After a year of serious planning, Coachella 2015 came and left in the blink of an eye. One Valley writer had the privilege of attending weekend two of the SoCal festival and whether you’re planning on going next year or heading to another festival this summer, here are some tips to help you make it the experience of a lifetime.
1. Your outfit choices do matter
The weather at Coachella is hot, like 100-plus degrees hot. There were points of the day where it almost wasn’t worth being outside because the sun was powerful enough to ruin any fun. While you might be excited to wear long-sleeved boho dresses, jumpsuits, and suede jackets, they just aren’t cut for the weather. Think loose layers and sunglasses and you’ll be safe.
Being in the desert for a weekend certainly has its pros and cons, with the biggest con being the amount of sand that will get into your lungs. My chest still hurts. You’ll see people walking around with bandanas or scarves covering their faces, and no it’s not a new trend, it’s strictly for protection. Cover your face if you don’t want to be coughing for weeks to follow.
3. Stay hydrated and enjoy the food
This just leads back to how hot it is outside. The last thing you want to do is end up in a first-aid tent because you’re dehydrated and on the verge of fainting. There are plenty of water vendors, and refilling stations if you prefer to bring your own bottle. Music festivals also have some of the best food vendors and pop-up restaurants, so it never hurts to take advantage of a taco…or five.
4. If you’re 21 & older you have more perks (Sorry youngins)
While the booze is definitely more pricey than your average downtown bar, the brand sponsored venues are worth it. Coachella’s Heineken tent is the only place in the entire festival that has air conditioning. There is also huge a beer garden with views of two different stages, so you can kick back and have a beer while enjoying music away from the crowd.
5. Expect some surprises
By now I’m sure all of you have been exposed to that extremely uncomfortable Drake/Madonna makeout and I’m sorry to remind you of it again, but Coachella has other great surprises. The Weeknd brought out Kanye West during his performance, DJ Snake welcomed DMX during his set and David Guetta surpised us with a Nicki Minaj performance. If you choose to go either weekend, I’m sure you’ll receive a similar treat, but don’t expect to see any celebrities in the crowd—VIP really does mean VIP.
6. Technology is not your friend
Music festivals are the place for photos and videos of just about everything, but with that comes a drained phone battery. Do yourself a favor and buy an external battery to keep your phone charged all day and capture every moment you want without stressing. The phone service also sucks, there is no wi-fi in the desert, so you’ll probably have to wait to upload your Instagram photos until after you leave.
7. Don’t let anything ruin your fun
Just like any other concert or crowded place, you’ll get pushed and shoved like there’s no tomorrow and yes you’ll get annoyed. By the final day, you’ll probably feel drained and a little agitated thanks to the sweat, frizzy hair and sore feet. Don’t sweat the small stuff. At the end of the day, you’re at an event that not many people get to go to and you should make it a point to have the time of your life and make the best of it!
8. Genuinely enjoy the music
I can’t stress this one enough. Let your hair down, take your shoes off and just let loose and enjoy the music; it’s what you’re there for! We all want to take photos and videos of how cool the experience was, but there comes a point where it’s time to put your phone down and dance. Have fun.