Last year I had the absolute privilege to attend Coachella with one of my besties Meghan! It was on both our bucket lists so when the opportunity presented itself we couldn’t say no. We packed our bags and had the time of our life. I could go on and on about about it – but I already have, twice! I wouldn’t change a thing, however there are some things I wish I would have known beforehand. So I decided to compile a list of things I wish I had known before Coachella – enjoy!
1. Don’t Walk and Snapchat
Perhaps the most vital mistake I made days before attending was… you guessed it: walking and snap chatting. California is the land of the beautiful: you’ll want to brag about it to all your besties back home via snapchat. However, I urge you: don’t walk and snapchat! While filming a scenic outdoor mall I fractured my ankle bad three days before Coachella and was in excruciating pain with all the walking. Luckily I was able to suck it up because, well it’s Coachella.
2. Save Those Dolla Bills
Coachella. Is. Expensive. Tickets alone to the festival are $375 and that’s not including hotel fare, travel, and meals. If you don’t live in California, or know a friend who will feed and shelter you, you’ll need to accept the fact that you will drop a chunk of change over the 3 day extravaganza. The good news: It’s totally worth it.
2. The Days are HOT, the Nights are FREEZING
Coachella is located in the stunning Coachella Valley, California. In other words, you’ll legit be in the middle of a desert. Temperatures soar up to the 100+ degrees midday and drop to the low 60s at night. Y’all that’s a 40 degree difference and you’re gonna feel it. Make sure to dress in layers (you’ll most likely be in your bikini top by noon) and for goodness sake pack a sweater for the journey home.
2. Drink Up!
As I mentioned, temperatures soar to the 100s in Coachella Valley. Thankfully, it’s a dry heat – meaning humidity is at a minimum. However, you must stay hydrated. Although you may not feel thirsty – you are. Make sure to drinks lots of water and watermelon/pineapple juice. Yes, watermelon juice is a thing at Coachella and it’s life changing.
3. Get Your Freak On
Festival fashion is on point at Coachella. Nothing is too outrageous. You’ll see people in all sorts of get-ups and things get strange. Make sure to go all out when planning your outfits – if you have to ask yourself if what you’re wearing is ‘too much’ you’re on the right track.
4. Don’t Stalk Celebrities
There will most likely be celebrities among the crowd and turns out it’s no biggie. When Meg and I spotted Kendall and Kylie Jenner walking among the festival grounds we went into straight stalker mode. I mean – those girls are cute in their Instagram selfies but they are straight angelic in person. So we did what any fangirl would do and followed then across the grounds (while snapping a few pictures along the way). Turns out we were the only ones would actually cared enough to bat an eye. Don’t do it.
5. There are Shuttles with A/C and There are Shuttles Without A/C
If you’re not camping on the grounds and are staying in a hotel (which I highly recommend) you’ll be taking a shuttle to and from the festival. These shuttle rides are approximately 45 minutes long (depending on where you are staying) and feel like 2 hours. A quick reminder on the 100+ highs of the day. For morning/ afternoon shuttles to the festival – make sure your shuttles A/C is working. If not, politely walk off the shuttle and wait 10 minutes for the next shuttle and thank me later.
6. Beware of the Sandstorms
When I was first warned of sandstorms at Coachella I think I chuckled to myself. No big. Errr, wrong. Out of nowhere huge gusts of wind will pick up large quantities of sand and throw them right in your face. For contact wearers like me – this can be pretty painful. Make sure to bring travel size artificial tears and/or contact solution. You don’t want your eyes to be sandy all day. It’s not a bad idea to bring a bandana either to cover your nose/mouth when the sandstorms flare up. You won’t look weird – surprisingly a ton of people were wearing bandanas.
7. Use The Buddy System
90,000 people + enormous festival grounds + poor cell service = buddy system. It’s easy to get lost from your friends, so make sure you buddy up with a bestie for those pesky bathroom breaks and food truck lineups.
8. The Performers are Just as Stocked To Be There as You Are
Coachella lineups don’t disappoint. Last year, I saw Pharell, Lana Del Rey, Lorde, Usher, Jay Z and more. Several performers voiced their disbelief at the opportunity to perform at Coachella. It’s a party all around.
9. Coachella is Just as Much Fun Sober
Festivals often get a bad rap when it comes to overindulgence in booze. I will honestly say Meg and I didn’t have a single drop of alcohol the entire weekend and we had the time of our lives. We’re both not big drinkers and we were too busy gulping down pineapple and watermelon purees to notice. With that being said, if you’re not keen on drinking it will still be a blast. I promise.
10. Say Yes To Rickshaws
There is an unbelievable amount of walking involved to even get out to the festival grounds. You’re going to be on your feet all day and your tootsies will get sore. Please, I beg you do not wear heels/wedges (yes, some were wearing those). No ma’am. You’ll want to wear sandals or sneakers. Even without a sprained ankle, I’m pretty sure my feet would have still been killing at the end of the night. There are tons of rickshaws at the exit of the festival to the shuttles. They are worth the extra $$.
11. Let Go
Don’t be afraid to dance like a crazy person. Coachella is a judgement free zone. It may be the fact that you’re secluded in a desert – but people just tend to let their self consciousness out the window. You’ll see some pretttttty strange dace moves. Join in.
12. Ride The Ferris Wheel on Day 1 or 2
The iconic Coachella ferris wheel is even more beautiful in person. It’s a must. Don’t make the same mistake as Meg and I and wait until day 3 to ride it. Everyone else will be riding it day 3 as well. Pencil in a time slot that doesn’t conflict with a performer you’re wanting to see. Side Note: sunset may just be the perfect time to ride the ferris wheel.
13. Download Dat App
Coachella has its very own app in the iTunes store. Download it. This app is vital to know up to date changes in the performing acts.
14. Plan It Out
A million and one things are happening at once at Coachella. Artists are simultaneously performing, there are endless food trunks to visit not to mention tents with fun little activities. To make sure you don’t miss out on any must-dos map out an itinerary – you’ll be glad you did!
15. Have The Time of Your Life
Coachella is total magic. Soak in every minute and be thankful for the chance to be in a dreamlike atmosphere. You deserve this.
Heading to a music festival? Here’s my Coachella inspired packing list!
sunglasses (I wore these!)
external phone charger (I use this one)
bandana (sandstorms are no joke!)
cross body tote
comfortable closed toe shoes
lip balm (this is my holy grail)
reusable water bottle