Attending Coachella – the world-famous music and arts festival held annually in Indio, California – is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But spending a few days a few days in the California desert with a crowd of around 100,000 is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Read up on these tips to learn everything you need to know in order to survive the festival and make the most of your experience.
1. Stay hydrated
The most important tip for Coachella (and life in general, TBH) is to make sure you’re getting enough water. You’ll be dancing in a hot-ass place for long hours, and dehydration can get real – fast. Water stations are located around the entire festival, so bring a big, reusable bottle and drink up.
2. Wear sunscreen
With temperatures expected to be at least in the mid-90s, sunscreen is a must, especially if you’ll be wearing a tank or bikini top. And don’t forget to reapply! Because a peeling sunburn is a pretty crappy souvenir.
3. Bring a fanny pack
Didn’t ya hear? Fanny packs are back, folks. Don’t be that person lugging around an enormous purse all day. Pack your must-have items in a fanny pack (or, if you’re still not feeling it, a small backpack), and free up your hands for rockin’ out to the music.
4. Don’t mess with drugs
This one’s a no-brainer, but it’s still important to emphasize. Undercover cops are everywhere at Coachella and won’t hesitate to arrest you if necessary. At risk of sounding like your mom, be smart, make good choices, and remember that your actions can have very real consequences.
5. Plan out who you’ll be seeing ahead of time
Yeah, it may sound a little obsessive and contrary to Coachella’s go-with-the-flow vibes, but having the entire schedule printed out or saved as a pic on your phone will make your life a billion times easier in the long run. Because of the crowds, it can take forever to get from stage to stage, so be sure to leave enough time for transit.
Note: The Coachella 2016 schedule has not been released yet. The above photo is from Coachella 2015.
6. Buy your merchandise early
The last thing you want to do is waste away your day while waiting in line for a T-shirt. Stop by the merch booth early in the day to avoid the crowds and ensure that you can snag your choice of merch before it sells out.
7. Get there early
Earlier is better when it comes to all things Coachella. If you’re staying on the grounds, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get around. If you’ll be driving to the festival, don’t forget to account for time spent in traffic and parking. Believe me, nothing says buzzkill like being stuck in traffic when your favorite artist is set to come on in less than an hour.
8. Bring good vibes only
Coachella is a place where people come to let go and have a great time. So be kind, be courteous, and don’t be that asshole who ruins the fun for everyone else.
9. Have a meet-up spot
This one is a must, and I’m speaking from personal experience here. With crowds around 100,000, it’s easy to get lost from your group. Err on the side of caution, and always determine an easy accessible meet-up spot where you can go just in case something happens.
10. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes
It’s gonna to be a scorcher at Coachella this year, so it’s best to wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that’ll keep you cool and let in the breeze. Also, since you’ll be walking and standing around for long hours, opt for some stylish sneakers instead of flip flops. Keep comfort your priority, and leave the crazy outfits to the celebs.
11. Bring a portable charger
Your phone will inevitably end up dying at some point during Coachella. Instead of wandering around trying to find a place to charge up, just bring a portable charger. They’re light, easy to carry around, and can fit in a small bag, so your hands will be free.
12. Don’t forget your toiletries
It’s hot, it’s sticky, and it’s not exactly the cleanest place in the world. Aside from the usual items (shampoo, body wash, deodorant, toothbrush, etc.), throw in a pack of baby wipes and some hand sanitizer so that you can stay clean on-the-go and avoid the porta-potties unless absolutely necessary.