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April 20, 2011

On Coachella, Hipsters And Soccer

It was a wonderful time in the desert. Even with the hipsters.

In case you don’t follow me on Twitter, I was at the Coachella Music Festival over the weekend. That’s why you didn’t hear me whining about the horrible loss to Citeh on the weekend. What I did instead was watch dozens of acts (highlights of the weekend for me included Duck Sauce, Mumford & Sons, Black Keys, Freelance Whales, Suede and Duran Duran) and take dozens of pictures of people wearing soccer jerseys.

Precious Roy, who goes to South by Southwest every year, and I have discussed the hipster soccer jersey phenomenon. I wondered aloud if I would see more or less this year.

To describe my weekend at Coachella in a soccer context, I provide a photo gallery below, as well as two anecdotes:

On Friday, I stood in the Gobi tent, listening to Marina and the Diamonds. I knew them a little, and I wanted to see how they stood up live. Short answer: Better than on CD. I bounced to the music and marveled at Marina’s ability to wear a leather jacket on a night that still was in the 80s. She’s cuter up close than on videos.

After a few songs, it was time to head back over to the main stage for The Black Keys (a set that really sold me on the pair being awesome). I made my way to the edge of the tent and was grabbed by a group of four men.

“Are you a dirty f***ing Manc?” one asked in an unmistakable Liverpudlian accent, including drunken lisp.

“I’m not from there, no, but I’m a longtime supporter,” I said. Obviously, they noticed my 1994 Manchester United shirt (with Sharp on the front). My first proper United shirt.

“Since when?” Sousey Scousey spat in my face.

“Since 1989,” I responded with a smile. I knew I was winning him over.

“Right. Who’s your best winger ever?”

“Not David Beckham. I’d probably say Ronaldo, but Giggs has been a winger for a lot longer and is still a top player.”

Suddenly, we were friends. I gave them grief about Roy Hodgson, and they gave me grief and predicted (rightly, as it happens) that Citeh would beat us in the FA Cup semis. Such is the way with soccer and Coachella. Sure, they hated my team, but they loved that I wasn’t a poseur.

Which brings me to the second anecdote.

On Saturday, the group of us sat in the baking sun waiting for Erykah Badu to finish her random but engaging set. She, like Cee-Lo Green 24 hours earlier, was cut off for going past her scheduled time. I think it was a black thing. Seriously. But I digress.

My sister points out a yellow soccer jersey to me. I recognize it as an Arsenal away jersey from a couple years ago. I chase after the guy and stop him. At the time, I was wearing my 100th anniversary Celtic jersey from 2003. He stopped, looked at my shirt and said, “whoa, that’s green and white.”

Genius, this one. Can I take a picture of your shirt?

“Why?” says the bro in his best Jeff Spicoli.

Because I write for a soccer blog, and I’m trying to get as many soccer jersey pics as I can. This is the first Arsenal away shirt I’ve seen.

“Oh, really? I don’t even know who this is. A friend got it for me as a gift.”

Now you know why the Scousers took it so seriously.

I wear soccer jerseys quite a bit. I wore a different one each day at last year’s Coachella, and I opted to do the same again, but with the intent of putting together a photo gallery of hipsters and fans. What I learned was pretty interesting. If you actually are a fan, it’s a great bonding point. I met more English expats this weekend than I could in a year.

Two actual Mancs stopped me in my Ryan Giggs shirt and asked if I knew the Arsenal-Liverpool score. When I told them 1-1, we high fived, had a beer and talked about how awesome Ryan Giggs is. Yes, I got a semi.

Later, a man from Leeds chatted with me about how his club have fought back from the financial ills of the past and how United need to watch out or the same thing will happen to them.

A man wearing a Tevez Man City shirt refused to let me take a picture because I was wearing a United shirt. A girl kissed me because Giggs is also her favorite player. A group of Mexican guys wanted to spend the day talking Chicharito with me.

But for every real fan, there were 4 wearing a Real Madrid or Barcelona shirt (or United, I must admit) who didn’t know their ass from a backheel.

All of this is to say that I was surprised at how many real fans I met this weekend. It wasn’t just about being a hipster. It was about showing your pride. Unlike the NBA fans out there. Most seen jersey of the weekend? Blake Griffin of the L.A. Clippers.

Which leads me to a final anecdote that sums things up.

On Friday night, my sister told me that she saw a Coachella soccer jersey for sale at the merch tent. Intrigued, I went to see it. The pic is included in the photo gallery. It’s ugly as hell, it was $30 and it was only available in medium.

A group next to me was looking at it. One of the girls liked it and called it cool.

“It looks just like the one that Beckham guy wears.”

Exactly, baby. Enjoy the photo gallery.

USER TIP: Don’t click on “view as slideshow.” It’s a bit wonky. Either click on a particular pic and scroll through or click on the “PicLens” thing. Then click on the pause button and scroll at your leisure. That works well. Whatever, just enjoy. Oh, and NSFW-ish for gratuitous undergarments.



About the Author

The Stretford End





43 Comments


  1. Andrew

    Here’s the jersey you couldn’t find on page 2.

    http://www.onionbag.com/detail.aspx?ID=4868

    Liga de Quito 09/10 home


  2. Outside Mid

    When I hit Disney in March, there were so many Brazilian and Argentinian club shirts in Orlando. Mickey doesn’t let Stoke fans into the Magic Kingdom I guess…


  3. dan

    Before you make it a racial thing, didn’t Cee Lo show up 30+ minutes late for his set?
    .
    Good pics, thanks.


  4. @Dan: Yes, and he deserved to be cut off. But Erykah Badu didn’t. And the white acts that went long during the same times on Sunday didn’t get cut off. I’m not really making it racial. I’m just sayin’. Now let’s move on.


