What should I know before going to Coachella for the first time?
The best thing you can do to ensure your first time at Coachella Being prepared ensures that everything goes well. As a Coachella festival veteran (I attended last year), I’m here to teach you how to be as prepared as possible so that all you have to worry about is which stage your favorite musician is performing, Coachella attire, and having the energy to go all day and night.
1. Get there on Thursday morning
We arrived at 11 a.m. on Thursday, which was ideal in retrospect. We were close enough to the arena gates to return to our tents for a drink, but far enough away to avoid being too close to all the people who had slept in adjacent hotels and stumbled about the entrance after they had thrown everyone out.
Arriving to Coachella on Thursday is a fantastic idea. The campground opens at 9 a.m., giving you plenty of time to get into the festival spirit. You may choose a decent place and explore the region where you’ll be staying for the following several nights.
On a Thursday, there is no activity in the big stadium at Coachella, but there are a few activities in the smaller arena off the campground.
2. Get involved with Carpoolchella
We drove from our hotel in Palm Springs to Coachella Festival in approximately 30 minutes at about 10 a.m. on Thursday. We spotted a lot of people getting into the spirit of things and participating in the Carpoolchella vehicle decorating competition along the road. Unfortunately, with everything else on our minds, we hadn’t gotten around to doing this – but you can win a lot of prizes if you do.
3. Be patient with getting in to Coachella
We entered the line to enter the event. We arrived at the first checkpoint in approximately five minutes. They practically whooped us in when we showed them our bracelets. One of Coachella’s major selling points is how welcoming everyone is. Everyone was wishing us a “Happy Coachella!” and gave us high fives.
We got in line to get our vehicle inspected. We got into the wrong line. The automobile of a bunch of adolescent boys in front of us was being completely plundered. The security guys took out his speakers, took out the spare tire, and checked every component of it – all fantastic entertainment for us, and the youngster appeared to be handling it well.
“I’m sorry for lying. We’re just trying to have fun, okay?”
He was most likely afraid they wouldn’t allow him in.
I was anxious for no reason. So, I had a glass bottle of Modelo left over from yesterday night in my suitcase. I was afraid that if they discovered the glass, they’d completely ransack our nicely packed vehicle.
When we got out of the vehicle, they pulled me to one side and patted me down. They then forced me to remove the front half of my bra. That has never been done before, but it makes sense. Any narcotics would be discarded.
They quickly patted the boys down. Then they forced us to open the ‘trunk’ and take out a cushion. They gave us one glance and then sent us on our way.
We all went back in the vehicle, disappointed that we hadn’t seemed intriguing enough to warrant a search. They must have been turned off by our modest demeanor. Back in the vehicle, we crept until they showed us where to park and screamed, “Happy Coachella!” once again.
4. Take all the food you think you’ll need
Here’s a list of everything we got from Walmart ahead of time to give you an idea of what to bring. Of course, there are several kiosks around the event, but they only provide the standard burritos, pizzas, burgers, and other tasty but greasy dishes. If you do this all weekend, you will not feel well.
5. Fill your boot / trunk with drink
One of the nicest aspects of the Coachella Festival is that you can camp in your vehicle. This implies that you may definitely fill your vehicle with alcohol and food.
Coachella is held in a polo club, and the camping area is located in the parking lot. The white parking lines define your area, and you are free to do anything you want with it.
Some folks have the most incredible websites built up. If you go in a large group, they offer a place where you can wait for all of your friends to come, and you can pretty much build a tented mansion amongst you all. As did many others.
However, you are not permitted to bring glass inside the event grounds and must decant it entirely. My Coachella Drinking Guide will also be available next week, with further information on what you may and cannot do during Coachella. Because we had so much booze, we could easily give it away to our neighbors – a terrific way to connect.
6. Make friends with your neighbours
The folks beside us, from whom we borrowed a pump, had inflatable couches, a fridge, and large vehicles in which to sleep. Others had erected tarpaulins between their massive monster trucks, with long tables placed out in the center. To create more room for the day, some individuals slept on the roofs of their vehicles, while the folks next to us slept beneath their car. It was a bloodbath.
We packed our vehicle as near to the edge as possible, about a metre of space with our chairs and cold box, and then lined up our two tents. I honestly believe we did so great with our Coachella buying and kit list for our first trip. We’re quite proud of ourselves.
We were set for action after a few beers from the chill box to warm our new digs.
You’ll be living close to each other for the next five days, which is a lifetime in Coachella. You can assist each other out, keep an eye out for one other, and have a good time.
On the first day, we made friends with our neighbors when they loaned us a tarpaulin, and we made friends with those across the street after using their air pump. The folks on the opposite side were less pleasant, particularly when they were blasting their truck engine so they could sit in the air conditioning while the fumes blasted into our tent.
They turned it off when we inquired gently, maybe 10 minutes later.
7. Camp for the most fun experience, hotel for the most fabulous
I tented at Coachella, but it’s not for everyone. As I already said, it was really hot. But the best part was that we were right near the entrance and could simply return to the tent throughout the day to relax. It also referred to bothersome and crowded (I assume) transportation. We could see the front gate from our tent and could casually stroll over when it opened.
Camping at Coachella is a lot of fun, but I’d strongly suggest paying attention to my Coachella camping recommendations to get the most out of it. As a result, you’re prepared for the heat and desert conditions.
One distinction between Coachella and the British field festivals you may be more familiar with is the ability to stay in a hotel. Lush!
If you prefer to stay at a hotel, as many others do – certainly all the folks who look nice – then check out my Coachella Festival accommodation guide. Take a look whether you want an air stream, a hotel, or an apartment that is as inexpensive or as near as feasible. Whenever possible, I update the list with the most recent availability.
8. Be generous and kind
The Coachella spirit is one of the finest aspects of the event, and you must experience it. One lady we met offered us part of her father’s birthday cake, we handed out beverages, and our neighbor, as previously said, gave us tarps. At Coachella, selfish douchebags have no place – spread the love, dude.
9. Refine your packing list
You should bring everything you’ll need since there’s nothing to purchase once you’re inside. It’s not like an English event where you can purchase a high-priced tent on the grounds. I’ve created a Walmart packing list (which is on its way) as well as a Coachella clothing packing list to ensure you’re prepared.
9. Plan your outfits
Because there will be no shopping at Coachella, you must prepare all of your clothing for that ‘Coachella’ look, or whatever style you’re looking for.
10. Pick up a copy of the Coachella magazine
Look for the Coachella magazine to appear in front of your vehicle so you can catch up on the Coachella happenings, including the celebrities and parties you most likely missed as a first-timer, as well as the day ahead.
11. Don’t take drugs in
The vehicle in front of us going through security was completely taken apart because it seemed that they had discovered cocaine in the man’s bass speakers in the rear. They’d taken out his whole sound system. He seemed to be handling things okay, although I’m sure it wasn’t perfect. There are coppers everywhere, and dealing narcotics in another country is never a smart idea.
12. Take showers
Showers are clean, numerous, and a necessary at least once a day to escape the heat of the Coachella Festival desert. At no other event have I taken as many showers as I did at Coachella. In fact, I’d never taken a shower at a music festival before. Haha.
13. Go early to explore
Because it was Thursday, you weren’t permitted to enter the main arena until Friday. We took a tour around the campground to find the toilets (portaloos) and showers. (cabins).
We also discovered a quiet disco tent and a camping store. (all horrendously overpriced). Unlike Glastonbury, which sells everything you might possibly need on-site, Coachella only has a few souvenirs, ice creams, candies, and basic snacks. There was also just one vintage store. This was fantastic. It meant you didn’t waste money on dumb junk you didn’t need after a few too many beers.
We discovered a major activity area where they were playing a large game of Twister, an internet section where a distressing amount of people were using computers (not that I can speak for them), and several charging stations.We also discovered a promise of a later snowball battle.
14. Take it slow
At Coachella, there’s no need to hurry. The location isn’t very large, especially in comparison to the Sziget Festival in Budapest and Glastonbury. There are also lots of places to relax, so take use of them.
15. Don’t take your own alcohol into the arena
It would be terrifying to get kicked out of Coachella for bringing in some alcohol, particularly if you were camping. Especially if you’re traveling from another country. At the gate, you will be searched. You may simply drink at your tent and then come in whenever you want. If you want to take a risk, read my tutorial on How to Smuggle Alcohol into Festivals.
16. Don’t get too drunk
When I say that, I mean don’t let security witness you becoming too intoxicated. While it may be OK to lay about the floor wondering where your life has gone in festivals such as Leeds in England, it will get you tossed out of Coachella. Consider it the Stepford Wife of festivals: as long as everything seems to be in order on the surface, it doesn’t matter what dark underbelly you are engaged in.
17. Drink plenty of water
Make advantage of the many water stations available at Coachella. When you’re drinking booze, dancing, and out in the desert heat all day, it’s easy to get dehydrated. Water is free in the arena, but it is rather expensive on the campground, so acquire it before you go. Get that sweet, luscious H20 down you.
18. Look out for the ‘Coachella’ stickers
You’ll get a kit to build vehicle decorations in your Coachella wristband package. However, we only went as far as placing the sticker on the boot. As you drive into Coachella, it’s wonderful to wave to everyone who is attending the event. Make pals if you’re stuck in traffic! You could find yourself sleeping next to them or running into them during the event. More buddies equals more enjoyment.
19. Watch yourself
If you’re there by yourself, be cautious about who you trust and avoid becoming too intoxicated. The event is fantastic, laid-back, and full of wonderful people, but don’t be lulled into a false feeling of security and keep your wits about you.
20. Have a meeting point
There is Wi-Fi for us internationals, however it’s a good idea to choose a location where you’ll all meet at a certain time if you get separated. But be cautious while selecting the spaceman – he moves!
21. Get some sleep
Because of the time I went to bed and too much wine and dancing, I fell asleep as soon as my head struck the pillow every night, but I’d recommend doing whatever you can to guarantee you have a comfortable bed. Bring your earbuds or earplugs since Coachella is the event that never sleeps…
22. Take warm clothes
Remember that you’re in the desert, so it may be rather chilly at night. You’ll need a hoody at the very least.
23. Under 21s will not get served
There are so many safeguards in place to ensure that underage drinkers do not have access to alcohol that if I were you, I’d simply accept it and deal with it. Although I would not say it if I were under the age of 21. What are the advantages of becoming older?
24. Take enough money
There may have been ATMs, but I never needed to use one since I had lots of cash. You can keep it in your vehicle and not worry about losing it. Queuing for an ATM is the most worthless way to spend time at a festival. You won’t want to squander it at Coachella!
26. The campsites are set up like streets
It started on 110th Street and worked its way backwards. We were towards the front, which was ideal for making a fast journey back to our vehicle to load up on liquor throughout the event.
27. Road trip to Coachella
Flights: You’ll need to fly to a neighboring airport, which is Palm Springs, but why not do a road trip?
Then, for the ultimate Coachella road trip, rent a vehicle. If you’re going camping, you’ll certainly need a vehicle, but if you’re driving, you may be able to get away without one.
We flew into San Francisco and stayed for a few days before driving down the Pacific Coast Highway to Palm Springs to pick up our supplies. Oh my gosh, that was just incredible. There are so many wonderful spots and sights to visit along the journey.
28. How much does Coachella cost?
Flight to California: £400
Coachella tickets: £330
Week of fun and booze: £250
Car camping: £50
Walmart haul for camping stuff: £100
– Starts from £1100