This past weekend, one the biggest trending topics in the country was the Indio-based Coachella concert. For two wild days, music’s biggest artists descended upon the desert to perform and unify crowds of all ages. But this last event actually marked an important milestone. 2019 has officially become the 10th anniversary of the “Soberchella” movement.
Over the past decade, Soberchella has been a growing outlet for people in recovery who are attending the shows and want to enjoy the weekend. Sadly concerts are often stigmatized as involving drugs and alcohol, but that does not have to be the case. And as co-founder Joseph G. told TheFix.com, this type of clean desert experience has found a real audience.
“People are so grateful to find us before they arrive,” he explained. “We have a wide variety of Soberchellians, from 70-year-old dancing hippies with 90 days of sobriety who come back a year later still sober, to sober mothers and daughters, ex-gang members, stagehands and Coachella food servers—you name it. People with more than two decades of sobriety down to two days with new perfect strangers and repeat friends, with one thing in common—to have fun and stay sober at Coachella.”
The concept is actually quite simple. Via the Soberchella website, participants have the opportunity to meet for special sober support meetings throughout the two days; uniting like-minded concertgoers and helping to steer them away from temptation. There are also maps for camping destinations and hotels that support the clean lifestyle.
Several concertgoers were also interviewed by The Fix, praising the structure and professionalism of the organizers. Many are repeat Soberchella visitors.
“Coachella is an amazing experience but it can be treacherous ground for a sober person to walk,” 10-year Soberchella veteran Kurt G told the site. “I love live music and I love the excitement and joy it brings me and to the other 99,000 of my newfound friends here on the polo fields.”
Coachella itself continues into the next weekend and you can bet that Soberchella will be in full force as headliners Ariana Grande, Childish Gabmino and Kid Cudi take the stage. The only question that comes to our mind is why a movement like this can’t be enacted for all of the country’s major festivals. Sobriety should never hold you back from enjoying amazing live music and we are incredibly proud to see Soberchella continue to gain such positive exposure 10 years in.