I had the great opportunity to start my weekend early and head towards Indio to experience the yearly-anticipated... Coachella. Though the festival's main focus is the music, there were so many other aspects at play that truly created an experience. I've always been fascinated with events that create buzz 365 days a year.
On the surface, Coachella can be viewed as an expensive reason to drink and party carelessly. And that's totally fine to assume; the production and hard work of the Goldenvoice staff to create an environment that promotes this 'state of mind' is impeccable (explore Coachella using this 360 view). There is method to the madness that Goldenvoice sculpts every April to attract thousands of people each year. I speculate that one of their many objectives (that they don't fail to deliver) is to create a genuine community at Coachella - a community that empowers its patrons to participate in many initiatives, even if some may be apathetic outside of the Coachella experience. Being environmentally responsible in the community was one initiative that was particularly emphasized.
A few of my favorites:
1. Recyclosaurus Rex
Photo Credit: Excision Facebook
This Robot T-Rex is more than just an elaborate Coachella decor. Recyclosaurus Rex is a 20 foot tall dinosaur that eats empty cans and bottles. Rex's digestive system is fully functional too with a trash compactor belly; what goes in, must come out, right? What comes out are cube droppings of compacted trash. There's even a prize for whoever comes up with the best way to reuse these droppings.
2. 10 for 1
There are many feeders to Recyclosaurus Rex. Who are some of the food providers?
That's me, another Consensus-er Jimmy and our friend Edward
We weren't alone. Click to view other Recyclosaurus Rex feeders
How often do you go somewhere and hundreds of people are on the floor picking up water bottles to recycle? For every 10 water bottles you bring to the recycling center, you get 1 cold water bottle. Not a bad deal when you're sweating in the desert.
You can imagine dreading the parking situation for an event this huge. Parking may have ran so smoothly by the event staff as there were multiple promotions to encourage carpooling... aka carpoolchella. The instructions were simple: Have 4 or more people in your car, write carpoolchella on your car and await being chosen to win a prize. What's one of the grand prizes? Oh, I don't know... Coachella VIP tickets for life!
4. H&M Tent
This tent doesn't have much to do with sustainability, but it made you feel like a human being again. By far one of my favorite tents, this air-conditioned, free-water-giving, pamper-yourself tent was just what many coachellans needed after being in overly crowded, sardine-like situations:
And this isn't even in front of a stage!
Need sunscreen, dry shampoo or lotion? Plenty more at the H&M tent. You can even get your nails done and make sure you appear to look picture perfect :) Great marketing idea, I've already bought an item or two from the products I felt like 'saved me' from having dirt all over my face and smelling like a true Coachellan. Can you believe that this is inside of a small little tent?
The list can go on and on and I can write about this forever. The level of detail in each tent - complete with hardwood floors, water fountains and even a speakeasy bar truly created a community space and culture completely unique to Coachella. The sustainability efforts were spearheaded by Global Inheritance, a non-profit organization focused on empowering our younger generation to be activists for our communities.
Getting people to actively DO something for you can be difficult. Despite all the missions we had to trek throughout our residency at Coachella, I find myself missing the experience.
Here's a tweet I just found from someone who didn't even attend: