Festival fans, Coachella is just around the corner. This will be my third year attending Coachella Music and Arts Festival. Every year I learn something new, that I wish I’d known sooner. These tips should improve your music festival experience.
If you’re going to Coachella, you’re probably not 90 years old and don’t need a real bed and private washroom. Camping is a huge part of the music festival experience; you make more friends, you don’t need to wait in shuttle lineups, it’s cheaper, and it adds an element of adventure that you don’t get when staying at the Waldorf Astoria.
Pimp your site out: decorate your campsite with a banner that boasts your camp name, and put something on a pole up in the sky so your campsite is easily found. Be friendly with your neighbours, not only are you living in close proximity the next 3 days, but it’s good to have extra eyes on your gear when your eyes are elsewhere.
Do Your Homework
Research the lineup. Don’t waste 300$ to hear music you’ve never heard before, walking around like a chump hoping you hear something you like. I for one get stoked when the lineup comes out; I go through the entire bill, split-screened with youtube and listen to absolutely every band.
Take a look at maps and services offered too, because at some point you will need to find the lost and found, or late night dodgeball. Bonus points: You’ve got a long journey, and there’s still a week or two(depending on which weekend you attend) until the festival; make a playlist and prepare yourself so you can sing along to every song. Or you can copy my homework:
Prepare For The Worst
I’ve made the mistake too many times of thinking,”it’s the desert, it doesn’t get cold” or, “I’ll just party all night, I don’t need a pillow”. It does get cold. You do need a pillow. You should also bring comfortable shoes, a wide brimmed hat, baby wipes, and zip lock bags. Bro points for bringing extras and sharing with your festival brethren.
Learn The Art Of Concealing
Ziplock bags are a longtime favourite of many festival-goers. Recently, bottle caps for water bottles have been found to be useful. And you can always empty a sunscreen bottle or similar if you prefer the taste of ________ to sunscreen. Real sneaky guys and gals don’t hide stuff they want to be found inside their fanny packs, they hide it underneath them.
A huge part of festivals like Shambahla is the crowd involvement, getting tricked out with glowsticks and glitter, or wearing costumes. You’ll bring a smile to somebody’s face, and be easier for your friends to find among the masses of people. Make a sign with something clever and put it up in the air. Or dress down; it’s hot out there.
You’re out in the sun all day, getting roasted and sweating out everything thats good for you. Keep your skin happy with lots of Omega-3s(walnuts, salmon jerky, sardines), and your brain happy with electrolytes(coconut water).
The food options at Coachella are outstanding, with many boutique LA restaurants setting up vendor booths at the music festival. There are options for gluten free, vegan, raw, you name it. Be prepared to spend 15$ on a meal though. Coachella on a shoestring tip: Leave a can of beans/soup/chilli on the roof of your car; by dinner time it is the perfect temperature.
Have A Meeting Place
There’s talk of a new cellphone tower that will make keeping in touch easier, but for broke-ass Canadians it’s of no use. Whether you go crowd surfing and can’t get back into the pit, come out of the porta-potties in a sweaty daze, or pass out from heat exhaustion and wake up three hours later hugging your friends flip flops, you’re bound to lose your festi-pals at some point. Plan ahead, and try to always watch from the the same area of the crowd. Unless of course you are going alone-loser.
This should be obvious, but unfortunately I learned the hard way. After buying bottles of craft beer and expensive tequila, we were saddened to find out there is no glass allowed on the polo grounds. Decant your tasty bevies into plastic before going through security, not while you are being searched. Don’t worry bro, Four Loko only comes in cans.
Like a good neighbour, the good homies at State Farm are there for your lazy legs. Throughout the weekend they operate golf cart shuttles through the campsite. Get your State Farm wristband Friday and save your legs the walk all weekend. Tip your driver.
Enjoy music festivals responsibly, and look out for your fellow festival-goer. If you can’t make it to the big show, it will be live-streaming both weekends. Stay tuned for our coverage after Coachella Music and Arts Festival Weekend 2.