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XXL‘s Coachella Diary

Two thousand and twelve is turning out to be a year of firsts for me. As previously reported, a few XXL staffers traveled to Austin, TX for South By Southwest last month. There, we got to interview everyone from T.I. to Mystikal, attended numerous shows and kicked it with the homies Mac Miller and Asher Roth, among others. I knew the Coachella Valley Music Arts and Festival would be different, but I still didn’t know quite what to expect. I took to Coachella with Beats By Dre and my HTC One phone in tow. See how it all went down.— Carl Chery (@cchery)

Friday April 20, 2012… 7:00 a.m.
With no sign of a Hudson News—not sure why I was being so brand-faithful to a newsstand—I settled for this store called Relay to get some reading material before my flight. Seconds after paying for my selections—GQ with cover star Derrick Rose and Esquire with Robert Downey, Jr.—I spot Jermaine Dupri walking to his gate. I wonder if we’re on the same flight.

Friday April 20, 9:46 a.m.
Seconds after landing in Los Angeles, I spot JD. It turns out we were on the same flight.

Friday April 20, 2012… 2:30 p.m.
After finally arriving to Indio, CA, I settle in, but not in time to catch Kendrick Lamar, who is performing at 2:40. I unfortunately miss K. Dot. There’s not really anyone of interest to watch until Frank Ocean at 8:15, so I lay low at the hotel until showtime.

Friday April 20, 2012… 7:45 p.m.
I’m ready to go and ask directions to Coachella. The guy at the front desk and most of the valet attendants struggle to explain the route.

Friday April 20, 2012… 8:30 p.m.
Deja vu. As I’m driving to Coachella—it turns out the route was fairly simple after all—I get a text from my friend Karen. “He performing new music,” she texts. “You and ur HTC phone are losing.” Well, I don’t have a flip cam. I have an HTC One phone. But, I was clearly losing.

Friday April 20, 2012… 8:55 p.m.
I finally make it to Frank Ocean’s performance and get to hear “Novacane.” Luckily, he stays on the piano a little bit longer, so I can technically say I’ve seen Frank Ocean. Day One at Coachella is pretty much a wash, so I go see Black Keys to end the day.


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