Turns out Coachella at our age is quite a bit harder than it was in our youth! Being old farts now, we booked one of their travel packages so we could stay in a hotel with actual beds and A/C, took the (very nice) shuttle buses, and generally made it a point to avoid the heat of the day. Pearl even rented a locker to hold jackets and stuff for late at night when it cooled off.
Compared to our last experience (8 years ago), Coachella now is massive and very well organized. Eight different shuttle bus lines in a massive bus area with suitable crowd control, a large security checkpoint to handle the crowds, then a half mile walk to the actual festival area with an additional checkpoint (probably for the campers, but effectively a second screening for the shuttle users). Then into a massive entrance area with lockers for rent, t-shirt, record, and sticker sales, and then only beyond that is the main festival areas.
There's now five main stages/tents, all of which are massive. Coachella stage (aka main stage), the Outdoor theater, then the Gobi and Mojave tents, which are the same size this year (huge). Sahara is the last tent, and it's now ginormous at 500x200' and 85' tall (!). Yuma tent is a new addition, a small, A/C'ed tent complete with hardwood floors, while several smaller vendor-promoted tents (Heineken, Sony, etc.) scattered around, not to mention the Do Lab outdoor area. Plus water bottle refill areas, a cell phone charging station/tent, VIP areas, three huge beer/food areas-- this is clearly a more comfortable venue than before, but you'd better bring money to pay for the beer and food because it isn't cheap!
Day 1 was laying on the grass for Metric, who had a surprisingly early set time for such a major act. They did a great job with Help I'm Alive, Breathing Underwater, and Gold Guns Girls as we sat on the grass with earplugs to protect our old ears as all these kids wandered around in the heat. Wandered around after for overpriced garlic crab fries (not bad), tried Baohaus (NYC food truck/restaurant, food was terrible!), and had some awesome tri-tip from the Brazillian BBQ joint. Tried a little Four Tet too, but the Yuma tent was so loud, it was deafening without even going inside (!). Managed to avoid getting run over by the Snail, too. *grins*
Yeah Yeah Yeahs did an amazing set, tried to watch Stone Roses but they were just too awful, heard a little Jurassic 5, but mostly rocked out to Grinderman in the Mojave tent until Blur came on and closed out the night with a rousing rendition of Song 2. The main stage now has ten additional speaker banks behind it to entertain more of the crowd. Absolutely insane. Stumbled to the shuttle bus amid a cloud of dust afterwards, made it back to the hotel where we found the rest of the group, and finally died about... 4am???