Coachella: it's all fun and games until a wind storm sweeps dust through the California desert.
The first weekend of the festival—which has a knack for drawing high school students—came to a close with an inconvenient and dirty wind storm that turned face-covering bandanas into the latest fashion statement and made the drive home miserable. Per Reuters, winds were up to around 35 miles per hour Sunday night in Indo.
The headliners for the third and final night, Wu-Tang Clan and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, played on—but not without reference to the conditions. "We didn't expect a motherfuckin' sandstorm," Wu-Tang's RZA said, according to Rolling Stone. And The Press-Enterprise's Veronica Franko noted that Anthony Kiedis from the Chili Peppers told the audience: "I feel like I’m going to go home and throw up a sandbox for my small child." Then Kiedis and Flea proceeded to compare the experience of playing at a music festival in California to Lawrence of Arabia and the Dust Bowl.
Many members of the audience stuck it out, but not without protective gear:
And then, of course, there was the drive home for many—along the dusty Interstate 10 back West to Los Angeles, and it looked positively frightening. The Press-Enterprise's Franko posted video of her experience, which showed drivers on the road keeping their hazard lights on:
Meanwhile, festival-goers posted "be safe" warnings on Twitter:
The winds and dust storm on the 10 freeway are insane. Be careful as you leave the Fest!!! @coachella— HitFix (@HitFix) April 15, 2013
And stories from the road (or just off of it):
Words can't describe the dust storm I drove home through last night. Those at #coachella know.— Brent Brubaker (@brubrew) April 15, 2013
Craaaaap! Me and @lilc24 are stuck in a sand storm on our way home from coachella on the 10 freeway ... Tonight got ugly out there— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) April 15, 2013
Like, Coachella. Dislike, driving home in the middle of the night with a sand/wind storm followed by rain. Home Safe.— RockerRick (@RockerRick) April 15, 2013
Crowds will once again flock to Indio next weekend for another round of the festival, with the same lineup but hopefully a less dusty experience.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.