04/17/2013 12:04 pm ET Updated Jun 17, 2013

Coachella, Week Two: How to Fake Your Way Through


By Julie Miller


Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

After what seemed like a really cool weekend in Indio, California--as evidenced by the deluge of Instagrams, Twitpics, and Facebook photos depicting what looked like an Urban Outfitters-employee retreat in the desert--the first weekend of the Coachella music festival has drawn to a close. Rather than hear all of your Coachella-returning co-workers go on and on about how much you missed this weekend, you may be tempted to fib--claiming that you scored a last-minute ticket, packed a wardrobe based on a hastily constructed Nicole Richie inspiration board, and made the trek West. In the spirit of this artful lie, we give you some pointers on how you can make it seem as though you didn't choose to safely distance yourself from the hipster melee this weekend, finish up your taxes, and chill out on what V.F. intern Suzy refers to as your own private Couchella. (Not that that would be a bad thing!)

Look more hungover than you actually are. In theory, you should have prepared for this yesterday by day-drinking to the Wu-Tang Clan while a friend repeatedly tried to perfect a fisheye-lens photo of you two jamming out--but a faux-migraine and generally slow responses will do. Smeared makeup and neon wristbands crafted out of electrical tape are a nice detail.

The more your anecdotes sound like an acid dream, the more realistic they will appear. Case in point: shooting paint-covered tennis balls at a pool party where Katy Perry was petting an alligator while wearing a matching Salvador Dalí-emblazoned skirt and bikini top and other guests were eating Patron popsicles while getting a complimentary mani/pedi and a guy nicknamed DJ Mom Jeans played music was apparently a very real Coachella option.

Debrief yourself on the music aspect of the festival with concert recaps. Refer to Rolling Stone for thoughtful reviews of many of Coachella's musical acts. If you'd prefer a crash course, look no further than Danny Devito's Twitter feed, which offers more utilitarian recaps of the concerts. No-nonsense examples: "Blur cool," "Grizzley Bear great," "Sigur Ross sounding so good." Pro tip: If asked about a band you have never heard of, just say that you must have been at another stage or at the Katy Perry/alligator party during that one.

Prepare a viable excuse for why you failed to Tweet, Instagram, text, or Facebook update from the festival. Some options:

  • "I can't really go into detail considering that this is a place of work, but let's just say that considering the substances I was using, I did not trust myself enough to be carrying my phone."
  • "I was in line at an organic taco truck and someone in cut-off jean shorts, really trendy sandals, and a flower crown stole it."
  • "I don't get service in arid climates."

"Don't even get me started on that wind storm." Heavy gusts of wind on Sunday whipped sand and festival-related debris at the faces of concertgoers at 37 m.p.h. As someone who was at the festival, this totally sucked, you will tell co-workers. By the end of the night, you totally looked like a Les Mis extra. (Those tattered jean shorts did not help.) Next year, you're going to bring a semi-ironic fanny pack along exclusively for bandannas.

Prepare other talking points. Some suggestions:
  • "Did you see Clint Eastwood?"
  • "Kind of a bummer that there were no creepy holograms of dead rap artists this year. Is Coachella downsizing or something?"
  • "How about that huge Ferris wheel?"

Condescend to fellow homebound co-workers by saying how much fun they missed out on. Obviously.

In the event that you are found out: Mutter something about how no one in their right mind would willingly camp out for three days in a sand-storm environment where they have to pay $10 to shower.

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