers do.
Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat.
This was the mantra that Fatboy Slim was preaching Saturday night at Coachella.
Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat.
The show blows my mind. I am doing my happy dance and my angry dance and jumping and might have even twerked at one point. I am lost in the music, eyes closed, and absolutely raging. On two separate occasions I overhear people wishing they were on whatever drugs I was on.
Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat.
I was stone sober. Just high on life.
Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat.
The set ends in delirium and my world has been shattered. I trudge to Queens of the Stone Age, sure that I won’t really care about them. I don’t have the energy to.
Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat.
At QOTSA, I am really just waiting for “No One Knows” which ends up being the second song of their set. When it kicks it, I decide to jump into the mosh because when again in my life will I be able to mosh to QOTSA. The moshing goes well at first until some flailing body part of another human being makes solid contact with my eye socket and I tap out. I am done until Muse.
At this point in #CoachellaBingo2014, all I needed to get bingo was to be offered a joint. I had been offered a bowl before Fatboy Slim, but there had yet to be a joint seen on this day. I stood through the remainder of Queens of the Stone Age and the wait for Muse hoping that some heaven sent, ganja-wielding stranger would come through for me.
But Muse killed it and I was able to make up for missing their show in Philadelphia four years previously.
After running over to catch Nas encore with “If I Ruled the World” (he even brought out Lauryn Hill!), Ray and I walk home, again exhausted. I buy my chili cheese fries again. During the walk I am slightly upset with the fact that I failed to achieve bingo. Was the process working? Was this a stupid idea in the first place? I decide to try and stay in the mindset that my failure only proved that the game was a challenge, and that the only way #CoachellaBingo2014 would be stupid would be if it was easy.
Still, these murmurs of doubt continued to hum between my ears, until we arrived back at camp. Chris, who I can only describe at this point as “filled with complete and utter giddiness” told us to sit down. He had a story for us. Ray and I oblige, and Chris rips into his day.
He had camped at the main stage with only a single bottle of water since 3:30pm, eight hours before Muse was to go on. During his time waiting, he decided that he wanted to figure out a way to get Matt Bellamy’s attention. Being an experience Muse-concert-attender, Chris was aware that Matt Bellamy always came out and worked the crowd during “Starlight“. So before Muse came on, Chris was asking around for anyone with a permanent marker, until he remembered that he still had the marker I had given him for #CoachellaBingo2014.
He pulled out the marker, and wrote “Hey Matt” on each of his hands, just in case.
Then Muse started to play. And Muse went into “Starlight”. And Chris reached his long arms out over the railing and Matt Bellamy reached back and gave him a “bro shake” with his strumming hand.
I just sat as Chris told me all of this, completely thrilled. He went on to say, “That is the greatest moment that has ever happened to me in my entire life.”
Maybe he was just in the glow of some magical experience and he would soon reevaluate his bearings for “great moments in his life.”
But in that moment, while he was recounting his story to me, I could tell he meant it.
Even though I had failed to achieve a bingo, day two of #CoachellaBingo2014 was in no way a failure. I met new people, we started a slow clap, I stimulated conversation about Kanye West, and above all, I had affected the Coachella experience of another individual.
#CoachellaBingo2014 set into motion a series of events that conspired in a way that brought Chris and Matt Bellamy together for a moment in time.
The process was working. I was changing the world.