A few words of advice on Coachella from someone (yours truly) who has been to Coachella twice, both camped out and stayed in a hotel:
-Wear a fanny pack. There are some ridiculously cute fanny’s available at Urban Outfitters. It is the best way to keep your things safe and fully enjoy the shows. Trust me – anything remotely uncomfortable or a nuisance will be lost/altered within 10 minutes of arrival. Particularly if it’s during the day. Last year the concert tents were over 100 degrees inside, plus sun.
-That brings me to my next point: It’s really fucking hot in the day – like ridiculous. I would suggest not trying to do both day and night. Head to the venue around sunset if you really want some daytime action. Because trust me, you want to make it through the night.
-If you camp, bring a car charger and a LOT of water. The lines for the showers are INSANE (and grow each day) so definitely get that shower in on day 1. By day 3, you might be waiting up to 2 hours for a shower. So if you can make a mini shower and scrub down in your suit at the campsite – you will be happy to have that option. Also the lines for electricity (phone charging stations) are super long. Walk along the back of the food tents etc. and look for outlets no one is using. You are much better off doing that, than waiting in line for a charger – or use your car charger.
-Set a meeting place, in case you get lost. Last year we used the big colorful tipee in the center of the venue. We scooped up lost friends SO many times from that spot. It’s really imperative. There are so many people that phones do not work. I’m serious. You can’t text without a 45 min delay and calls – forget it. So time stamp your texts to friends for clarity, and ideally stick together.
-Be smart about drugs. Who are you getting them from? Have they been tested? Do you know someone who took the same pills? These are questions you should ask if you are doing drugs. Otherwise, sneak in a flask and call it a day. Better to be sober than dead. There are also ‘beer garden’ areas where, with a 21+ wristband (free at door) you can purchase beer.
-Get past security. Security evolves every year. But everyone usually has their bags checked and are lightly patted down. if you hide something at the bottom of your purse or in your pants/bra – you are going to get in. Also, if you don’t have a wristband and you try to run past security, you will get chased and tackled to the ground. Better to pay off the security people, than try and run by – saw this a lot last year, ouch!
-Get more alcohol into the camping site. This is sexist but true: hide all of the excess alcohol in the innocent looking girls car. We got by with a very light search. If they do find your alcohol, they just take it away. You can still enter the camp and enjoy the show. So don’t stress.
-Make friends. If you don’t know many people going to Coachella, camping is the way to go. A little community is formed around your campsite. Lots of Aussies come down. poke your head out in the morning and ask if anyone wants to smoke a bowl….you will make friends.
-Talk to strangers. Everyone is in a seriously euphoric state of mind. Relax by a sculpture and chat with people. You might make some interesting memories.
-Outside parties aren’t that awesome. Stay late at the venue, party with friends at the hotel. It’s fine to check out one or two of the sponsored/outside parties, but don’t waste your whole experience – not even AT the concert you paid to attend. They aren’t all that great. If anything, go to relax by a pool and re-charge.
-If you get a house, make sure it’s WALKABLE to the venue. Or else someone who definitely should NOT be driving – will be.
-Don’t under-sell your wristband. I’d say $75/day is a fair and depleted value for your pass. If you leave early – sell that shiz! Tons of people want them.
-That being said, Be wary of FAKE wristbands! All of the passes scan through a machine. If you buy a fake wristband, it won’t scan, and you won’t be able to get in. Be very careful!
-Wear, whatever the fuck you want. Coachella has gotten pretty Burning Man-ish. Lots of people wear costumes etc. Just dress appropriately for the weather and be comfortable. Especially your shoes!
-Get the Coachella Iphone app. This will help you to schedule the shows you want to see, and remind you to see them. There are 3 stages all playing simultaneously – so you can’t see it all, but you can try.
-Unlock your phone and put an alternate number inside of your phone case. I don’t care what you are trying to hide – you won’t care when that phone gets lost. Many people are surprisingly ethical. If your phone is unlocked, and it get’s lost – someone might contact your friends to get it back to you. But if it’s locked and there is no way to reach you – it’s that much harder for you to get it back. Also Coachella posts photos of lost phones, and sometimes you can it back that way.
-The Sahara tent is where the party’s at, if you like DJ’s. Last year, that was where every single DJ played. So if you want to rave, dance and sing – but aren’t sure where to go – just head to Sahara.
HAVE FUN KIDDIES!!!!