Coachella: The Ultimate Guide

The month of April belongs to Coachella. There is much talk about who will be performing, what celebrities will be attending, what fashion will be worn, and which weekend will people be attending. Everyone is in a frenzy that even stores like H&M, Forever 21, Cotton On, and many others will have a special section with all the fashion inspired by Coachella up for sale. The air is so thick with Coachella fever that you can nearly feel the summer like temperatures (in April) and hear the breaking of your wallet from all the spending you will be doing. Nevertheless Coachella, in my opinion, is a must do (at least once) for everyone but especially if you live in SoCal…it’s a rite of passage. So if you’re thinking about jumping on the Coachella bandwagon here is everything you need to know about Coachella.

Tickets:

The website for tickets are on coachella.com and there are only 2 chances to get tickets through this site. Once is for the pre-sale tickets and the other is for regular ticket sales. There is a lot of preparation that goes into hosting such a huge and world renown event that tickets go on sale just 2 months after Coachella ends, for the following year. Pre-sale tickets for Coachella go on-sale in June for both weekend 1 and 2. What’s great about buying tickets early is that Coachella allows you to pay off your tickets in installments but you don’t know who will be preforming the following year (it’s a give and take relationship). Although for the 2018 year, it has already been announced that Beyonce will be one of the headliners since she cancelled her 2017 performance. Regular tickets go on-sale in January, following the announcing of the music lineup for that year.

The way getting tickets works is that you have to first be registered with Coachella on their website then on the day the tickets become available be sure to be on the website right when the queue opens. There is a little icon that waits in line for you and you can watch it progress across the screen until you are let in the door to purchase tickets. Don’t worry if you need to leave the page for whatever reason the little icon will hold your place in line. Once inside you have a certain amount of time to buy tickets and check out. There are multiple tickets to buy from general admission, VIP, campgrounds, to many others. This year general admission was $399 without a shuttle pass and $474 with a shuttle pass (I don’t remember how much VIP tickets were). You can only buy 2 tickets at a time. I can tell you from personal experience that weekend 1 is harder to get tickets for than weekend 2. If you are able to get into weekend 1, bravo!

When your Coachella package arrives it comes in a pretty box with the a wrist band, shuttle pass card (if you ordered it), an agenda book, instructions guide, and art pieces. The wrist band most be wore for the duration of the festival. There are instructions on how to activate the wrist band and you must have the band activated before entering Coachella. Double check they sent you the right weekend and admission band; although if you ordered a general admission and they sent you a VIP, I would just roll with it.

Accommodations:

There are several options to chose from for accommodations for this 3 day long festival. Whether you want to stay in a hotel, on the campgrounds, airBnB, or commute everyday the choice is up to you. The festival is in Coachella Valley but you can chose to stay in the surrounding cities like Palm Springs, Indio, Palm Desert, and some others. Our group stayed in Palm Springs which has many hotels to chose from and it’s a popular city for people to come visit. Be sure to book your stay at a hotel or airBnB as soon as possible because hotels and airBnB’s will start to get booked up pretty fast and prices will likely rise the closer it gets to festival time. Whatever you decide to do for accommodations make sure you have pool and bring plenty of snacks.

Transportation:

Getting to the festival can be a daunting task if you are driving yourself because there will be traffic and you have to find parking. The best way and most convenient way to get to the festival is to book the shuttle pass when purchasing your ticket for the festival. The shuttle pass is an additional $75 but it’s worth it because it saves you the trouble of having to drive yourself; you can sit back in the air conditioned bus and leave the driving to them. Shuttle service is offered in many of the surrounding cities. Be sure to chose a hotel close to one of the shuttle locations because you don’t want to end up driving to a shuttle location to take the bus.

When you receive your Coachella package in the mail, if you ordered the shuttle pass there will be a credit card looking pass for the shuttle. All you have to do when you arrive at the shuttle stop is show the workers the pass and they will let you onto the bus…and thats that. Be sure to keep the pass and don’t lose it until the festival is over because they won’t let you on the bus without one.

Coachella:

You are now ready for Coachella. There are 2 check points before entering the festival. The first one is to scan your wrist band and the second is to go through security. At security they will check inside your bags and have you walk through a metal detector to make sure you don’t bring in something you’re not suppose to. There is a list they will send you about what’s allowed and not allowed. But if you are clever, I’m sure that you can find a way around this road block. After the second check point you made it inside Coachella.

If this is your first time, you will feel overwhelmed by the size, the amount of people, and the heat but just relax and take it all in. Try to visit as many different tents as you can; this year there was the Sephora, H&M, Antartica, and many other tents. Ride the ferris wheel at night, become familiar with the lay out and where all the different stages are, water refill stations are near the restrooms, keep a schedule of when the artists are performing, and most importantly know where the best food vendors are located. Since I’m vegan, I found where all the vegan food was located so every time I wanted to eat I knew exactly where I was going. Food and drinks are not cheap here so bring plenty of money; my friend purchase 3 beers for $36, yep, those kind of prices. I brought $200 for food alone (I don’t drink alcohol) and I was constantly eating (thanks to my inner vegan fat kid) and I still came home with $80. So come to Coachella expecting the outrageous prices, the long lines, the thousands of people, the crowded tents, the pushing and shoving, the dust, and the hot desert sun. Remember to sit down, be humble. -Kendrick Lamar

Things to bring:

Empty water bottle

Cell phone

Bandana

Gum

Cell phone charger

Chap stick

Cash or ATM card

Fanny pack

Sunglasses

Wipes

Fashion (mix and match):

Boots or comfortable shoes

Shorts

Crop top, tank top, or bikini top

Bikini

Bodysuit

Hat

Headband

Jewelry

Temporary tattoos

Mini backpack

Actually the less clothes the better

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