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Coachella 2015’s Ten Coolest Totems

This year, Coachella explicitly denied totems entry into the festival. These celebrity faces and odd things attached to sticks are useful for helping keep groups of friends together in big crowds, and they're especially ubiquitous at EDM events like Hard Summer, EDC, and Ultra.

The ban on totems, though, didn't stop Coachella-goers from smuggling in their means of staying connected. Here are the ten best totems at Coachella 2015. Group Name: Hella Ratchet-chella
From: South San Jose

This group's Patrick totem, inspired by their love of Spongebob, extends to at least three times its initial height and lights up at night. "It works well, but security doesn't like it," says the crew. "But Armin van Buuren did a shoutout on Twitter to us after seeing it at Beyond Wonderland!" Group Name: Team Sunshine
From: Arizona

"We all came together last year, and we used the flower then too. It works really well for finding each other, and it also makes you feel calm, like, 'Follow the sun.'" Group Name: #PresidentialThizz
From: Santa Clara State University

"We picked them because the faces are priceless, and you can get a rise from people about any of them." The faces are laminated too, to keep them dry in the Do Lab and other areas with water spray. Group Name: Pineapple Pussy
From: Seattle

Why "pineapple pussy"? "You tell all the girls just look for pineapple pussy, and they just know." Group Name: Team Carl (or, Team Karl)
From: Wherever Carl Came From

Team Carl/Karl sported Bill Murray on pool noodles, "because everyone likes Bill Murray; he's just trying to have a good time," and a reversible flag with "CARL" on one side and "KARL" on the other. "We're looking for our friend Carl. We even hedged our bets because we don't know if it's Carl with a 'C' or Karl with a 'K'." Group Name: Group Awesome
From: L.A.

Pool toys were all the rage as go-to, easy-to-conceal totems. "It's working well — we're just looking for one more person. We're makin' it happen." Group Name: Friends of Ellie
From: Palm Springs

"This is Ellie the Elephant. We had to sneak her in. The guard wouldn't let us pass, so we waited till he turned around and literally ran in." As an added bonus, this totem tucks into a backpack for hands-free location tracking. Group Name: Buster the Bunny
From: "Alaska. I rode here on a Moose."

"Last weekend, somebody tried to make out with Buster and ended up ripping his eye out. This bunny has seen some shit." Group Name: Umbrella Brothers
From: Umbrella camp, just around the bend from the Chrono Chromatic art installation. "The umbrella is from New Orleans, though."

"We've been coming for six years. The first time, we noticed the heat and lack of shade, so the next year we brought an umbrella. Since then, we've built a whole community over the years. This weekend we're here just the two of us, though. This guy proposed to his girlfriend last weekend here, so we came back to celebrate. Coachella is really all about celebrating humanity." Group Name: Pedro Pascal Piñata
From: San Diego and L.A.

"Originally we called it Frankie, because my friend Frankie got really drunk last weekend on day one and ruined it for me, so the next day I brought this and joked that it was her. Now we call him Pedro, though. It's a Game of Thrones reference. We had trouble getting him in today, but the guard told us if we gave him 20 bucks he'd look the other way. So here we are!"
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Sarah Purkrabek is writer and lover of music and travel. She spends 70 percent of her time writing, and the other 30 percent stalking her favorite artists’ tour schedules and plotting her next adventure.
Contact: Sarah Purkrabek