What You Missed at Coachella (According to Linux)

What You Missed at Coachella (According to Linux)

by Linux

This is What You Missed Last Month (According To Linux), in which nightlife it-girl Linux takes us behind the velvet rope and into the VIP section of Scene-City. Through her extreme (sometimes exaggerated) lens, Linux gives us the tea on what really happened at every party-of-the-century that floods our Instagram feeds. (A note from the author: don’t take what she says too seriously — she’s just a club kid after all).

Each spring, Planet Earth’s most insta-fabulous and socially elite migrate west to the Desert of Southern California. The most glamorous of globe-trots, Coachella’s two-weekend music festival garners the attendance of over a quarter of a million people. The virus who shall’t be named put the yearly festival on hold since 2020 and this was everyone’s first time back to Indio in three years.

As a middle schooler, I remember furiously scrolling Tumblr during every ‘chella season, anxiously awaiting to see what boho looks Vanessa Hudgens and Nicole Richie would turn on that iconic green lawn. Now that I’m finally an adult (and rich!) I was ready to serve a little Coachella cunt of my own. A lot has changed for Coachella since the flower crown days of the late aughts. YouTubers and influencers have invaded the space, resulting in majority of the attendees being ultra famous, whether you know who they are or not. This year was especially significant, as some of my closest friends were on the lineup, three of them being close trans sisters of mine.

I’m a New Yorker and we’re bred to despise the West Coast, only dabbling in the sunny LA arts when we absolutely must. Because let’s be real: LA people are lame and nightlife there is virtually nonexistent. I wondered, "Could Coachella be the exception to that rule? Is Coachella as major as the girlies on the gram make it out to be?" If anyone should decide, its me. On a monthly basis I go to (and throw) the most iconic and legendary parties in New York City. In the name of journalism, I strapped my mask on, booked a Delta flight and traveled cross-country to find how just how cool Coachella really is.

Simply attending Coachella wasn’t enough, though; I wanted to add a little twist. For those who don’t know, Coachella has three wristband tiers: GA, VIP and Artist. As a side quest, with each day I decided to progressively go up a level of exclusivity to get the full 'Chella experience from all perspectives.

Day One: GA Pass

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Here we go, bitches: Day One. Being my first ever time at Coachella, I had literally no idea what to expect. After driving our car three hours from LA to Palm Springs, the Tesla we rented was completely filthy. (It wasn’t the only Tesla I interacted with this weekend, if you catch my drift!) Luckily, my best friend, Kim Petras, and her record label were throwing a free car wash in honor of her new EP, Slut Pop. My friends and I hopped in the car and headed her way. When we got there, a dozen Kim Petras lookalikes jumped on our cars and washed them like they were in a Carl’s Jr. Super Bowl commercial.

After a quick photo and hello with Kim, we all sped in our clean car to AEG's infamous pre-Coachella pool party. In case you didn’t know, AEG is the sole producer of Coachella, so it was super important we rubbed shoulders with the rich guys who will be booking me there one day. Rebecca Black DJ’d an EDM set, while me and Paris Hilton’s stylist sunbathed in matching Versace bathing suits. I was only able to stay at the AEG pool party for an hour, though, because it was time to run home, change into my Day One look, and race to see Carly Rae Jepson at 5 PM.

Remember, I was GA this day, and bitch did it feel like it! My friends all had artist passes, so their air conditioned two-second entrance was much different than my two miles long-lined walk in the desert heat into the grounds. Finally inside, I raced to meet my friends at Carly. The crowd there was just my type. Nothing excites me more than a sea of muscle gorilla gays screaming power-bottom pop music.

After Carly’s show was finished, it was time for a cocktail. I hadn’t yet learned the festival’s layout and the only bar I knew of was inside the Rose Garden: a VIP-only area that my basic GA ass didn’t have access too, but my friends did. "We’ll go get you a drink, just wait right here, it’ll only be a minute," my friends promised. Reluctantly, I trusted them and took a seat in the grass right outside the Rose Garden entrance. Minutes turned to hours as I sat in the grass completely alone, feeling defeated, hot and sober. To make things worse, I was forced to hear Arcade Fire perform against my consent, since my spot in the grass was also right outside their stage.

