Coachella Valley Music Festival is three days of artists making your ears buzz, converse giving your feet blisters, and chicken strips, watermelon and ice cream helping you gain 5 pounds. But it is also the best 72 hours of my every year. As of just returning from my third year of music and fun in the Indio sun (I like to rhyme) I have acquired some “chella wisdom” that I would like to share with you all.
-BRING A PORTABLE CHARGER: your phone WILL die: you do NOT want this to happen. My iphone has terrible battery but never died this weekend because of my portable charger ☺
-Bring band-aids: converse and boots will probably give you blisters. I wore my birkenstocks on the last day because I had such terrible blisters on my heels and it was a great decision, plus I could take them off and let my feet breath when I sat down. DON’T wear flip flops. If you wear sandals, only do so if they are your most comfy shoe such as a birks, and definitely not if you are going to a lot of DJ’s or will be in the Sahara tent or in smushed crowds. If you don’t care about your fashion, you should honestly just wear free-runs.
-don’t get to the festival grounds too early unless you have artists you NEED to see. It is very hot in the early morning/afternoon, the bands aren’t as widely known and you will drain out much of the energy you need later on. Plus, your feet WILL hurt. I suggest getting there around 2:30ish, which is still kind of early. Do NOT come at 11, I repeat DO NOT come at 11.
-take your pictures at around 5ish-6ish when the sun is setting, it looks gorgeous.
-bring tons of snacks for your hotel room: you’ll be rocking out hardest at night and taking the least amount of food breaks, and shuttle rides and the crowd walking out of festival grounds each night is a long hassle. You’ll be STARVED by the time you get back: pack food!
-Save the first plastic water bottle you buy: save money by refilling water instead of buying a new bottle each time. Picking up ten used bottles on the ground and bringing them to a certain tent can be used as a trade-in for a free bottle of water also!
-Wear sunscreen: it gets HOT
-Bring hand sanitizer: watermelon juice is sticky, wind carries desert dust, and people r icky
-Bring more money than you think each day: food is pricey, you’ll waste a ton on water and keep in mind you might want to buy a shirt/jacket. Atleast $50 a day, I’d say
-Coachella security check is not even close to as thorough as airport checks, just saying ☺
-Buy your merchandise the first day: sizes sell out quickly
-Download the Coachella app: you can setup your personal lineup and look at when other artists will be playing and in what tents if you have free time to check somebody out. And you can see the food options!!
-keep your money, hotel cards, credit card and shuttle passe in a plastic bag: it’s easier to keep track of and it keeps your hotel room card safe from being deactivated by your phone
-use a small crossbody or fanny pack: backpacks get annoying, especially for that person standing right behind you in the tight crowd who keeps getting hit in the face with it every time you jump.
-do not video/record your favorite songs: you will have the most fun being in the moment for these. If you really feel the need to record an artist, record some of their songs you don’t know as well or like as much, because nobody ever goes back and looks at their videos anyways, let’s be honest.
-don’t expect to see every band/artist you wanted: it takes time to walk to other stages, get out of crowds, and sometimes waiting around is worse than just seeing somebody in the tent/stage next door. You also will need to devote time to eating, taking water breaks and sitting and resting for a bit. And when you are there, suddenly seeing everybody you want will not seem like such a dire necessity, you are already at Coachella having fun, it’s not the end of the world if you miss a couple of people, just make sure you get there EARLY for your must-sees if you want a good spot
-DO expect to run into people you haven’t seen in years: I see my old middle school/elementary school friends EVERY year without even looking for them. Coachella is a great place to reunite!
-have a physical meeting spot with your friends. Your phone MIGHT die, and service isn’t the same for everybody. And you WILL probably split up if you want to see different people. Make the spot one of the big art pieces or a particular food stand.
-don’t be afraid to push through crowds to get up to the front: you’ll never see those people you just squeezed past again in your life, most likely, so their frustration with you will only last .5 seconds. Or you could pretend you are going up to meet some friends. If they don’t budge when you’re trying to move forward, then you PROBABLY shouldn’t keep trying. There’s been the occasional fight over that
-expect surprise guests, especially from headliners, but these vary from weekend, so don’t underestimate one weekend over the other, nobody knows what’s coming
-don’t be afraid to ask to go on somebody’s shoulders (clearly this comment is more guided towards girls)People are very nice and generous!!
-if you don’t like a headliner, still strongly consider going to their show: they will most likely bring out a special guest and it will be a great atmosphere/crowd.
-dance and sing like nobody is watching: if you don’t feel as if you could genuinely burst of happiness and you are not laughing ,smiling and jumping out of pure joy, you are not doing it right. Or maybe that’s just me ☺