  5. Pradajames

    Wish I’d seen the NUFC guy…I tried to find a VIP band for you, but struck out mightily.


  6. Of course that guy wasn’t from Newcastle. If he was he wouldn’t have been wearing a shirt.


  7. @Prada: It’s OK. i didn’t find Kozantine, either. The NUFC is actually pictured on the coachella site in a group shot in front of the big art tent thing. I saw him at Freelance Whales, then again at Suede.


  8. MP

    Get a job, hipsters


  9. Outside Mid

    @ MP: You forgot to tell them to stop dancing on our lawn too.


  10. mountainwag

    I had no idea so many old people went to Coachella. I mean, I thought it was all college, high school, and young professionals that made up their attendees.
    .
    Maybe people just look like they age faster in California because everyone else has had plastic surgery. Hmmmm.


  11. mountainwag

    p.s it’s a solid 80/20 spread of unattractive/attractive people who wear jerseys. It’s great to support your club, but can’t you get a nice, fashionable club t-shirt? Or some appropriate streetwear? It helps the male mistique, indeed.


  12. mountainwag

    p.p.s. Great pics stretford. Even that Argentina guy with the big nipples. Well done!


  13. @WAG: I weep to find out which camp I fit into. Especially since you’ve now only seen what I look like in these pics.


  14. @WAG: That’s the one my sister photobombed. She’s good that that.


  15. What are the odds the guy in the Mutu jersey was on coke?


  16. @wag: That’s part of why the throwback movement among clubs is so awesome. a) they’re often made of really nice cotton b) they’re often sponsorless.
    -
    /Still prefer to wear my long-sleeve Albrighton Villa kit on matchday


  17. @Keith: I was originally in a T-shirt on Sunday but switched to the Giggs jersey because it’s that dri-fit stuff, and it really does keep you dry-ish.


  18. Pradajames

    @MountainWag – Yes, its true. We olds go to Coachella. Then we spend the next week in tremendous pain.


  19. @Prada: my feet still hurt.


  20. derek

    Wearing a jersey here in the states is a bit like a secret handshake. When you see another guy in a kit, you’re almost required to acknowledge them. Even if your wearing a United and he’s in a City, in the USA beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to fan solidarity.


  21. Pradajames

    @TSE – My back is straight f’d…my liver is in similar shape


  22. mountainwag

    @derek – excellent point and agreed. I do the same thing to girls with good haircuts. They are few and far between.
    @keith – i already have a post in the cue on that point. possibly tomorrow. stay on the edge of your seat.
    @TSE – we still consider you a “young professional” b/c you act young and have and are “professional” about that.
    .
    Yes, yes, dri-fit kits would keep you cool at such an event. But then again, so would some ice packs taped to your thighs and armpits. The look is about the same.


  23. Just do it the newcastle way–shirtless.


  24. Lennon's Eyebrow

    Look at those effin’ hipsters.


  25. btw, I am also laughing at the olds in here complaining about their backs, livers and feet
    -
    /Not too young myself


  26. Mullet

    great all that shows me is that coachelaa is full of hipsters who are Eurosnobs that dont support their local league. fuck them.


  27. Ryan

    Well, now I actually know what Coachella is.


  28. @Mullet: While your comment is true to a point, I think it’s also a little narrow. I support the MLS, but I also support United, and I have for longer. A good number of the people in my gallery are actually from the places they support. You don’t stop being a Yankees fans just because you leave New York, do you?
    .
    That said, yes, there were tons of hipsters there.


  29. Arkie

    More proof that UF is the hipster American soccer blog.

    /But I mean they were way better before they sold out and got ads, and downplayed profanity.

    //But I still listen to them, but only on tape.


  30. Wedel

    @Arkie: +1 internetz
    -
    @Ryan: 100% with you. I thought it was a line of small Coach pocketbooks or something and was semi-wondering why I had not been directed to purchase one for any of the gift-giving holidays.


  31. I just assume that none of them are actual fans. I want to do this rare-kit-wearing marathon next year to see which of them are checking MY SHIT out, and to those I’ll chat with. I am a beggar for that in the LA, as derek mentioned, but it’s an overflow at Coachella.

    @TSE: Can’t believe you didn’t get this guy on Friday.
    http://i52.tinypic.com/w9tnkj.jpg
    Observed the music, observed that, tried to stay away from the Sahara the rest of the time.


  32. Tno

    Do you know how painful it is to live in Coachella, and not be at Coachella? Fucking. Agonizing.


  33. @Koz: Never saw that guy! I caught a glimpse of a guy in a Norwich City shirt, too, but he disappeared and I couldn’t get a pic. And I was even in the Sahara tent quite a bit throughout the weekend (Odd Future with Pharrell was fun).


  34. @Tno: I’ve heard that. Both in the wish-I-was-there way and in the get-everyone-away way.


  35. @Koz: FUCK AND YES! GET IN, VILLA!


  36. Han-ball

    @Tno: Try being a student in Austin. We get it twice.


  37. WhoNeedsForwards

    Whoa, someone else in the states has an Everton road kit from last year…was not expecting that. Recently picked up the Rose City Timbers road kit, as a somewhat related side note ~~


  38. Justin

    Actually, I am originally from PA but my support of Reading FC comes from a good friend who lives in Newbury. Apologies for not being able to quip about getting into the promotion zone, heat stroke had taken the better of me by that point. Interesting article, and yes there are some real footy fans in that crowd; I’m not sure how long it’s going to take for me to get over my RSL’s fall from grace.


  39. @WhoNeedsForwards: My wife got me that one for my birthday. It’s actually a nice kit. Like it a lot better than the green home kit.


  40. Eurosnobs aren’t hipsters, they’re poseurs and fake soccer fans.


  41. Mario

    Hey! Where is the gallery!!!! Happy Holidays!



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