After waiting forever, I decided to risk it all, leave my spot and go my own way. Harry Styles was the Day One headliner, whom I had zero interest in seeing. After roaming the grounds and finding a GA bar and pouring my double tequila soda into a water bottle, I stumbled upon the Do Lab tent. The music was tech house, which beats "Watermelon Sugar" any day. I pushed my way to the front of the crowd and suddenly, after the DJ’s set was over, an incredibly familiar blue haired twunk came on stage behind the booth and the crowd started screaming. It was a surprise closing set by Diplo.

I gagged! Diplo is known to play with the dolls and I was front row looking hot as hell, so immediately I pulled my tits out and flashed him. To my surprise, the three other girls next to me also flashed him. He must get this a lot! After a few songs I looked to my left and realized who I was dancing next to. Beside me was the Coachella Queen of the Desert herself: Vanessa fucking Hudgens. It was only Day One of Coachella and I was already dancing to Diplo next to Vanessa Hudgens. Is there anything more 'Chella than that? Maybe GA wasn’t so bad after all.

Day Two: VIP Pass

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One day down, two more to go. Coachella Day Two was a big deal for my housemates and I. Three of my roomies were having their Coachella debuts: Ty Sunderland, Slayyyter and VINCINT. Not only that, but the little experiment I mentioned early meant I was finally upgrading from GA to VIP. I could finally gain access to the same illusive, exclusive bars and porta-potties as Emma Chamberlain and Tana Mongeau!

We got to the Do Lab tent early, so that we could get drunk before Ty’s set started. Backstage at Do Lab, there were unlimited hard kombucha’s, so I was going to be drunk and have good gut health (very LA). Backstage, I kiki’d with Violet Chachki and GottMik. Chachki was wearing Paco Rabanne and Mik was wearing a cheetah print dress with a disguised arm brace in the same fabric. My friend Erika had just accidentally broke Mik’s wrist while arm wrestling a few weeks prior (on Trans Day of Visibility, no less!). After a good shit-talking sesh with my favorite Ru Girls and a quick shot of 90 degree tequila with A-Track from Duck Sauce, I ran back to the crowd and shoved my way to the very front so I could see my best friend’s very first Coachella set.

Ty came on stage, and for a second time at Do Lab I immediately flashed my tits again. (He appreciated it much more than Diplo.) Halfway through Ty’s set he brought out VINCINT, who performed their hit, "Higher," except this time it was an official Ty Sunderland remix. THen, number one pop dolly Slayyyter came out and did three of her own songs, including her most recent single with Big Freedia. I had to leave the moment Ty’s set ended, though, and ran across the Coachella grounds to see the scariest tweaker duo in the world: 100 Gecs.

Gecs got me through COVID with their pots’n’pans bangers like "Stupid Horse" and "Mememe." The crowd at 100 Gecs was a combination of stinky ravers, Gen-Z scene kids and furries. Needless to say, I fit right in! Lead singer of 100 Gecs Laura Les was one of three trans girls I knew who were performing on a big stage this year. (No, Slayyyter isn’t trans!) After I broke my nail raging to "Money Machine," my friend and I ran back again across the grounds again to get a good spot for Pabllo Vittar, who would be making history as the first drag queen to ever perform at Coachella.

The stage Vittar was performing at was an artsy gay’s wet dream, where Rina Sawayama and Caroline Polachek performed right before her. At Pabllo set, I met back up with my friends in front left (front left is always where the cool kids go). Together, Violet, Aquaria, Ty, Mik, Slayyyter and I watched Pabllo perform her back-to-back Brazilian hits with a full team of dancers in a 30-inch blonde wig. Vittar also performed her remix to Lady Gaga’s "Fun Tonight." It’s still so funny to me that Pablo remixed a song about being depressed and not wanting to go out into a happy-sounding mariachi moment.

After Pablo, my super-famous artist wristband friends ditched me to go say "hi" to her backstage, while I was left alone in VIP. (Cue the Kandy Muse song.) Left alone to fend for myself once again, I took a pressie and headed to the Coachella main stage to see Megan Thee Stallion. On my way to Megan, I passed a stage that was showcasing 88Rising’s group of artists, one of whom included CL. As I was walking by, I was shocked to see CL performing alongside other members from 2NE1, a now-split-up K-pop girl group from when I was a teen, who hadn’t performed together since I was in high school. I stopped in my tracks and had the biggest fangirl moment! After the surprise 2NE1 reunion, I continued my trek to see Megan Thee Stallion.

