Every Coachella stereotype you’ll meet this weekend

If you don’t know them, you are one

Well, it’s that time of year again. Coachella is upon us. With Weekend One done and Weekend Two quickly approaching, our Instagram feeds are chalk full of reminiscent “missing you already’s” and anticipatory “see you soon’s.”

In case you’re unfamiliar, The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival takes place two weekends out of every year at The Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. The once green and lush 78-acre field is quickly transformed into the Dust Bowl by the footprints of about 100,000 festival-goers each weekend. (The total population of Indio is only about 84,000. Coachella HAS to be a fire hazard.) Upon arrival, you may be thinking, “What is this, the Grapes of Wrath? Steinbeck, where you at?” But don’t worry, he’s dead; you’re just at Coachella.

The festival’s grand total of nearly 200,000 attendees ensures that any one Coachiller is bound to encounter people from all walks of life. The crowd ranges from “Excuse me, where are your parents?” to “Sir, can you even still hear?” and includes everything else in between.

Despite the massive range of Coachella-fellas, anyone who goes to Coachella will inevitably run into several distinct types of people. Here is a list of the 16 people you will undoubtedly encounter at Coachella:

The Girl Who Dances All Over You

Now, listen. I’m all about feeling the music and letting your freak flag fly, but I would prefer if your flag wasn’t constantly flying in my face. I’m a reasonable person. I understand that when you try to shove thousands of people into a small, concentrated area, bumping into each other is inevitable. But there is a difference between occasionally brushing against people’s arms and continually and unapologetically jumping on their toes/whipping your hair in their faces/jamming your backpack into their stomachs.

This girl clearly does not believe in “personal space” and will show no remorse for her invasion so long as she is having a great time, even if it comes at your expense. This girl is the worst. Try as I might to ignore her, this girl usually forces me to unleash my primitive instincts and fight back until I win. Sorry, girl.

I may be smiling, but I am actually about to kill this dancing mom in front of me.

The Girl Who Doesn’t Dance at All

In stark contrast to the last girl, this is the girl who literally doesn’t dance at all. She just stands there. Motionless. Is she sleeping standing up? Is she trying to figure out the square root of pi? Who knows. But it looks like she sure as hell isn’t having fun.

I’m not expecting her to do anything crazy…even a simple bob of the head would suffice. Isn’t it harder to stand still than to just let your body naturally groove to the beat? LET YOUR BODY LIVE. When you see this girl, don’t let her kill your vibe. Keep groovin.

The Dude Who Records the Whole Set

Ugh, this dude. This is the dude who pulls out his phone the second the music starts and does not stop recording until the second it ends. Why, dude, why? Don’t you want to just enjoy the LIVE music? Doesn’t your arm get tired? Doesn’t the back of your neck feel the eye daggers I’m sending you for blocking my view?

We like how @majorlazer roll #TBT

A photo posted by @coachella on Mar 10, 2016 at 3:49pm PST

I’ll admit, I used to be like this dude. I used to think I needed to record every minute of Coachella so that I could remember it in the future. But I soon realized that trying to digitally capture something for Future you to look back on (which Future you probably never will), limits Present you’s actual experience of the moment. When you record everything, you’re not letting yourself fully experience and enjoy the set. You’re more focused on watching the performance through your phone screen than on letting yourself be engaged, sing along, and enjoy the moment. Trust me, your memory will do the performance better justice than your shitty camera quality.

The Squeeze-Paster

This person comes in two forms. There is the Polite Squeeze-Paster who gently touches your shoulder to prepare you for his or her arrival and profusely apologizes for disturbing you while attempting to wade through the crowd. I appreciate this person. I am this person. If only we all were.

But alas, there is also the Aggressive Squeeze-Paster (ASP). The ASP seems to be incredibly bothered by the fact that you physically exist and proceeds to aggressively break through you like a game of Red-Rover. It is as if this person wants to punish you for unknowingly being in his or her way. The Aggressive Squeeze-Paster seems to forget you are a living human being, but don’t let this person undermine your worth. Keep existing!

