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The magic of Coachella

SIENA YATES
Last updated 11:28 14/04/2014
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COACHELLA MAGIC: A concertgoer dances during the performance by Kid Cudi

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Coachella.

It's a legendary name in the music world.

So much so that I had to buy my tickets at 5am, hunched over a laptop in the dark to be here in the Colorado desert, nearly a year later.

Day-long flights, 40 degree Celsius days, long walks in sandstorms, exhaustion, living off corn dogs, egg rolls and gummi bears - it's all worth it to be right here.

More legendary names flock to this festival - anyone and everyone from Outkast to Motorhead make the lineup, and anyone could drop in unexpectedly.

In the past two days, surprise guests have included Janelle Monae, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z and Beyonce, Snoop Dogg, P Diddy, and Gwen Stefani.

It's easy to run into movie stars, pop stars and other A-List celebrities just walking around the festival grounds but stranger than that is just how many Kiwis you find out here.

We seem drawn to each other, catching the accent on the wind and following it to a piece of home, we flock to see Lorde, we count down to see the Naked and Famous and we reminisce and sing songs from home.

It's a far cry from the Laneways and Big Days Out we're used to, with six main stages, and more hiding away in tents and corners with a constant stream of massive names on every one at all times of the day and night - it's a lot to keep up with.

But when you can watch a New Zealand pop act, a noise pop act, a hip-hop act and a rap act from a 20-year-old album on the same stage one after the other there's really no place else I'd rather be.

And if that weren't enough, there's food stalls, makeup stations, art and sculptures, games and attractions and the general festival atmosphere of being here.

Kiwi favourites, the Naked and Famous take to the main Coachella stage on the final day in the desert, along with superstars Calvin Harris, Beck and Arcade Fire, who just headlined Big Day Out in Auckland.

Yes, the desert is tough going, but it's all worth it to experience the magic of Coachella- and that may sound cheesy and lame, but even if you just catch up online (www.coachella.com), you'll get a taste of it.

And even spitting sand out from between my teeth, I want more.

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