The Road to Coachella

  The Planning Begins:  As it goes every year I decide I actually want to go to Coachella Music and Arts Festival about two weeks before the opening Friday of the event. This year was a little different with timing being that it wasn’t until I was driving to work on Thursday morning watching the flow of traffic coming in on the eastbound 10 freeway to exit on Jefferson and Monroe. The campers were pouring in, cars blasted with shoe polish and multi colored paints expressing peoples excitement to “Carpoolchella” this year. The only time a year you will see people smiling to be in stand still traffic, simply because it means that they have almost arrived to the destination that has been at least in the back of their minds since they exited the Polo grounds the year before. Coachella was upon us the valley has now been swarmed with every walk of life from every Continent, the bizarre meet the business men and it all works out because everyone is just here to enjoy the ride. Its at this moment I’m stricken with the “WHY AM I NOT GOING” feeling, it is now that I know I will have to do everything in my power to get there.

Week one comes and goes, despite my efforts I am still left without a bracelet or a lead on how to get in which leaves me hopeless because every corner turned so far is a brick wall waiting for me. By now it is Wednesday, two days before the start of week two and my mindset has gone from hopeless to determined. I am sitting in my office going through my social network feeds living vicariously through week one attendees as I reach for my Screamin’ Energy Max Hit® for my mid-day pick me up and at this very moment I had a stroke….OF GENIUS! I thought to myself after hours of trekking from stage to stage in the hot sun what more could the good folks of Coachella want than to be revitalized for their evening? Why make them pay five to seven dollars for an 8oz can when I can bring in as much sample product as my bag will fit and just give it to the festival goers to ensure that by the time DRE & SNOOP hit the stage they still have enough energy in them to go the distance. The plan was now set, going to Coachella this year wasn’t just to be about my experience but to also share a wonderful product and do my best to make sure everyone I came in contact with had a great one too. Now there was still one pressing issue, how the hell am I getting in?!

Friday rolls in and I have used all my contacts and come up with three options on how to get into the festival.

OPTION A:  A friend of a friend has an extra GA (general admission) wristband and for 75 a person will walk us in and collect his wristband once all is said and done and we’ve successfully made it in.

OPTION B:  My friend knows a guy who knows a guy who drives a beer truck, for 200 a head he will meet us at rite aid on 48th and Monroe load us into the back of his truck with his merchandise and take us in through the back gate, unloading us one by one and walking through to collect his money.

OPTION C:  A friend of my mother knows a vendor who will put his extra vendor bracelets on us and walk us into the festival, 150 a person.

     This is now my predicament, I have three ways in but none are solid because its all he said she said, knows a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy type of sketchiness. I assess my options and immediately rule out (B) I’m not paying 400 dollars to be put in a moving beer cooler with 10 other people, ESPECIALLY since I can’t have any of the beer. Now (A) has ruled himself out because he got cold feet, scared of getting caught. By the process of elimination I call (C) and now folks I have my way in and it was going to be as simple as getting dropped off and walking trough a gate, or so I thought.

Sunday comes, its now 12:30pm and as instructed I am en route to be dropped off on 50th and Monroe. Once dropped off I’m supposed to walk into the first parking lot where I will be met with a Vendor wristband and all will be well. Not the case when as I hop out of the car on designated corner I am rushed by three police officers asking me what I think I’m doing, yelling at me to get back in the car that is no longer there. This is where I realize that its not going to be as easy as I was initially made to believe, my car comes back and I get on the phone with the dude when I tell him what just went down he acts as if thats standard issue and proceeds to quickly follow up with Plan B, “you will go to rite aid down the street a black mercedes on black rims will pull up, just jump in. My brother will be the driver and he will have your wristbands but wait and give the money to me.” We jump into the Benz two strangers jump in with us now with a full car we are on our way to the gate. The driver introduces himself, extends his right hand to shake mine while digging through his pocket with the left and steering the vehicle with his knees. He pulls out a tangled up mess of wrist bands and says “grab one and put it on, its showtime” as we are nearing the guarded entrance, we pull up to an abrupt stop and he rolls down his window and casually makes small talk with security after a couple laughs she sticks her head in the car and kindly asks to see our blue/purple bracelets with what looks like a palm tree logo that identifies us as vendors. With a nod of the head and wave of the arm we are through, the car is parked and we now strolling through the final checkpoint. Phase Two: Completed. We have successfully made it in.

