Coachella 2011 – Betsy’s Moments to Remember

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By KCRW Social Media host, Betsy Moyer

Crowds are tough and the sun isn’t always kind – but there is something magical about the spectacle that is Coachella. Here were my moments to remember.

The Bike Rides
How you lodge in the desert makes all the difference. I very luckily got a spot in a great rental home in La Quinta. It was about 4 miles from the venue, so after mornings filled w/ big group breakfasts and early afternoon bbqs by the pool, we’d hit the road on our bikes to the park! Some of my favorite moments were cutting through the desert winds on the beach cruiser. I’ve never camped at Coachella, or stayed in one of the Palm Springs hotels that is banging super hipster cool pool parties… maybe next year! But I can recommend renting and biking.

Sleigh Bells

Ummm. Okay. This show was powerful and for that it deserves mention. While my brother behind me loved it with all he had in him, I was miserable. The over-indulgent POW POWS of sounds, homegirl frontwoman’s shrilly scream, and the powerfully hedonistic fun beat – all multiplied by an unorthodox number of decibels is bound to sweep you off your feet with extreme reaction, one way or another. I literally cried tears out of my eyes b/c of the power of the crowd and the stage presence. I’m glad I was there… I don’t need to see Sleigh Bells perform live ever again. I strongly encourage you to check them out.

Mumford & Sons
Coachella is so awesome when you love the bands that you are fighting to see. There is nothing that is deniable about the raw talent of these boys with their strings and the power of the kick drum. We screamed and jumped and sang along right in the middle of the crowd and it felt refreshing and alive. I don’t know what you call this genre of music, but this is hilarious and Eric J. Lawrence will surely appreciate it.

Arcade Fire
I took this show in from the far left corner of VIP where I joined my favorite Mario Cotto (and his bro for Cottochella). It was the perfect vantage point to take in the majesty that was hundreds of balloons dropping on the crowd from above. The LED lights inside the balloons danced with color and it was such a sight.  (How’d they do that??) You gotta check the video, I can’t do it justice w/ words!

Alex Espinoza


Alex is a close friend and DJ here in LA got to spin in a spot next to the stages that Kanye, KOL & Arcade Fire performed on as part of the people-powered ENERGY FACTOR DJ Mixer by Global Inheritance. By people-powered I mean that Alex’s friends came out to support his set by riding hamster wheels, stationary bikes, swings and see-saws. All of the energy generated actually powers the DJ equipment. Cool concept huh!? I like the way it makes you think about earning your tunes! Check out Alex.

Youtube Live Coverage
Lastly, I read that Wrigley’s gum spent over $120,000 a day in ad revenue to sponsor the YouTube live streams of Coachella acts on three channels via YouTube. It was such a positive experience, allowing people world-wide to bring Coachella right into their homes. I skipped day 3 – got home Sunday evening and tuned right in for some Chromeo. After having just arrived home with the desert sweat and sunburn still fresh, I’ll admit – I really appreciated being able to take it in this way! You can check out some of the performances that they cut out here: