Coachella is next weekend, and there is a great line-up this year. Since I unfortunately will not be attending, I thought I'd write a post giving a few tips to any newcomers to the festival instead. I attended for the first time last year, and there are definitely some things I wish I had known/would do differently now that I have experienced it. So if this is your first festival, learn from my mistakes, and read these few helpful tips!
1. Bring a bandana: When I attended Coachella, I read a lot of these posts with tips on the festival. Quite a few of them said to bring a bandana for your face because of the wind. I didn't take it very seriously beforehand, but I got one anyway just in case, and boy was I was glad I did. At night the winds really pick up and it blows dust everywhere. I used my bandana both nights, because the dust was insane. At one point I even put my sunglasses back on to keep it out of my eyes. This is one tip to not ignore!
2. Know what to pack for the day: Coachella has pretty strict rules about what you are allowed to bring into the festival, and they will check your bag pretty thoroughly when you arrive each day. I would check their rules for the current year, because they sometimes update and change it, so it may not be the same as when I went. But they did take my sunscreen, and were pretty strict on the types of cameras people could bring in, just to name a few things. So definitely check before you go so that you don't get any of your belongings taken or thrown out. I would also recommend bringing a long sleeve shirt or light jacket, because it can get a little chilly after the sun goes down. My roommate and I also bought phone cases like this one just for the festival, which were super handy, and I highly recommend them. They have a wrist strap for your phone so you don't drop it in a crowd, and a compartment for credit cards and cash so you don't have to bring your whole wallet!
3. Stay hydrated: Okay this might seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many people I saw almost pass out because they were forgetting to drink water. Between the hot sun, standing in large crowds of people, and drinking a lot of alcohol, this one is important to remember, because it is super easy to get overheated. One thing I loved that Coachella did was make sure that water was super cheap to buy, usually only $2.00 for a bottle. And they even made sure to have a few water bottle refill stations, so you didn't constantly have to keep buying water. So if you don't want to have to pay for it at all, just bring an empty water bottle with you, and fill it when you get there!
4. It is a long walk from parking/drop off to the entrance: This was another thing I read quite a few times before attending and did not take very seriously. Once you park your car/get dropped off at the festival, it is a long walk to actually get from the parking lot to the entrance, I would say at least a mile. They do offer a bike service where you can get a ride, but it is a little pricey. We chose to walk, and it really wasn't too bad, just make sure you have comfortable shoes on if you choose to do this.
5. Bring a portable charger: This one is a must. There is not a lot of service at the festival, which will definitely drain your battery. My phone died before it even got dark the first day, so the next morning I went out and bought one, and it was great. I had brought my regular charger the first day, because there are a few charging areas, but they were often full, and restricting, so I was glad I had it.
6. Do your artist research: I think one of the major regrets I have was not doing more research on the artists before I went. I knew all of the larger artists like Lady Gaga and Lorde, but some of the smaller ones I only knew one or two songs, and I wish I had listened to more of their stuff beforehand. You should also know exactly who you want to see going into the festival so you can plan out your days, and not miss anyone that you really want to see!
7. You don't need to be there right when it opens: Unless there is an artist you really want to see early in the day, I would recommend not getting to the festival until around 1 or 2 o'clock each day. We did this both days and it was the perfect amount of time to be there. We were able to relax and take our time getting ready each morning, and eat lunch outside of the festival. This was a good way to save money, and make sure we were not exhausted by the end of the day when the biggest acts go on. And it definitely helped that by the time we got there each day we were not in the extreme sun for too long, but long enough to get some great pictures!
8. Have fun, and make sure to get a giant watermelon slice!
If you have never been before, it can be a little stressful trying to figure out all the things you need to know to get the best experience you can, but just remember that even if you miss a band you had wanted to see, or it takes you an hour to get an Uber home, to just enjoy it, and have a great time. And if you like watermelons, make sure to go to the fruit stand and get one of the giant slices. They are delicious, a good way to stay hydrated, and of course great for photo ops!
If you are attending this year, I hope that these tips help you and that you have a great time! And if you enjoyed this post, give it a like to see more like it!