The Brick Wall

On the other hand, when you do find yourself trying to maneuver through a dense crowd, you might also encounter The Brick Wall. This person literally refuses to let you move past him or her. The Brick Wall will not make eye contact with you and will ignore any and all of your apologetic pleads to let you through. It is almost as if he or she is pretending you do not exist.

But once you try to squeeze past Brick Walls, they stand strong and unbreakable. “Not today,” their firmly planted feet say. Did Trump plant you here? This person ultimately forces you to transition into an Aggressive Squeeze-Paster and karate kid your way out of there. Come on, (wo)man. Just swallow your pride and step aside for two seconds so I don’t have to wax-on, wax-off your face.

The Guardian Angel

I know I’ve been throwing a lot of shade at the annoying Coachella-goers, but I want to dedicate number 6 on this list to those good and kind folk that I hope everyone encounters. Your Coachella Guardian Angels. These people manifest themselves in many ways. Maybe it’s the guy that protects you from the spontaneous mosh pit that breaks out at Mr. Carmack. Maybe it’s the girl that gives you some of her water when you’re feeling light-headed. Maybe it’s the couple that flaps their majestic fold-out fans in your direction. Whoever your Guardian Angels may be, be grateful for them and thank them. They might make you hate people a little less.

Not all heroes wear capes. #GivesYouWings

A photo posted by @coachella on Apr 20, 2016 at 9:12am PDT

The Instagrammer

Need I say more? This is the girl who cares more about getting a cute Instagram than actually seeing any artists. You can usually spot this girl by her lavish yet impractical outfit. Heels and a long, skin tight dress? That cannot be comfortable. There’s no way you can jump around in that! But I guess the Instagrammer doesn’t have to worry about jumping around when all her time is consumed with finding the right camera angle. This girl knows exactly what picture she wants and will stop at nothing to get it. She will probably caption her Instagram with a Guns N’ Roses lyric that she looked up on the internet. #ParadiseCity.

.@sarah3llen is taking over our Snapchat account, add coachellasnaps to follow along.

A photo posted by @coachella on Apr 17, 2015 at 4:51pm PDT

Disclaimer: of course, I am not referring to anyone who posts an Instagram from the weekend. We all do it. It’s a fun time in a cool place, duh you can document it! I’m talking about the people who go to Coachella and seem to care more about the pictures than the lineup. Did you just pay 400 dollars for 400 likes? #worthit

The “Not-So-Pro” Pronouner

This is the person who is clearly unfamiliar with the artists and consequently refers to them using incorrect pronouns. You might find this person referring to Jack Ü as “him” or The Weeknd as “them.” I’m not expecting everyone to know everyone…I sure as hell don’t. But rather than pretending to be a “big fan” and getting caught, maybe just admit that you don’t know him/her/them. Or just omit pronouns altogether.

The Girl Who Looks Perfect All Day (A.K.A. The Enigma)

I don’t understand this girl. This is the girl who looks the same when she enters the festival in the morning as when she leaves twelve hours later. She probably looks even better. HOW, GIRL, HOW?

You may be thinking, “well maybe she’s also the Instagrammer and doesn’t exert any energy all day.” But, my dear friends, this is not always the case. I’ve spied with my little eyes the girl who dances her heart out in a crowded tent on a hot day, yet while the rest of us are wiping bullets of sweat off our tomato blushed faces and putting our hair into the “you win, Sahara tent” buns like NORMAL PEOPLE, this girl still looks flawless. There is not a drop of sweat on her perfectly contoured face. Her eyeliner is not smeared even slightly. Not a single hair is out of place. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? This girl is an enigma, and while I know I will never be her, I feel lucky to have seen her in my lifetime.

The Blocker

Oh, The Blocker. The Blocker also comes in many forms, but all are connected by one common theme: they completely block your view of the stage.  The Blocker “makes a better door than a window,” as my dad would say. I will discuss what I believe to be the three most distinct sub-categories of The Blocker below.

Blocker 1: The Tall Guy that Stands Right in Front of You.

Do you see this man’s head? I know I could.

Under normal circumstances, I appreciate tall men. I wish there were more of them. But at Coachella, tall men are the enemy. You may think you have the perfect spot with the perfect view of the stage. But don’t get your hopes up too soon. Nine times out of ten, a giant creature will come out of nowhere and decide to drop his anchor right in front of you–completely blocking your view and crushing your dreams. Do you relent and find a new spot, or do you do you stubbornly stay put and passive aggressively despise his stature? The choice is yours.

