Yesterday, as I scrolled through the train wreck… not even, the nuclear meltdown that was #FyreFestival, I was overcome with shame for every time I complained the vegetarian options outside of VIP sucked at Coachella. Dan and I survived working the Coachella record store another year and have officially decided not to do it again; we even bought hoodies as a commemorative souvenir. Coachella is an emotionally and physically exhausting event to work, and I’m still getting over my Coachella induced cold. But Coachella overall is an amazing festival that really takes care of its attendees. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes to create a great experience for those that attend the festival, that to complain about any of it just shows the amount of delusion us first world people live in (and I’m super guilty). Anyways, one of the little details you’ve probably never thought about when it comes to festival production is ‘pest’ control. I’ve been to Coachella five times and not once did it occur to me they have an onsite beekeeper to remove hives until I sat down to dinner with him. The Coachella Beekeeper.
Dan and I like to retreat to catering where there is an oasis of iced tea, fruit infused water, and a dessert bar. It also has buffet food for those working in production and have an artist pass, but we don’t get access to that. Anyways, as Dan and I went to catering to rest our weary legs and drink some free cold beverages, I sat down at a table with a friendly looking guy. Since I don’t have permission to use his name, he will be referred to as Mr. B.
Mr. B looked like an old rock dude with shoulder length hair. Out of curiosity and polite dinner conversation I asked what he did for the festival. Mr. B then proceeded to tell me he relocated beehives. I was shocked and excited. My face lit up! We then went on to talk about the dwindling bee population and how he got into bee removal. He grew up in Colorado and started beekeeping at the age of 12. Later, when he moved out to Palm Springs in his early twenties, he was working as a waiter when the opportunity to remove a beehive came up. With the experience he had from his days of beekeeping in Colorado, he attempted to remove the hive and was successful. He immediately saw a business opportunity and never went back to waiting tables again. For the last 30 years, he’s been relocating hives from businesses and buildings to his farm where the hives can thrive in safety.
I loved talking about bees with Mr. B, who had removed at least five different hives from the festival grounds. Coachella bee removal, a logistical element I would have never thought of, but this pro-festival has it on lock. Mr. B also worked Desert Trip, and his eyes lit up when talking about meeting Mick Jagger.
It was an awesome and unexpected interaction. I wasn’t even going to share this story until I read about the Titanic failure of Fyre Festival. Production is not an easy job, and Coachella really runs a tight ship. So this is 1) me sharing about the most interesting man I met at Coachella, 2) a giant apology for ever complaining about anything, 3) a massive thank you to the amazing people that coordinate an experience for 125,000 people.
** p.s. Before anyone makes a comment about Coachella funding hate groups because you saw a viral video. Please see the below comment I made on another friend’s Facebook post.