Inside Coachella's Insane Drug Culture

Categories: Coachella

Coachella security guards sometimes pat people down pretty seriously. The trick when you're searching a girl is to tug lightly on her bra wire in the front - which will cause baggies of ecstasy stashed in the cups to drop. But the thoroughness of searches varies widely, and many folks are let through without having their bags examined. Not that the guards stand a fighting chance anyway; from bras that let you smuggle in an entire bottle of wine, to shoes with a pocket where you can hide your weed, the people who want to party will always find a way.

Once inside, you'll see young girls rubbing their gums during Disclosure, boys in the midst of a three-day moon rocks binge pogoing to Calvin Harris, or groups of excited, muscled bros cranking out to Haim. "My friend had a large bag of molly he was dipping from during a set," says the twentysomething. "The bag spilled all over his hand when he was jostled, and the crowd of friends around him immediately began licking his hand like a bunch of crazed lizard people."

At the campgrounds, populated largely by college students (and Marines) with seemingly no concern for their health, things are even crazier. One guy took molly for the first time, and may have also eaten something bad. He didn't drink enough water, and when he woke up the next day he began boozing, and before long was vomiting. He was too nauseous to keep down water at this point, and so a friend advised him to smoke weed. While some of the brightest up-and-coming bands in the world were playing inside the grounds he was doubled over at the campsite.

Yet somehow the festival has been tied to only one other death over the years. There's no telling how things will play out after Truong's death, but until now Coachella has had a good reputation for safety, unlike, say, Electric Daisy Carnival. But anyone who thought the festival wouldn't be rocked by tragedy - and that giant music festivals until the end of time won't continue to be rocked by tragedies - is delusional. 

In fact, that's probably the best word to describe the Coachella Valley every April. It's a strange moment in time when thrill-seeking kids escape suburban ennui by funneling their pre-tax inheritance into the local economy. But that economy and the Coachella Valley itself is, because of its geography, ultimately doomed. Just like its year-round inhabitants, and just like the kids who only want to live while they're alive.  

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33 comments
dirkadurkastan
dirkadurkastan

Where the hell did you get "oft-failing GPS systems"? What a hack piece. This must be the first festival you've been to.

Rob Snyder
Rob Snyder

Sweet cocktail ...first festival is this weekend...

mightymadmaxx
mightymadmaxx

This article is very pretentious, judgmental, and kind of stupid honestly.   It's not a tragedy because kids want to go get fucked up every year, that should be ENCOURAGED.   It's the lack of chemistry knowledge that is the real disaster, not only would they be safer if they just had an education on the shit that they're taking, but it would also help everyone have a better trip, buzz &/or overall experience.   The problem with mixing alcohol with hallucinogens is mostly because alcohol can neutralize the triptamines and you'll kill your own trip..  or taking too many drugs that are CNS depressants or even the simple idea of a (drug safety, first-aid & resuscitation kits) with pamphlets and techniques, water & ativam, etc.  

Samantha Garrett
Samantha Garrett

mixing all of those drugs isn't for them to have fun..obviously being at a festival with their friend isn't enough. they have daddy issues. lol same shit. different erra

Jasen Kennedy
Jasen Kennedy

Because it stopped baby boomers from being successful?

Heatherbelle Anne Farmer
Heatherbelle Anne Farmer

Peter Von Zur Muehlen it's "pure" MDMA. Or it was supposed to be until it got popular...?

Matt Fischer
Matt Fischer

Uhh my perspective on this is if people would actually parent the kids they wouldnt be management issues for the schools. Then every Dr on the face of the planet could stop medicating and addicting the lost generations.

Constance Cafazza
Constance Cafazza

Oh HEAVENS! I know kids will be kids but THESE kids are SO MUCH WORSE than WE were....it's just getting COMPLETELY OUT OF HAND! Bwaaahahh hhaaa ahhahahaaaa hahahaaaa! Some things never change.

Mikey Wagner
Mikey Wagner

Modern reporting is the only thing that makes this story "news".

Chris Hocking
Chris Hocking

Not anything new. 60's had their drug riddled festivals. Same for every generation since then.

Josh Shade
Josh Shade

BiggHarp Castiglia what are they talking about?

Kelle Deyne
Kelle Deyne

Story of many generations.... It's just getting out of hand and these chemicals are a deadly mix.

Lori Fox-Tucker
Lori Fox-Tucker

Hope their families know where they want to be burried..

Elena Withoelter
Elena Withoelter

You kids are insane. I don't think you have any idea what this will do to your mental capacity in the future. Hate to be the Debby Downer but these parties ARE still fun without drugs!

Virginia Superwolf
Virginia Superwolf

Really tired of people using adderall when they don't have ADD / ADHD... douchery and basic bitchery for sure.

Billy Casagrand
Billy Casagrand

Just be careful, I lost a good friend at a young age, his friends took him home laid him in his bed and was found dead the next morning by his mother,

David Kupsky
David Kupsky

Sean O'Halloran this makes me think of you!

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