Before we went to Coachella we read a few articles on how to prepare and what to expect. There seemed to be three common themes; it gets freezing cold after dark, the dust is everywhere and that if you lose your friends you’ll never find them again. Well, all of the above is HUGELY exaggerated, but there are other important must knows that were completely left off the list. These are the must read Coachella tips!
How cold is it after dark?
The real answer is not at all, the first day we took jeans and jackets and put them in our locker in preparation for the much hyped cooler temperatures. However the cold never came, we were all in shorts and tops for the entirety of the festival and so the warmer clothes languished in our locker until we left on the final night.
But it’s dusty right?
This is sort of a yes and no, we only really experienced issues when we were walking across the car park when leaving. Covering your face does have some benefits but no need to freak out too much about this. Only exception would be if you suffer from chest problems, then yes, protect yourself.
Did you end up alone?
We had a group of six of us, and we did all want to see different acts so we did split up on a regular basis. Messaging is hard at the festival due to the sheer number of people, but we found the old school text message would usually go through with no problems compared to the iMessage.
There are a lot of landmarks at the festival, so if you make a meeting point based around these with a time then generally it wouldn’t be too hard to find each other again.
Ok, so what else do I need to know?
We learnt a lot in three days, things that weren’t really covered in the blogs and articles we’d read so I’ll cover them off here because I think they are important to know ahead of time.
1. It’s hot, but it’s not the hot that Kiwis and Aussies know, it’s a dry heat so even though it’s 30 degrees it actually feels pleasant. Also the sun is nowhere near as intense due to the fact that America still has an Ozone layer, I didn’t wear sun protection the entire time and I was fine, however if your lighter skinned then slap it on! Drink lots of water as you will still get dehydrated from all the walking and dancing, a bottle is US$2 and you can refill it for free!
2. California has decriminalised marijuana, that means it is EVERYWHERE at Coachella. If you are sensitive to the smell then this is your heads up, also tobacco smoking is extremely rare in comparison.
3. Alcohol is very, very expensive at Coachella, we bought a 1 litre of vodka from an alcohol shop before hand for our pre-drinks and it cost US$14. One vodka soda drink at Coachella will cost you US$12! Beer and wine is US$10 a glass. They also pour the drinks extremely strong, it seems free pour is common here, there are no shot stoppers on the end of the bottles like at home.
4. There are no drunk people at Coachella, I am not kidding. During our time we saw zero messy or aggressive people like you do at festivals at home. It is a place where people like to dress up and “be seen” rather than get messy, however there is still a fantastic atmosphere. People are friendly and will love to stop and chat especially if you have an accent!
5. There is amazing food at Coachella! We didn’t even skim the surface of this but every option and variety is catered for. I strongly suggest you make some time to try the culinary delights that are on offer.
6. On the final night it took us around two hours to get back to the hotel, you will be tired, your whole body will ache and there will be serious crowds. However the staff also hand out snacks and water while you wait which is a great touch when you’re exhausted.
Overall it was an incredible three days, I saw all my favourite artists plus discovered some new ones. The festival is extremely well organised, not a single detail is overlooked and as a result it’s earned it’s place as one of the best in the world. I highly recommend you add this to your bucket list, it’s something you’ll never forget!
There is so much more I could write on this topic, but if you have any specific questions then please reach out and ask me!