I know this announcement is strange, as we are not a music nor live show blog, but bear with me whilst I explain. The weekend I spent at Coachella in 2010 was one of the most fun weekends I had during all of college/my entire life, and even if you do not choose to go to Coachella 2013, I do think you should check out a music festival at some point this year. Trust me.

But first, a little info on Coachella: the lineup, which is always heavily anticipated, was announced late last evening on their official Twitter. For the second year in a row, it will be split into two weekends: April 12 – 14 and April 19 – 21, and festival passes — going on sale next Tuesday — generally sell out super fast. This is the 14th annual festival and will be held as per usual in Indio, California, i.e. one of the most absurdly hot places to exist during the day for people like me who grew up with rain and clouds and creepily pale skim milk-blue skin. So, if you do opt for Coachella this year, bring some goddamn sunscreen. Bring sunscreen to any of ’em. Actually, just wear SPF most days of the year.

Okay, now that that’s out the way, I can gush as to why you should go to a music festival in a few brief overly thought-out reasons:

  • It’s a cheap(ish) vacation: Granted, it’s not super cheap if you aren’t on the West Coast to go, as plane fares can get pricy, but with the use of websites like Kayak, Adioso and Priceline, I’ve never had issues flying from the East Coast for a relatively high cost. And once you get there, you can buy your own food and make it, thus decreasing one of the more expensive aspects of vacationing. It’s certainly less expensive than traveling to another country or taking a lengthy road trip or staying in lots of hotels, so I’m a pretty big fan.
  • It’s romantic: If you and the person you’re seeing enjoy music, it’s an amazing place to get to hang out and appreciate the bands you both love together in a fantastic, unique way. When I was at Coachella a few years back, I had just started seeing my now-ex-boyfriend. He was the only person who ran with me for like five minutes across the festival because I heard Jonsi’s voice and freaked out excitedly. We held hands while sprinting, then danced together like idiots and smiled for hours; it was so lovely, and a really lovely way to start off our relationship. As for established couples, it’s an awesome way to just plain have fun and romantic time while you see musicians you two may have previously bonded over.
  • It’s great for groups: If you’re looking to have some sort of reunion with your friends, this is such a perfect option. About 16 of my friends and I traveled as a group and stayed together each night, as well as met up with several others in different friends who came in other groups. Even though all of us were focused on our busy lives and had been sort of unable to get everyone together for several months, everybody felt so close after getting to spend all that free time together finally.
  • There’s lots of art: The year I went, there was this giant crane — like, a few stories high, if I recall. It was absolutely beautiful and whenever our group would meet at night, we found this huge, lit-up crane to meet underneath. There’s tons of other sculpture art at music festivals like Burning Man, too, so if you’re interested in that sort of thing, maybe you’d enjoy going for that reason as well as music.
  • You will exercise: This is a silly reason, but it is a pretty snazzy one nonetheless. I felt so bizarrely healthy after Coachella — exhausted, but healthy — because I spent an entire weekend dancing and running around and trying to only eat decent food so I could stay energetic for each show.
  • You will see hilarious things: I watched a guy sneak in over a fence, then get chased for about a quarter of a mile by four police officers on horseback while hundreds of people realizing the situation cheered him on. It was awesome. Festivals attract weird, fun, crazy characters and it can be more entertaining to see those folks at an event (as opposed to, say, spontaneously finding their way into your closed party).
  • Meeting people is great: Not only did I get a chance to hang out with friends of friends whom I had always wanted to get to know but never really had the chance, I also got to meet a bunch of awesome strangers, some of whom I still talk to regularly and have met up with while traveling. Something about lots of live music and pizza and sunburns make for warm, happy people who feel friendly towards others (usually, though there are a ton of crazies, too, so still be cautious)).
  • Wu-Tang Clan: Just saying.

I know I sound all ~*music festival pretentious*~ but I swear, I’m not; I’ve really only been to a few with large gaps in between each. I don’t know a whole lot about about music, but I do know that they can be a whole lot of fun to a huge variety of people. So, if you like the lineup for Coachella and can go, I say go. If you like Sasquatch or any of the others, try to go to those. Or do what I’ll do if you can’t get tickets: make a big playlist, have a dance party and hang out with the friends you would’ve brought anyway.

P.S. But if you do go to Coachella and so do I, we can high five. This may actually deter you, but I figured I’d throw that out there.

Photo: Coachella’s Twitter