With a mixture of adrenaline and wonder running through my veins and a sigh of relief we start wandering through the polo fields taking in all the art exhibits and making our way from stage to stage checking line-ups and people watching as we do so. I realize that although none of these people had just gone through my morning tribulations to get to where we are they are on that same natural buzz I am, just pumped to be at the most exciting music festival on this hot yet beautiful sunny Sunday. I knew at this time it was too early to try and pass out our product samples, the right moment had to be utilized to my best advantage. So we did what anyone does with the sun beating down on you from dead center in the sky, stay hydrated, relax underneath the shade of the Gobi tent and take in some music by very talented artists.

It is now 6pm and we have been all around the grounds to come full circle to the Gobi tent to watch Lowend Theory resident and all around amazing performer The Gaslamp Killer. Twenty minutes into his set he has brought an energy that is undeniable and is projecting out on to the crowd, hundreds of people dancing and jumping up in the air. I take a second to look around to notice that everyone is giving their all and enjoying themselves but you can see it in their faces that they are gassed. This is the moment I was waiting for I open my messenger bag and pull out two conveniently packaged 6 pack displays of our Liquid Energy® and Screamin’ Energy Max Hit® energy drinks I take one and give one to my fiancé as I do so the curiosity of the surrounding crowd flares up. People asking what do I have? is it any good? etc. I gladly oblige and open more boxes of Liquid Energy® to pass them out as I field all incoming questions, the response surpassed my expectations tenfold. Within 15 minutes Coachella goers were coming up to me and tapping me on the shoulder to get my attention to thank me, tell me how great it was working for them and to grab one for their friend. Vital4U products were a hit and I was just happy to share what I already knew worked so well for me.

(The Gaslamp Killer bringing the Gobi tent down!)

(I’m completely against littering but I will say it was nice to walk the festival grounds and see that people had been enjoying our Liquid Energy® product)

 It was now coming down to the most glorious time for a person who has been at Coachella all day enduring the heat, the sunset was upon us. If you have been to the festival you know that feeling very well as the sun creeps slowly behind the mountains as the moon becomes more visible by the minute, a pink and orange hue fill the sky and the greatest part of all the weather calls a truce with you for surviving the day and drops a solid 15 to 20 degrees. The attitudes and vibes of every wandering soul suddenly shift for the better and a minimum of 20,000 more people show up for the remaining six hours of showtime. with nothing to do for a little over an hour until MY main event graced us with their presence in the Gobi tent, we grabbed some food and relaxed watching some crap DJ group wondering how they got a better set time than my boy, true pleyer and only local act at Coachella ALF ALPHA. Why sit through this noise? because they played right before Company Flow and if I wanted my spot right against that barricade I had to make sure I was there right when they ended to push through the people leaving to get water.  With a thank you and a bow the group who shall not be named exit stage left as I make my way to the barricade with an unexpected ease, my arms rest on the cold black metal bar and a feeling of euphoria consumes my being as I look at my phone to see that it is 30 minutes to show time.

As we are waiting a gentleman walks up minutes after we take our spot, he looks beaten and tired but has the biggest smile on his face. He looks at me and says “Co Flow?” and I respond with “Thats the whole reason I am here today” from that point he shows his embrace with a hug and precedes to tell me that he drove all the way from Louisiana for this and since he wanted to me consumed by the whole experience of Coachella he opted to camp and during that time became very sick so he was fighting it off just to be there. Without hesitation I reached into my bag and pulled out our Vital4U® Vitamin Best Pack® a daily dose of vitamins that helps me with my ailments, he gladly accepts and so I hand him a Liquid Energy® as well and tell him I don’t want him falling asleep before Snoop & Dre. It seemed like only minutes spent talking to him about our wonderful products and how they work for me but the fact of the matter was that I turned to look at the stage and there they were walking out to give their final performance as a group and let me tell you in was nothing short of incredible.

(Vitamin Best Pack® in his pocket and Liquid Energy® ready to be consumed)

(EL-P of Company Flow jumping into the crowd for the final two songs of their set)

  With a full day behind us and one act to go, every eye of Coachella is on the main stage for Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre. Engulfed in a sea of 85,000 people they open their set with back to back classics and everyone is fired up, I reach into my bag and make it rain Liquid Energy® and Screamin’ Energy Max Hit®. As they fall around the patrons of Coachella I see people bending over to pick it up and I know that my eventful day is coming to an end but I’m not sad about it, I feel accomplished with everything I had been through and done. We walk out as They are playing their final songs to avoid being herded out like cattle at the very end, with the music and crowd ringing lively behind us and the ferris-wheel as the beacon to our exit, we bid a fond farewell to the Coachella Music and Arts festival. Thank you to the fine festival goers from all across the globe for the feedback on our Vital4U® products, See you in 2013 thank you for the memories.

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