The glamorous Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival began last weekend and is going into its second weekend, which means a lot of drugs and alcohol to go around, but for people not interested in getting wasted or high, they are not alone.
Within the 20 years of Coachella’s existence, Soberchella a small but rapidly growing sober community at the festival- has been around for 10 of the last. This year will mark the 10th anniversary.
The star-filled line up includes performances by Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, Janelle Monáe, 1975, Kid Cudi, Khalid, Aphex Twin, Weezer, and more.
The community known as Soberchella was co-founded by Joseph G. ten years ago along with his partners. They usually lead the meetings but this year will pass the torch to a group of volunteers to carry on Soberchella’s mission. They hope to provide sober support and fellowship for festivalgoers.
“People are so grateful to find us before they arrive,” Joey W of Los Angeles, a new member of this years Soberchella team, this will be her third year at Soberchella.
“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,” she continued. “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.”
Joey W is now ten years sober and believes it is her duty to get the sober community back together. “It was starting to stagger, and I just want to revitalize it and try and make it thrive into the next decade,” she stated.
Joey W started by contacting outreach efforts and getting the word out to meetings and support groups worldwide. “We wanted to beef up the outreach and let AA/NA and all other 12-step programs know we’re here,” she explained.
Soberchella is usually known for its noon meetings, but the team announced that there would be additional meetings at multiple locations throughout the festival. If people are stilling struggling to attend a meeting they are also providing information on meetings and support outside the festival.
“We also have helped people connect out-of-town travelers with other sober people for meetings in Vegas, LA, and the desert,” claims Joey W. “One of our Soberchellians’ wife got sick, and he gifted his tickets to another member on our GroupMe Chain who wasn’t able to afford tickets. And they had never met in person. How cool is that?”
She” hopes it has helped someone stay sober another day.”
Soberchella has one shared goal: to listen to good music, have a good time, and to do it all while maintaining sobriety. Visit Soberchella.com.
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