Coachella: tips & tricks

Badge Photo - Marcelia Geena

Geena is a Hotwire Travel Geek and Associate Manager of Brand Marketing.

From headliners back-dropped by the stunning desert sunset, food trucks from some of LA’s hippest restaurants and brushing elbows with celebs…not to mention dancing Leo, Coachella has a lot to love. And if you’re ready to get on board for next year, tickets for 2017 recently went on sale.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to make the most of your festival experience (once it finally gets here!). So, in an effort to help you out, I’ve put together a list of my best tips.

  1. Check the schedule (it will likely come out sometime in March) and roughly map out who you want to see. But…don’t plan everything down to the minute. I have never had the chance to see everyone I’ve had on my list, and found it can actually be better that way. Sometimes waiting an extra hour to be in the front row for your favorite band can be worth passing on another act. And other times, it’s the bands you stumble across accidentally that put on the greatest show. Play it by ear!
  2. Try out the infamous food. Japanese “Sumo” hot dogs, garlic fries covered in crab and acai bowls covered in fresh fruit are some of the unique offerings. The more typical food is also good (what’s a festival without a gyro?), but being slightly adventurous has always paid off for me. Who knew seaweed and hot dogs went together so well?
  3. Keep things easy by taking the shuttle in and out of the festival each day. Parking is free, but it can take forever to get out at the end of the night. Plus, you know one of your friends is going to go to the wrong parking lot. The shuttle picks up at certain hotels in the greater Palm Springs area and even if you’re not staying at one of them, taking an Uber to the closest one has worked well for me.
  4. Ah, Coachella clothes. Flower headbands and boho galore. My recommendation is to wear whatever you want as long as you can be comfortable in it for 8+ hours in both high and low temperatures. You can always rent a locker to stow jackets in for when temps drop later at night.
  5. No one likes Port-a-potties. And the lines can get insane at night. However, if you go to the upper terrace level, you’ll be able to find permanent bathrooms with much shorter lines. If you’re lucky, they might be a bit, ahem, cleaner too.
  6. Bring a bandanna! Wearing one on your face probably brings to mind bank robbers from the old West, but your lungs will certainly thank you when the desert wind picks up. I’ve seen it go up to 25 mph in the past.
  7. This probably goes without saying, but bring a phone charger. They have charging stations throughout the festival grounds, but you’ll need your own cord. How will you make all your friends back home jealous if your phone is dead?! 😉

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