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Banks & Steelz
Photograph: Rozette RagoBanks & Steelz

Banks & Steelz, Phantogram and Little Dragon share their festival experiences, style at Coachella 2017

Written by
Rozette Rago

We spent the first weekend of Coachella checking out fun and eclectic festival outfits and enjoying some great music. In between all that, we also caught up with some of our favorite artists from the lineup to talk about their first festival memories, as well as their personal sartorial style. What would Phantogram wear to Coachella as attendees? Find out more below.

Banks & Steelz

Paul Banks

Paul Banks: "My first festival was as a performer at La Route du Rock in France. It was fun; the first big, professional show I ever did. It was last minute, we filled in for somebody who dropped out. Ten thousand people. We had like an EP out only. Nobody knew us. We had a blast."


RZA: "One of the first festivals I ever went to where I wasn't performing was Coachella. I came here when Kanye went. That was the first time that I actually left my house to go somewhere else where I wasn't performing. It was a great mood with a full moon at night. It was a really great experience for me. It actually inspired me to want to one day play here."

Little Dragon

Yukimi Nagano: "I think it's good to just feel free. It's a good moment to experiment with your clothes. If you feel like you're going to your everyday job and you don't maybe get to wear certain things and be expressive with your clothing, festivals are a good chance to go bananas. Glitter on your boobs and stuff. Whatever makes you happy."

Yukimi Nagano


Sarah Barthel

Sarah Barthel: "Bonnaroo 2005 or 2006 was the first festival I ever went to. One of the coolest experiences of my life. It kind of brought me to a deeper connection with music and I saw Radiohead play In Rainbows and Tom Petty."

Josh Carter

Josh Carter: "The first festival experience I ever had was in New Jersey's Liberty State Park. We saw Animal Collective, Kings of Leon and Radiohead. All Points West. Jay Z filled in for the Beastie Boys and he started off with a 10-minute Beastie Boys medley. I loved it. It was great."

How would you describe your style?

Sarah: "We go for mostly the goth in the summer. We always wear black or white. We like to keep it classic so we don't look dated in 10 years."

Josh: "I'd describe my style as kind of monochromatic, but street culture meets borderline gothic. I wear a lot of blacks and whites, but I'm also into street and skateboard culture. A little bit of hip-hop, a little bit of indie."

Sarah: "Kinda like our music." 

Swet Shop Boys


Heems: "I feel like my first festival experiences were often like Indian cultural festivals in like Queens and Long Island where they burn giant effigies. They have Indian food and cultural dances. A lot of my first cultural experiences were related to the South Asian community, not so much music until later."

Riz MC

Riz MC: "We used to have 'melas,' but they didn't burn giant effigies so much. The South Asian girls would be allowed out to them, but with their families. So it was all about trying to make enough eye contact until they were away from their chaperones so you can go talk to them. It's an interesting combination of the tension in all our identities, about culture and traditionalism."


Redinho: "I'm too old to remember my first festival."

Dreamcar (No Doubt + AFI)

Davey Havok: "The first festival I ever went to was the first ever Lollapalooza in Mountain View. I didn't grow up in festival culture and it was the first one I was ever inclined to go to due to the presence of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addicton. However, at the time, I didn't know Nine Inch Nails. I'd barely heard them, but I was sold after that night. It was actually one of the best shows that I'd ever been to."


"My first festival was actually Coachella three years ago so it's really exciting to be back. It was really fun."


Patrick Riley: "Coachella was actually my first festival experience as an attendee 13 years ago. I was in high school and it was the second year they ever did Coachella. Best time of my life."

Alaina Moore: "We were both there at the same year, but we didn't meet each other. Now we get to come back and play it together."

Patrick: "We literally drove out from Colorado separately to go see Radiohead."


"In 1995, I went to the Tibetan Freedom Festival, which was in Golden Gate Park. It might have been 1996. I saw A Tribe Called Quest and the Beastie Boys. It was awesome. It's still probably my most fun festival memory."


How would you describe your style?

Matthew Flegel: "Like shitty art that no one cares about and even when we die, still no one's gonna care about it."

Glass Animals

Edmund Irwin-Singer

Edmund Irwin-Singer: "My first was Redding Festival, which is in England, and it's really near Oxford. It's quite a big festival. I was 16 and it was mind-blowing and scary. I saw a lot of indie bands like Bloc Party, LCD Soundsystem and the Arctic Monkeys. We're actually playing at Redding this year on the stage that I saw the first time I went. So it's going to be cool and totally weird."

How would you describe your style?

Irwin-Singer: "Drew's style is 'copy whatever Ed wears.'"

Drew MacFarlane

Drew MacFarlane: "There's a tiny, tiny music festival outside of Oxford called 'Truck Music Festival', which is run by an independent record store. The only band I ever remember seeing was These New Puritans, this cool indie band from the UK."

What would you wear as an attendee of Coachella?

MacFarlane: "I'd definitely wear denim overalls with nothing else underneath. Very baggy, very breezy."


Emily Kokal: "I went to the Big Day Out in Sydney, Australia, in 2000. I was really young. I remember PJ Harvey and Queens of the Stone Age played. It was pretty amazing for a first big festival. The moment that your parents let you go with a friend and you finally feel like an adult is something really special."


Car Seat Headrest

"When I was doing this solo back in Williamsburg, Virginia, I went out and did a festival in Virginia Beach somewhere. I hadn't really planned it and I didn't even realize I was booked until like the day before. It was just me, a solo act, and I prepared like 45 minutes and then they cut my set down to 20 minutes because they were running late. I spent the night with the organizer of the festival who just had a big loft that he let me stay in. It was a funny first experience."

How would you describe your style?

"Currently, I'm going for a reinvention of the James Brown look. But I think I'm just kinda sweaty and gross at the moment."


"We went to a Christian music festival because it was the only one our parents would let us go to."

How would you describe your style?

"A little bit schizophrenic, to be honest."


What would you wear as an attendee of Coachella?

Tom Ogden: "Dark colored jeans, so if it gets dirty you're still covered. I'd wear a shirt with a few buttons open. If it gets cold, button 'em all up."

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