During Coachella 2018 (a.k.a BeyChella), Hailey Bieber made headlines for her perfectly curated festival fit. During weekend one of Coachella 2024, Bieber made headlines for putting a joint in her viral Rhode cell phone case.

Bieber’s transformation is emblematic of this year’s Coachella vibe: messy, chaotic, fun, and—for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic—relevant.

Of course, Bieber and all the other girls still brought their A-game fashion wise, and the festival itself has not changed in any meaningful way. It’s the vibe that has shifted, and honestly, thank God.

Just look at everything that happened during week one. Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce are just running around hand in hand, going to shows, making out, and chilling. Like, I know her bodyguard is there, but have we ever seen Blondie look so free? She’s wearing backward baseball hat! She’s taking photos with Teresa from RHONJ!!! He’s playing air guitar with one hand and holding on to her with the other! He’s lifting her up in the air, homecoming queen style!

But even if Traylor didn’t grace us all with enough content to feast on for a millennia, we would have enough empirical evidence to declare that Coachella Is Back. There’s Bieber, posting her phone case pic. There’s her husband, Justin, rocking out to Ice Spice and hopping onstage to casually perform with Tems. There’s Billie Eilish making out with YouTuber Quenlin Blackwell and Evan Peters making out with a ~mystery woman~ to Lana Del Rey.

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What do these things all have in common? They are fun! They are carefree! They are—and this is important—apparently noncurated.

Also, the performances this year have a certain…energy. Let’s start with Renee Rapp, whose entire set was one viral moment after another. To start, she brought out the cast of the seminal lesbian pop culture touchstone The L Word to introduce her, which is just honestly inspired. Then she brought out Kesha to perform “TikTok”—and gave her the space to correct the record on a certain alleged criminal.

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