Seeing Megan live was surreal; the production quality and energy were so high, it felt like I was seeing the VMAs in person. Throughout her 45-minute set, she said "real hot girl shit" 47 times (yes, I counted!) After she performed, it was time for Day Two’s headliner: Billie Eilish. I know none of Billie's music besides "Happier Than Ever" (AKA the greatest song ever made... non-negotiable.) Although sitting through an hour and a half of Billie songs isn’t the most appealing thing in the world to me, waiting around was worth being able to scream, "I DON’T TALK SHIT ABOUT YOU ON THE INTERNET/ NEVER TOLD ANYONE ANYTHING BAD!" at the top of my lungs alongside thousands of other people with blue checkmarks in the desert.

After Billie closed out the night, I found my friends and together we trailed back to the Airbnb. Slayyyter wanted to go to Neon Carnival, but I was way too tired and Ubers were over one hundred dollars. I instead chose to stay back and get my beauty rest. LA's changed me!

Day Three: Artist Pass

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I won’t lie, after two full days of day-to-night festival benders, I was pretty exhausted. I knew I’d be serotonin deprived by Day Three, so I made sure to save my best look and Artist band for this day (to boost moral!) My house and I got to the festival around 3 PM, giving us enough time to go backstage and chat with Kim Petras before her show. I was so excited. I’ve seen Kim perform many times before this, but Slut Pop just came out and she was rumored to be performing mostly songs from that EP. Out of all her eras, Slut Pop is my favorite of Kim’s, so I was super excited. Plus, it was a fellow doll performing at fucking Coachella; how much more pinch-me does it get?

I took a picture of the set list, so that I knew what songs to expect and when sending it to my friend who was also there I accidentally posted it to my main’s story. In a matter of seconds the set list ended up on Twitter and I started getting screamed at by everyone’s management. (Ugh!) This super hung guy I follow on OnlyFans made a hardstyle remix to "Hillside Boys" that she also performed. I posted that story to IG and all my junkie raver friends back in New York were gagging. (Nigel or Kim: send me that remix!)

After Kim’s iconic show, I went and got my 21+ wristband back by the VIP entrance. I was waiting in line for my bracelet right in front of James Charles and his hunky security guard. James was wearing the exact same look I was going to wear that day, had it not gotten lost in the mail. (I accidentally had it shipped to my old sugar daddy’s apartment.) I would’ve said sister-salutations to miss Charles, but every time I’ve ever said "hi" to James he’s been so uninterested. So instead of pissing myself off I kept to myself, got my 21+ bracelet and kept it moving.

Finally allowed to go backstage with the other artists, I ran into my New York bestie (and hair icon), Brad Mondo, and we spent the rest of the majority of the day dodging Coachella paparazzi. Together we saw Doja Cat, who performed all her hits head-to-toe custom I Am Gia (my favorite hoe brand!) After, we ran all the way across the main lawn to see Ladyfag’s best friend (and OG New York DJ doll) Honey Dijon at the Mojave stage. I could only stay at Honey Dijon for a few minutes, though, because the final headliner of the weekend, The Weeknd (lol!), was about to perform at 11:30.

For probably the 10th time that day, I sprinted back across Coachella under the full moon and got the perfect spot for his show. He came out 30 minutes late, but I was on alphabet soup at that point, so I was just happy to see him at all. He performed onstage solo, sans dancers or production, which I appreciated. And with my shiny Artist pass I was able to view him from a closer, private section of the crowd. He owned the stage, sang with no backing vocals, and hit every note flawlessly. We love a talented king; he was the perfect ending to an already incredible three days.

To close out Coachella weekend, both Soho House and Revolve invited me to their Day Three after parties. I wasn’t in the mood (or headspace) to network with fake PR people and creative directors, so I instead ended the night the most New York way I could by going to a kooky circuit party filled with G queens that went until sunrise.

Photography: Ryan Farr
Art direction: Chris Correa
Clothing: Alex Dymek (Custom)