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what next after spring break?

What to do after spring break: Coachella edition

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Massive crowds and amazing music are always found at the Coachella music festival in April. When spring break 2011 is done and you’re laying in bed nursing the worlds biggest hangover, two thoughts will likely enter your mind.

1) what the hell was I thinking?! And 2) I can’t believe I have to wait another year for that to happen!

Fear not students! While there is indeed only one spring break per year, plenty of other multi-day parties offer a similar chance to embark upon a journey almost no one remembers.

Coming at the end of April to the desert valley of Palm Springs is one of the music industry’s biggest festivals: Coachella.

Famous for its outstanding music line-up, celebrity sightings and nearly unbearable temperatures with limited shade, Coachella is one of the finest annual musical events in the world.

Recently, the line up for the 2011 edition came out and fans of rap, indie rock or electro/dance music will find several artists they know, and dozens more they don’t.

With roughly 200 artists performing over a three-day period, its impossible to see them all, but festival attendees can check out some of the coolest names in indie music during the afternoon before the big headliners taking the main stage.

Side-note: there are approximately six stages in use at one time! If you do decide to experience this wonderful event, be sure to plan who you want to see each day. A timed set list for each stage is released a few weeks before the festival, so make an itinerary if you want to get the most out of your experience. Otherwise you’ll be running around like a chicken with its head cut off… and that’s no fun when its 108 degrees outside.

For those of you who haven’t heard the line up for this year, it’s quite a doozy!

Friday night will feature Kings of Leon, the Black Keys, Interpol, the Chemical Brothers, Robyn and Cold War Kids.

Making a return to the stage after a long absence due to an extended stay in Crazy Town is Lauryn Hill! She might be a lunatic now (seriously, she makes Amy Winehouse look like a coherent, sophisticated lady), but she will always be the woman who defined R&B during the 90s…we still listen to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill all the time.

Also gracing audiences with their presence over the weekend are Duran Duran (who knew the 80s were back?!), Kanye West (we’re hoping for a surprise duet with Jay-Z!), Arcade Fire, the Strokes, Animal Collective, Erykah Badu, Broken Social Scene, Nas & Damian Marley, Chromeo, Ratatat and Steve Angello.

We’ve been to Coachella twice and we can say without a doubt it’s quite the experience…similar to Woodstock, but it smells better and some parents actually take their children.

That’s not to say this isn’t a party! Au contraire… We still remember seeing Willie Nelson on stage and seeing a nuclear cloud of smoke rising from the fairgrounds.

The best part comes during sunset, when the air begins to cool and a reddish tint bounces off the mountains that surrounded the valley. Once its dark, the party gets going and the headliners perform in front of thousands of delighted fans.

To get the full experience of Coachella, plan on camping overnight, where you can make friends swap war stories of how you got to the front of the stage and brag about the new band you found during the afternoon whilst walking to get a hot dog… Or a beer.