There’s always a lot of buzz when Coachella releases its lineup. Located in Indio Valley, this music festival is one of the largest, most popular, and profitable in the US. If you’re lucky enough to get tickets, being prepared and organized will help you have a fun-ast-ic time! After attending the festival for 2 years, here are some ways to navigate through this overwhelming, 3-day event:
Where to Stay:
My first recommendation is to get ahead of the pack and book a spot at a friend’s house or airbnb to sleep comfortably and allow for some downtime. Try to get a place with a pool because there’s nothing better than cooling off after long days in the dry desert heat.
If you decide to car camp on the Coachella grounds, here’s how to do it:
- Get there early – if you can, get to the grounds on Thursday for your preferred spot. This means you can get closer to the main entrance. Otherwise, you may be trekking up to a mile back and forth to your campsite after a full day at the festival.
- Do NOT bring any glass – it will be confiscated when your car gets checked before entering the car camping grounds.
- Bring plenty of beer, ice, and a cooler – there’s nothing better than cooling down with a chilled beer when frying up in the Coachella sun. Besides, it’s probably the best way to befriend your neighbors. It’s not only more fun, but you can barter for some goods you may want as well!
- Only bring food you need – fuel up your day with easy-to-make, healthy foods starting with breakfast. I recommend some almond milk, granola, bagels, hummus, carrots, crackers, nuts, trail mixes, energy bars, and coconut water. Although most of the time you will be enjoying your meals at the festival (the food is quite good), definitely check out the “Farmer’s Market” at the campgrounds for fresh produce, coffee, and other yummy choices.
- Lock and hide valuables in your car – better safe than sorry!
- Stay comfy and cool at your campsite – bring a battery powered fan , shade shelter, cooling towel, and fold out chairs/table. It gets really hot at 7am. Do what you can to cool off and get enough sleep so that you can have a full, exhilarating day at the festival.
- Showering & cellphone charging – the campgrounds have great showers that are located in trailers. I highly recommend getting to this spot during off hours, either early morning, mid-afternoon, or in the later evening as the day winds down. There are also charging stations for your cellphones (refer to Coachella map); bring a power strip and share the power-up-love with existing and new friends.
At the Festival:
With roughly 300,000 attendees walking around Coachella Music Festival for both weekends at temperatures ranging from 90-100 degrees, here are some tips for a grand time:
- Grab a lineup schedule & snap a photo – Those handy dandy printed lineups are easy to lose, so why not just have it always available by taking a photo of it.
- Plan your concert schedule – know which bands/music performances you want to see because the tent venues can get very crowded. Also, getting there early allows for you to get an ideal vantage point for your favorite artists to have a more memorable experience.
- Stay hydrated – having enough water in the extreme heat is crucial for when you are standing, walking, and dancing all day. Although you can’t bring a full water bottle through the check in point, have a water pack or empty reusable bottle to refill at the available free water stations around the festival grounds.
- Cool off from the heat – Go to the Do Lab to get misted down and check out the sponsored tents for some air conditioning.
- Have a day pack – the following suggestions include sunscreen, sunglasses, light jacket/sweater, and an external battery charger (your phone dies fast while competing for a signal to get in touch with lost comrades).
- Art exhibits – Coachella is a great place to spot some Burning Man-like artwork with its creative sculptures, street art, and more. Make some time between shows to check these out.
- Be aware of potential sand storms – this is a known occurrence with high winds and whipping sand. Bring a windbreaker, bandana, and sunglasses to protect your body and face.
Here’s a few things I wish I knew going to Coachella!
- Best insider’s secret – Carpoolchella is a chance for you and your carpool buddies to win amazing prizes such as VIP tickets for LIFE! https://www.coachella.com/sustainability-charity/carpoolchella/
- Surprise musical guests – every year, there is chatter swirling around about who’s going to show up beyond the announced lineup. Some surprises from the past, included: Tupac’s hologram during Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg’s set, Madonna with Drake, and R. Kelly sang with Phoenix. Try to stay for the later evening shows to get a first hand look of these special performances.
Soak up the sun and fun for the ultimate Coachella experience!
Written by Ariel Sultan.