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Ameyaw Says

What a wow! My troubled journey to Coachella



Earlier this year I decided to experience new things, like attending a global music and arts festival. I therefore settled with South By Southwest (SXSW) after it was announced that some Ghanaian acts would showcase as part of the festival’s African offering. 

Ameyaw Debrah at Coachella 2019
I am ready for Coachella!!!

I applied for SXSW online, a process that seemed quite simple. After that, I also applied for Coachella, which was a bit sterner. Anyway, I gave both a shot and soon got confirmation for SXSW. The festival was from March 8 to 17, but after looking for accommodation online, it was going to be too expensive to attend the full two-weeks, so I decided to do just the last weekend of the festival. Read my experience from SXSW here.

Just as I was leaving Austin after SXSW, I receive two emails from Coachella. One said my application for Weekend 1 (April 12-14) had been denied and the other said my application for Weekend 2 (April 19-21) had been approved, and that in April, I would get more details on my accreditation.  

So I decided to extend my stay in the USA, which was originally scheduled to end on April 1 (yes April Fool’s Day). I later then booked my flight after searching online for best flight to the Coachella region. I settled with Palm Spring’s airport as my point of entry.

With flight sorted out, the next thing to consider was accommodation. Again I looked for the best option (and of course the best price) online and settled for Shadow Hills RV Resort. After booking it, I received an email saying the booking didn’t come with a tent. I got worried because I thought I had booked a hotel with a room and a bed. 

I immediately emailed the Resort back with questions about my reservation. I soon realized i had essential booked for a space for a recreational van and nothing more.  I made it clear to them that I didn’t know that was what I was booking and they offered to add a tent to it for an extra charge so I could use for the four nights in that region.

Hmm about the four nights, although I was going to fly out of New Jersey on Friday for the festival, which starts Friday to Sunday, in my rush to grab a last minute deal on the flight, I didn’t notice my return flight would be on the Tuesday instead of my preferred Monday (right after the festival). So that meant that when booking accommodation I needed one that would cover that duration. 

Anyway back to the Shadow Hills RV Resort dilemma! I told the Resort to cancel my booking and pleaded for no cancellation fee directly and through After some few days it was canceled accordingly and I soon started looking for a new hotel.  Sadly due to the closeness of my reservation date and of course the obvious fact that Coachella festival was coming to town, the best price I could find was still over $250 a night, even for a motel like Ruta which usually charges as low as $70 a night (according to my search online).  Anyway my expenses went up now compared to what I had with RV Resort. In fact I soon regretted not taking the tent option, since indeed the best of Coachella is enjoyed in tents. It would have been a totally new experience for me.

A few days later a received an email to attend the MIXX Party Cruise, which has been servicing New York City for over twenty years with our luxury private yacht charters. The invitation was for MIXX Party Cruise’s first premiere night club on the water, along with free drinks and food and the chance to party with some of the city’s hottest celebrity names.   The VIP party yachts boasts an impressive modern night club feel, with incredible views of the city and we would coast along the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and the iconic New York City skyline.

Of course immediately showed interest at this cool opportunity to break into the American influencer space. I later checked the date and noticed that it was on a day before my return from Coachella. Shoot!!! 

I really wanted to attend the cruise in New York so I started contemplating on changing my return flight from Palm Springs to a day early. It would have cost a little under $200 to do that when I first contemplated it. But I was like… “no let me wait till I get confirmation from MIXX Party Cruise before I make any changes to my flight. 

Few days later received another email from MIXX Party Cruise, asking me to do final registration and confirmation online. Well i did, and now started looking for a solution to my flight. But this time, the prices had gone up. After paying to change my date to Ghana and booking a two-way ticket to Palm Springs, my travel budget had been depleted! Fortunately for me, a good friend of mine offered to do the change for me and he paid over $500. Suddenly, leaving my last night at the motel unused didn’t seem too painful, because I was looking forward to more fun in New York. 

Sadly just before boarding my flight to Palm Springs, I received an email from the cruise saying that the event had been cancelled. Phew!

Anyway I’m here at Coachella now and it better rock my socks! I hope it is worth all the plenty wahala and the terrible overpriced Ruta Motel, I am staying in.