If you don’t know what Coachella is, you may have been living a rock for years. One of southern California’s biggest music festivals, Coachella inspires hundreds of thousands of music fans to Indio, California for live music from some of the biggest artists, camping, drinking, and fun!
Here are some essential tips for your first Coachella. Have a great time!
Stock up on Phone Chargers
Cell reception on the grounds is essentially non-existent, so don’t count on being able to call or text your group to stay in touch. Download an app like WhatsApp to stay in contact and bring multiple portable phone chargers – you’ll be surprised how quickly your battery drains.
Splurge on VIP if You Can
The VIP wristbands don’t come cheap – usually around $1,000 – but they’re worth the extra perks. There are VIP-only areas throughout the grounds that offer more food options, cleaner bathrooms, and fewer crowds. You’ll have great views of the main stage with less pushing and shoving through the crowds. So worth it!
Don’t Rush Straight to the Bar
There are ID check kiosks within the festival, so don’t waste 15 minutes waiting in line at the bar just to be turned away because you don’t have an over-21 wristband (I learned this one the hard way!). If you have a General Admission pass, you won’t even be granted access to the Beer Garden without a wristband. The color of the wristband changes every day, so make stopping by an ID check a priority when you arrive at the grounds.
Consider Investing in A Shuttle Pass
Unless you’re camping, you’ll have to find transportation to and from the grounds every day. You can drive, use a ride share service like Lyft or Uber, or take the shuttles. I would recommend the shuttles as they are consistent and cost-effective. You may find yourself waiting in a shuttle line for a while, but there is the added security that you will get on a shuttle instead of having your Lyft driver cancel on you.
Pack the Essentials
Coachella is hot and dusty! Bandanas or other facial coverings are commonplace to keep you from ingesting pounds of dirt. Toss sunscreen, an empty water bottle, granola bars or other snacks, chapstick with SPF, and your phone chargers in your bag before you head out.
Plan Which Weekend to Attend
Coachella is held for two consecutive weekends each year. Though the lineup remains the same, the experiences can be very different. The first weekend is usually busier, packed with surprise celebrity guests and parties. The second weekend is generally more relaxed, and type A planners like me can know what to expect ahead of time after reading what happened during weekend one.
Explore all the Stages
You may be a hardcore hip-hop fan, but a big component of Coachella is discovering new bands. Plan out the bands you definitely can’t miss when Coachella releases their lineup, but schedule in time to wander and stop in to new music that catches your ear.
Not ready to leave southern California yet? Head over to Anaheim to experience all the secrets Disneyland has to offer!