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Arts and Entertainment

Awesome 65-Year-Old Retiree Raves About Her Solo Trip to Coachella Festival

Photo by coachella via Instagram
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A retiree decided to take a solo trip to the Coachella Music Festival this year just for the hell of it—and she loved it.

Charlotte Rios, 65, is a retired trauma counselor from Palm Desert who wrote about her experience on Weekend 1 for It wasn't that Rios had connection to the music industry or hip offspring who dragged her along. And she didn't know anything about indie rock. She doesn't really explain why she went—except to have an adventure and hear some new bands.

Rios packed up her SmartCar and snagged a great spot at the festival on Thursday (pro festival tip: being retired means never having to ask your boss if you can leave early). Everyone seemed to be entertained by her presence:

Let's establish the setting here; I'm 65, a first-time Coachella attendee with a shock of gray hair and flying solo. These details seemed to be an endless source of fascination to my camp neighbors, who, surprisingly, were very solicitous, and catered to more than my every need.
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She also enjoyed wandering the grounds, riding the ferris wheel and watching birds in the sky. A "young man" gave her a hug one day and she doesn't sound weirded out by it at all.So how was the music? She liked Ximena Sarinana, The Black Keys, Destroyer, Black Lips, First Aid Kits, Arctic Monkeys and the "reggae-folk-political" jams of Jimmy Cliff and Tim Armstrong. She didn't seem too excited about Other Lives or Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, and she says someone should have warned her about The Hives. The top honors went to "The Shins, who blew me away."

We would have loved to have seen her pictures from the festival but her camera died on Friday. She says it was a blessing: "I felt strangely liberated — free — as I immersed myself in music, music, music, with watching people from all over the world as a lovely distraction."

Rios sounds like too much of a natural for this to be her first foray onto the festival scene—even if her last trip was decades ago. She said she would have gone to Weekend 2 in a heartbeat if she had the tickets—but she's considering Stagecoach next year.