This will be our sixth year going to Coachella, and every year we get a little wiser in attending the festival. I can still recall our first Coachella in 2014, where we almost got our wristbands cut before even entering into the campground. We’ve camped for three years, stayed in a hotel once, and this will be our second year staying at an Air B&B, it’s safe to say we’ve been through it all (except our tent flying away, my husband is pretty good at staking down our tent).
Let’s start with the biggest key of survival, your stay. You can choose to camp, hotel, or airbnb, all are great options based on what you are looking for and willing to spend. We camped for three years, and it was the time of our lives, but now at 26 I will NEVER camp for Coachella again, it’s pretty rough tbh. Camping is rough because you don’t get much sleep, the sun and your neighbors wake you up at 6 am and you probably don’t go to bed until 1 or 2am. However, camping is a vibe like no other, and you are so close to the festival.
If this is your first Coachella, or your first time going all 3 days, or you’ve had a rough prior experience, here are some of my favorite tips to get you through this magical and hectic weekend.
This has got to be the most important factors to your weekend. I’ve seen so many people pass out at festivals for not being hydrated. Aside from passing out, your body gets extremely sluggish when its not hydrated. The desert sun is no joke, and neither are the countless beers from the beer gardens. You have to make sure you are staying properly hydrated from the morning you wake up, to going to bed. There are two ways I love to stay hydrated.
- Liquid I.V-If we’re friends, it’s safe to say I’ve given you a Liquid I.V before, or you’ve seen me post about it excessively. The reason why is because it works. One hydration multiplier is equivalent to THREE water bottles, More hydration, less trips to the bathroom! I always stock up before festivals and make sure the squad stays hydrated. Save 20% off your order & get free shipping with my code “Jessmarquezz” by clicking on this link -> Order Liquid I.V
- Vibedration CamelPack- If you don’t already own a camelpack for festivals or hiking, get yourself one now! My favorite company to order from is Vibedration! I’ve ordered two and have gotten two of my friends one as a birthday present so we all stay hydrated. They have super fun ones with designs and serve as a backpack to hold essentials like chapstick, gum, etc. The best part is, you’re wearing it (or your man is haha), and your hands are free slash you are less likely to leave it behind like you would a Hyrdoflask. I also have a discount code that saves you 10% off by using “Jess” at checkout Vibedration Hydration Packs
- FREE Water- The festival has free water refill stations, if you have a hydration pack you can fill it and have it for some time.
- $2 waters- You can also get water bottles pretty cheap at Coachella. They also offer a cool incentive, if you bring back 10 empty water bottles to recycle they give you a free water bottle. You’ll be surprised to see how many water bottles you’ll find in spots other than the recycle bin.
2. Surviving the Dust/Allergies
If you are someone that gets allergies, do NOT forget to pack your zyrtec or claritin! There is also a lot of dust floating around especially when walking in and out of the festival, pack a bandana or a mask to prevent sneezing and your allergies going rampant.
3. Sun Protection
Like I mentioned above, the sun is no joke! It might not feel as warm when you head into the festival that you think you can skip out, but do not! Not all of the tents are shaded so you will be directly under the sun for many hours. Apply facial sunscreen under your makeup and apply it to your whole body. I would even recommend bringing one in and sharing it with a group, just make sure it is one that is allowed. I believe they don’t allow aerosol spray but I could be wrong. Lipbalm with SPF is also key because your lips will burn. Sunglasses, and hats are also great ideas to protect you from a possible burn.
4. Portable Charger
Okay I’m including this on my list to remind myself. Every year we say we are going to bring one and forget. TBH my phone is on airplane mode most of the festival and I only pull it out to take pictures and record parts of sets. If you are planning on meeting friends at some point in the day, this is where a portable charger will be very convenient. Since the service is kind of spotty at Coachella, your battery will drain as it is searching for service, hence why I keep it on airplane mode. It’s also great to make sure your phone has battery in case you get separated from your group and you need to contact someone. Which brings me to my next point….
5. Designate a Meeting Spot
Losing a friend at a festival is one of the most worrisome experiences ever. This happened to us last year and I had the worst anxiety from it! Once you walk in pick a meeting spot in case one of you gets separated from the group. Having the meetup spot picked out at the beginning will also make it easier for you to meet before sets if you split up to see other people (which will happen, we all have different taste and you should never miss someone you truly want to see).
