Ok so it has been 4 years since I went to Coachella, but it is up there with one of the best weekends I’ve had. Every year it rolls around and I see the flower crowned crowds against the stunning mountainous backdrop of Palm Springs I tell myself I’ll go back next year, but I’ve yet to go again! Palm Springs is an absolute dream (I will retire there one day), and makes the whole festival experience out of this world. It really doesn’t compare to any other festival I’ve been to and is probably now one of the only weekend festivals I would return to – I’m so over the mud and chaos of T in the Park!
If you’re going to Coachella this year – I am extremely jealous – you will have an amazing time! Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind to get the best out of your weekend. Most of these tips apply to all music festivals (minus the sun if it’s in the UK!).
You’ll most likely be snapping pics and videos all day long as Coachella is visually stunning and has some pretty impressive art installations. So, it’s important to keep your phone fully charged day into night. There are phone charging points at power stations throughout the festival, but do you really want to be hanging around waiting on your phone to charge when you could be enjoying the music and Californian sunshine? Remember to take a portable charger for your phone so you can keep it full of juice. Keep it charged just incase you get split up from your group!
Coachella Music & Arts Festival is set in Coachella Valley – the middle of the desert. Therefore it’s super important to drink water throughout the day. Of course you’ll be drinking alcohol all day long, but (without sounding like a bore), make sure you don’t get dehydrated in the strong sun and keep your h20 levels topped up. There are Refreshment Pods located throughout the festival offering funky juices, healthy smoothies, energy boosters as well as just plain and simple water. Enjoy these alongside the amazing range of drinks at speciality cocktail bars and beer gardens – view the full guide to drinks at Coachella here.
Book an apartment
It’s too late for this year, but booking an apartment is important to keep in mind for next year (because you are going to want to return). There is camping available at Coachella, and although my 16 year old self could handle it at T in the Park, it now sounds like hell. Save yourself from the cramped, sweaty mess of a camping field and book an apartment in a nearby area. We stayed in the La Quinta area in a stunning apartment complex part of the La Quinta Resort and Club which was an absolute dream. It had a pool which meant we could chill in the morning and head to the festival in the afternoon. Sounds more appealing than waking up in a hot, messy tent eh? It was just a short bus journey away to Coachella Valley. The festival runs an ‘anytime, anyline’ shuttle bus service making it super easy to get to and from the festival, which runs at various times throughout the day for various locations near the festival. Make sure you buy your bus shuttle tickets early, even if you’re not sure where you’re staying. A few other areas within Palm Springs that are ideal for staying at are: Indian Wells, Palm Desert, Desert Springs, Shadow Ridge, Indio and Thousand Palms (there’s a recurring theme of palm trees…). Coachella have a guide on where to stay here.
The festival kicks off at 11am each day and can run on until after 1am, so come rain (unlikely) or shine, you’re going to thank yourself for dressing comfortably. I’m not saying get your crocs out, but just keep in mind the fact that you will probably be on your feet most of the day! Don’t go wearing heels and clothes you’ll be fixing yourself in all day. Dress for sun, comfort, and lots of walking, and have fun with your outfits as literally anything goes! Layering is popular as you can adjust throughout the day depending on how you feel… but that is where my advice will stop as this isn’t a fashion blog 😉 There are loads of great guides on dressing for Coachella, and endless inspiration on Pinterest to get stuck into.
Before you start on the morning mimosas, decide on a meeting point for you and your friends. Yes it’s 2018 and a thing called an iPhone does exist for communication, but signals can be poor in the desert and (god forbid) batteries can die. Should your phone let you down, make sure you have an agreed meeting point just incase your group decide to go to separate stages or get split up.
Get the app
For Coachella 2018, the mobile app is required to activate your wristband. Without an activated wristband, you can’t gain entry to the festival! Not only will the app allow you to gain access to the festival – which is a big part of enjoying it – but it also holds loads of information that will have you 100% ready before you walk into the festival grounds. Features of the app include the festival line up, personalised performance schedule, a festival map, curated playlists from over 150 acts, food/beverage/amenities/activities listings, plus more. Another new and exciting feature of the app for this year, which I wish existed in 2014, is the augmented reality camera function. This will allow users to get involved on another level both pre and during the festival with augmented reality art and futuristic experiences. Wishing I had a ticket soooo bad right now… Find out more about the Coachella app here. It is free to download on iOSand Android.
Sunblock & sunglasses
Yes it’s obvious but sunglasses and sunblock are those things that sometimes end up being left at home for your poor eyes and skin to suffer. Take a couple of pairs of sunglasses along with you, just incase you lose a pair in your
drunken dancing state. They will hide hungover eyes and protect against the desert sun! Also get that sunblock applied before you head to the festival, and if you’re heading there early take a mini bottle so you can apply throughout the day. The last thing you want is to be sun burned red raw by the last day – not a great look.
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