Growing up, one my life goals was to attend Coachella. The festival first started in 1999, and since then the festival became known for bringing back some of the biggest bands such as Radiohead, The Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses Prince, Paul McCartney, etc. This year, major headliners included Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, Ariana Grande, Khalid, BlackPink, Billie Eilish, Zedd, and more.
For people who are attending Coachella for the first time/deciding to attend next year, here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned throughout my weekend.
- Buying tickets in advance does not necessarily make it cheaper. I bought mine back in January from another person for $850 CND. Tickets are about $700 if you buy when they go on sale. Also, a lot of Californians were selling last minute tickets for $300, so it’s up to you if you want to wait or pay for the security. Keep in mind when buying from a third person, even if you activate it through the app to see if it’s legit, they can still report it as “lost” so make sure you buy it with caution. Also, Weekend 1 is the better weekend to go, more celebrities attend, better surprise guests, and less muddy.
- Book your hotel ASAP! I strongly advise booking accommodations in Palm Desert, unless you are camping. Driving from LA would be way too hectic, and there is no parking at Coachella. We got a 4-bedroom place for about $720 per person, and squeezed some friends in. We stayed at The Westin Desert Willow Villas, which was absolutely stunning with a hot tub that’s open all night! The longer you wait, the higher the prices and less availability.
- Get a shuttle pass , they come very frequently. The Ubers take way too long , plus you have to walk to the Uber pick-up. The shuttle set up was very well organized, with staff all around the grounds shouting on megaphones, there was no way anyone would get lost. Tip; our hotel was a very quiet location. We barely had anyone on our shuttle, while some of the other locations had ridiculous line ups.
- If you’re driving from LA, leave EARLY on the Thursday. We left around 1:30pm and our 2 1/2 hour drive turned into just over 5 hours because of LA traffic. We managed to drive to Joshua Tree National Park, which is a 30 minute detour from Palm Desert, but it’s worth a visit especially because it’s in the area. When leaving on the Monday, it doesn’t matter when you leave, the traffic will still be 5 hours.
- Yes it’s worth going to the festival early to get pictures, merchandise, ferris wheel, etc. But keep in mind it’s HOT. We aimed to get there around 4pm each day, and it was way too hot. We hid underneath the tents most of the time until sun set because it was too hot.
- It doesn’t have to be a fashion show. I mean yes, Coachella is the influencer olympics, and we all just want to look our best for the instagram. But there are a lot, especially locals who come in just a t-shirt and shorts. It is a bit muddy, so don’t wear your $1000 shoes/outfits unless you really don’t care. Also, if you are planning to get your hair and make up done, book your appointments at least a month in advance!
- You will run out of water. Bring about 3 empty water bottles per person and fill them all up at once. The line ups for the refill stations get a bit hectic and yes they run out of water. You could always just buy water for $2. Or I filled up my bottle at the sink in the bathrooms. (Yes, it’s safe)
- Have a meeting spot!! Especially if you are a group and everyone wants to see different acts. Each stage is quite far from each other, and the service is horrible. So make sure you have a meeting spot and time if you end up splitting with the group.
- Pack a sweater. It gets pretty chilly at night, and I know we all want to look “instagram-ready” but trust me, you want to bring a bag with a sweater.
- Line ups for food and drinks are not that bad. Pricing isn’t too bad either, the Coachella app is really great for this as it lists all the vendors and prices that are available!
- You will not see as much celebrities as you think you will. Yes they do wander the grounds, but so do 100,000 of other people. Good luck spotting someone.
- Main headliners, depending who it is, I suggest if you want a good spot get there a bit earlier, like 2-3 acts earlier and stay in that spot. If you show up just before they’re about to go on stage, you will be about 20 minutes away from the stage. You can’t see or hear as much.
That’s all the tips I have for now. Overall, it was definitely a great first experience, and I’m really glad I did it. If you have any other questions feel free to comment below!