6. Comfortable Shoes
I’m the queen of comfort when it comes to my shoes at Coachella. Pictures from the ankle up have been the motto, as I was wearing chucks or comfortable sneakers with a cute outfit. You know those influencers you see at coachella with heeled booties, yeah they’re not there most of the day, those people come into the festival for a couple hours and often change their shoes after getting a good picture. Personally, I would not recommend sandals either unless you want to end up with a broken toe nail and dirty feet. However there are some grassy areas where I’ve gone barefoot and let me tell you how amazing that feels. Last year was my first year wearing Doc Marten boots to Coachella and those were lifesavers, they make your outfit look even better and your feet are protected. Just try to break them in before, and wear thick socks.
7. Rent a Locker
Renting a locker is SO CLUTCH. This last year was the coldest Coachella I had ever been to. I ended up spending $40 on a blanket because of how cold I was. I’m a wimp when it comes to the cold, and although the desert days are Hot, the temperatures can drop at night and the wind is pretty intense at night. If you rent a locker with some friends, you can split the cost and shove a light jacket to use at night. Also it’s a good spot to save your merch so you don’t lose it. Oh and buy your merch the first day, the lines multiply as the days go by!
8. Bring Cash
Card is accepted almost everywhere, but you will come across some water bottle stations or popsicle stops where they only accept cash. Having a couple single dollars makes it easy. Also if you happen to accidentally lose your card, having cash will be nice.
I know it is really easy to forget to eat when going to festivals #guilty. I typically make sure I eat something dense before going into the festival to hold me up just in case we don’t get a chance to sit down for food. I’ll make sure my breakfast is heavy on protein and carbs cuz carbs are energy. There are sooo many delicious food options at Coachella catering to all sorts of diets….I can already taste the crab fries.
10. Pack Bathroom Essentials
Wipeys are essential to festivals! Keep your hands clean and also take them with you to the bathroom. The bathrooms near the Sahara tent are always pretty clean and have toilet paper, but carrying wipeys and hand sanitizer just in case is a must. Tissues are also great to carry and can serve as toilet paper if there is none.
11. Take Breaks
Our first coachella we were savages who survived front row of A$AP Ferg. Now that I’m 26 I don’t feel the need to be so up close and crowded by people. The stages are massive so you can see and hear perfectly. Take breaks and sit on the grass, and look around it’s one of my favorite sights to take in. There are a lot of cool Air Conditioned lounges, my favorite is the Heineken House (21+), because they typically have some well known lit D.Js playing. There are also lounges exclusive to card holders like American Express. Another spot to get some shade and AC is the Yuma tent which is definitely a vibe.
12. Explore the Grounds
Personally, I like to go in with extra time to wander the festival grounds. Every year the artwork is different, I scope out spots to take pictures and play in the immersive art. If you’re staying at an AirB&B or a hotel, give yourself ample time to get to your shuttle and into the festival, it always takes more time than you think. We normally go in earlier the first day to explore because as the days go on you get more tired and lag.
13. Bring Some Sleep Aids
Getting enough sleep or rest is as important as staying hydrated. It can be difficult to fall asleep after a music festival, pack some melatonin, an eye mask and even ear plugs to tune things out. CBD is also great to pack to relax your body and mind.
This will be the first year I bring my earplugs to Coachella. Ever since I started doing Spin obsessively, I began wearing earplugs to class. I went to Escape for halloween and my ears were so sensitive to the sound. You know the ringing after festivals….thats noise induced hearing loss YOU WILL NEVER GET BACK. As someone who has taken Audiology courses, and has neglected protecting their hearing for years, I vow to protect my ears when I can. I already know I have some hearing loss, it only gets worse with age so pack them in case. The music still sounds great especially if you have a good pair, I prefer Eargasm Earplugs.
15. Plan, yet go with the Flow
Going with a group is the highlight of Coachella, however it can be pretty difficult at times. If I could tally up how many hours we spent at the Beer Gardens last year waiting for people to meet up, I would have seen 4 extra sets, not going to lie sitting down with an IPA is also nice. The truth is you and your group are going to have different music interests, don’t be afraid to be eager to watch an artist you have been anticipating. Since I’m a Virgo, I plan out my whole weekend set list the moment it drops on the app. I just have them planned out in case, but once you are there, be ready to let things go out of plan. Check out a new artist you’ve never seen, last year was my first time seeing Rufus Du Sol & now I listen to them weekly. That’s the magic about Coachella, it’s such a versatile festival, you can discover so much new talent!
With that being said my biggest piece of advice to survive Coachella is to get lost in the music, take all the pictures you want, catch the sunset, dance with all your closest friends and tell the people around you that you love them, catch you on the Empire Polo Grounds in April!