The Biggest Surprises From Coachella’s First Weekend

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Coachella 2017’s first weekend is officially closed — which is most likely a relief to you FOMO-suffering onlookers. While some partiers didn’t want the three-day shindig to end (I, personally, can’t wait to get home so I can cuddle my cat), weekend one had a ton of highs and only a few lows. As a Coachella first-timer, here were some of things that surprised me about the Indio fest:

Water was only $2
Have you ever had to decide whether you actually need to consume water to live because it’s $6 a bottle? Of course you have — at every concert, sporting event and Lorde knows what else. Coachella’s waters were only $2, which was surprising, given that the rest of the food and drink items gobbled up my entire tax refund check. I guess they want people to stay hydrated in the desert. Smart.

95 doesn’t feel that hot when you’re already dancing
“It’s a dry heat. It’s a dry heat. Blah blah blah.” In the week leading up to Coachella, whenever anyone would tell me about “dry heat” after I complained about Indio’s sweltering forecast, I’d politely roll my eyes and scoff. Admittedly, though, once you’re under that California sun, dancing to Tove Lo and drinking $2 waters, you can’t really tell which sweat came from where.

Drake came out
Future invited Migos and Ty Dolla Sign into the spotlight for his set, but when Drake started rapping “Jumpman,” fans from all over the festival came sprinting toward the stage.

There was no line for the bathroom
Not only were there non-Porta Potty options at Coachy (those polo grounds facilities are ace), but you could walk right up to a stall and do your thing! Whether there was toilet paper was a different story.

I didn’t see any celebrities
Out of nearly 125,000 people streaming into Coachella on a daily basis, it was easy to gloss over faces and zone out. Which is why I think I missed every famous person on the grounds. When I got back to my hotel room, I scoured social media only to find out that Selena Gomez and The Weeknd were canoodling in the exact spot I was eating a gyro just 20 minutes before. Everyone from Tyga to Ashlee Simpson to Rihanna was there, apparently.

Wiz came out
Tove Lo surprised us with a spot for Wiz Khalifa, who made a speedy appearance for his verse on “Influence.” Out of all the surprise drop-ins this weekend, this one was the most nonchalant because it wasn’t teased. It seemed organic, as Khalifa floated in and then out before we had time to process it.

The food was actually good
Shout out to the ginger pork dumplings, bedded on baby spinach. I ate those nugs on my way out of the festival, after already munching on a churro sundae. (That’s warm churros coated in Fruity Pebbles and dunked in ice cream). One-hundred percent would eat again.

I’d need a map
Most festivals have a stage here and a stage there, and once you walk the perimeter, you get the gist. However, my Coachella festival map was glued to my hand (probably because of the sweat), and I’d consult that handy guide every 20 minutes.

The cell service was above average
I sent texts. I scrolled through Twitter. I snapped about a dozen Lorde videos. I trolled Kiiara. Everything went through.

Lorde played new songs
Maybe this wasn’t that surprising given that she’s about to release an album. But Lorde dished out three new tracks: “Homemade Dynamite,” “Sober” and “Melodrama” (the title of the latter is not confirmed, but she just kept singing “melodrama” over and over, so it’s a safe bet). “Homemade Dynamite” is another hot pop track, in the vein of the previously released “Green Light,” while the other two songs are a bit more moody and down-tempoed. Lady Gaga also debuted a new song during her set on Saturday.

The Weekend came out
OK, OK, there were a lot of guest appearances, which have become less of a surprise and more of a standard at Coachella. But it was a treat to find The Weeknd crashing Nav’s stage for their song “Some Way.”

It was surprisingly easy to find friends
With marked poles towering over the main-stage crowd, you could easily text, “Meet me at B4 for Porter Robinson and Madeon,” and find your friends without having to wave your hands obnoxiously for 20 minutes.

Of course, plenty of people are heading back out to the festival next weekend, so there’s a whole lot more in store for them.