Blocker 2: The Girl on Shoulders

Once again, you may think you have a prime viewing spot, but then a dude in front of you kindly decides to hoist a cute girl on his shoulders thereby creating a giant superhuman. “Noooo,” I scream internally as the pair slowly rises from the ashes, forcing me to kiss my lane of sight goodbye. Luckily, this superhuman is not invincible and can usually only last for one song. But still. Wah.

Blocker 3: The Dude That Holds Up a Bizarre Object.

Maybe it’s an inflatable alligator. Maybe it’s a giant cardboard cut out of someone’s face. Maybe it’s a large table umbrella. (I literally witnessed this.) Whatever it is, it’s just big enough to make finding the artist nearly impossible. Put ’em down guys, just put ’em down.

AND WORST OF ALL, is the triple threat. If a tall guy stands in front of you and puts a girl on his shoulders who proceeds to wave around a big object, just sit down honestly.

The Coachella Crush

Aw, the Coachella Crush. This is the cute guy or girl you spot across the crowd. Maybe you just admire these beauts from afar, or maybe your eyes meet and they flash you a smile and your heart starts to beat louder than the bass in the Sahara tent. You’ll never forget your first Coachella Crush. Until the set is over and you go find a new one.

Nothing but love on day 3

A photo posted by @coachella on Apr 12, 2015 at 2:33pm PDT

The Coachella Best Friend

This is the person that you just happen to meet somewhere, whether in the crowd, in line for water, or laying in the grass digesting your $13 chicken strips, and he or she turns out to be the best person ever. You randomly start talking and immediately realize that this person is super cool and the next thing you know you’re exchanging Instagram handles, Snapchat usernames, and friendship bracelets. Your Coachella Best Friend reminds you that meeting new people can be fun. Shout out to all the Coachella Besties out there.

All we need is somebody to lean on

A photo posted by @coachella on Mar 19, 2016 at 12:56pm PDT

The “Is that a Celebrity?”

This is the person that you think is a celebrity but probably isn’t. You may just be so determined to see a famous person that you convince yourself that any random stranger is Vanessa Hudgens (@me).  But, maybe it really is an ambiguous celebrity from the Disney Channel. Hey, celebs are people too. They just wear wristbands labelling them as more important than you.


The Guy Who Tries to Squeeze Past You Right Before the Drop

You know this guy. The music is building and your adrenaline is pumping as you anticipate the crazy drop that’s about to go down…until your vibe is completely killed by the guy who thinks that now is the opportune time to try and weave through the crowd. Really, guy? Now? You think now is the best time? Just, please stop…but not right in front of me.

The Warm Up ⚡️

A photo posted by The Chainsmokers (@thechainsmokers) on Apr 20, 2016 at 9:47am PDT

The Dude Who Tries to Reunite with His Friends in a Big Crowd

It’s the end of the night and nearly all of Coachella is gathering at the main stage for the last headlining set. There is no end to the crowd in sight. Yet you will undoubtedly encounter that one dude plugging his ear with one hand and screaming into his phone with the other as he hopelessly tries to direct his friends to his location–inevitably to no avail. You might hear this dude say something like, “I’m waving my hand, do you see me??” or “I can’t hear you, speak louder!” But despite the seemingly obvious improbability of a successful reunion, this guy will naively and desperately continue to shout out his coordinates like a game of battle ship. IT’S A MISS, DUDE. IT’S A MISS. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO FIND EACH OTHER. Just meet at the ferris wheel. Goodnight.

I think I see you.

A photo posted by @coachella on Apr 19, 2015 at 9:21pm PDT

The Druggie

You’ll meet a lot of these. They’re high on life and a lot of other things.

Are you telling me this man is not on drugs?

Well, that’s all I got for ya. While I’m sure you will run into plenty of other types of people at Coachella, I can guarantee that you will come across the above 16 at one point or another. So with that, have fun! Friends don’t let friends wear flower crowns. Peace out.

UC Santa Barbara