You’ve probably heard of Coachella, but what is it really and why are people hyped-up to attend one of its dates? For starters, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is a giant annual music festival held in Indio, California. Most people only call it “Coachella” or even just “Chella.”. The massive event has grown tremendously over the years and has become more than just a time to listen to great music and bands.
How it All Started
The infamous event all started when a band called Pearl Jam had an argument with Ticketmaster which prompted them to look for other venues. They ended up playing in the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California, in which the festival is still being held up to date. It was back in 2012 that the festival had so many attendees that they separated the event into two weekends.
Coachella is usually held during April, but there are no fixed dates. It happens typically on Fridays to Sundays.
What Can You Expect from Coachella?
Although it started as a music festival, it evolved into something more over the years. In recent events, you can find art installations all over the place and it’s also a hotspot for many bohemian-inspired styles. Aside from it all, many celebrities attend the event like the so-called “Queen of Coachella,” Vanessa Hudgens. Coming across different stars randomly at the festival is a regular thing.
The whole festival is comprised of five stages: the Coachella Stage, Outdoor Theater, Gobi Tent, Mojave Tent, and the Sahara Tent. Most of the time, major acts or the headliners are saved for the last, and smaller bands and artists perform in the stages throughout each day.
How much are you expected to shell-out for the event? Well, not considering the lodging and food as well as your transportation, the ticket starts at $429 for a three-day price.
Why do People Love Coachella So Much?
Since Coachella is held in the middle of an actual desert, you’d think that people are going to be hesitant about attending one of its dates but people believe that it’s part of the Coachella charm. Here are some reasons why people love the music festival so much:
Surprise guests are everywhere. Coachella is a well-known music festival so it’s only natural that it brings some of the best and most prominent artists in the world. Aside from announced headliners and amazing undercards, most artists also invite other artists who they collaborated with them in some of their greatest hits. Going to Coachella will mean seeing more than just who’s on the bill.
It’s a place to show off your fashion sense. Many festival-goers outdo themselves when it comes to showing off their outfits. Everyone tends to bring out their most popular and risky fashion statements. Although you can find most costumes to be bohemian-themed, Coachella is still a place for you to express yourself by wearing your outfit of choice.
Create your lineup. Coachella organizers keep the list for each date diverse every year. This can help you in creating your lineup of artists depending on the genre you prefer. You can hit the stage whenever an artist of your chosen style performs. One more thing that Coachella prides in itself is that there is something for everyone.
Coachella is just the beginning. Once the music festival starts in April, it's usually a sign that there will be more festivals in the following weeks. Start your celebration hopping at the biggest one in the world.
What Items Should You Prepare?
Now that you’re well-informed about this popular festival, you should be well-prepared before leaving your nest to attend. Packing your Coachella stuff might be difficult especially if you’re a first-timer so here’s a list to guide you which items are essential for the most prominent musical gathering in the world:
Don’t forget your pass or ticket. This is the most important one on the list. Imagine looking forward to the day itself and getting all excited on your way to Indio just to find out that you forgot to bring your pass. Hassle, right? To prevent this, make sure that you have your pass with your before leaving the house and keep it somewhere safe. Don’t let your hard-earned ticket go to waste and ruin your whole experience just because you forgot to bring it.
Have your wallet near you. This is another no-brainer. Keep all your essentials like cards and passes in your small purse. it's advised to keep your wallet big enough to fit your stuff without being bulky and small enough that you can keep it in your pockets (if you have one in your outfit) without relying on big purses. That way, even if you lose your bag, you still have your wallet with you. You can also consider bringing a fanny pack with you.
Bring some cash. it's always a good precaution to keep a certain amount of money with you. Some stalls might not accept your cards, so it's still advisable to keep some spare change.
Make sure you have your ID with you. This comes in handy when buying liquor inside the venue. Some stalls still ask for your identification card to verify your age. Your ID can also help in identifying you in case you faint during the festival (fingers crossed and hope you don’t!) while your friends aren't with you at the moment.
Bring your smartphone. Your smartphone can do a lot of things for you, from checking out the Coachella happenings through their app up to finding your friends in case you get lost in the sea of people. it's also advisable that you download apps like “Find My Friends.” You can also download a phone finder app so you can still retrieve your phone in the case it gets lost during the event.
A portable charger is a must. Since each day of the festival starts at 11 o'clock in the morning, your phone is bound to die sometime in the afternoon or even before you can live tweet about the headliners at night. This can be prevented by keeping a portable charger with you at all times, especially since your phone is one of the critical things you should carry anywhere you go. For the best and long-lasting portable chargers that can last through Coachella, we recommend Flux Chargers.
Carry around a refillable water bottle. Keep in mind that the festival takes place in a literal desert. It means that you’re bound to get dehydrated at some point. You can prevent this by carrying around a refillable water bottle. According to their site, the organizers of Coachella allows water bottles as long as they aren't made of glass or metal and has a maximum of 40 oz, capacity. You can bring in your container filled with water already and go to refill station throughout the venue if you run out of water. There are also stalls which sell beverages, but you can cut down costs this way.
Apply some sunscreen. The sun is truly blinding in the desert. Stop potentially spending hundreds of dollars trying to bring it back when you can always use a sunscreen when going to the festival. Avoid sunburns and dry skins by applying it before going and bringing it to the festival so you can always re-apply. Make sure you have the right SPF. Some sunscreen also functions as moisturizers too. Lastly, do not bring the aerosol kind because the organizers prohibit it.
Wear your sunglasses of choice. You might want to bring some sunglasses too since you’ll be hanging under the sun for long hours. Considering the festival takes place in the summer, sun rays will be harsher. Protect your eyes by bringing sunglasses with you. Some sunglasses even come as foldable. Aside from matching the style you're going for, your sunglasses must also be of high-quality. You can also opt for polarized lenses for added protection from the sun’s UV rays.
Wear your best hat. In case your sunglasses aren't enough to combat the sun’s heat, you could also defend yourself by wearing the hat of your choice. Your hat isn’t just for aesthetic purposes since it was made for shielding you from the heat after all. It usually depends on the kind of outfit you’re wearing, but make sure that your hat is providing you with the proper coverage against the sun that you need.
Bring extra comfortable footwear. Coachella being a fashion affair too aside from its musical roots, you're bound to choose style over comfort with your shoes. That is alright but remember that you're attending an all-day affair for a minimum of three days. You can always be comfortable footwear like sandals and sneakers as extras aside from those heels and boots you’re planning to wear.
Bring a bandana. With the number of people moving around and the festival being held in the desert, dust is bound to be thrown in your way sooner or later. Bringing a bandana will limit the amount of dust you can inhale in the duration of the event. Bandanas are also an item of fashion so you can choose to include it in your outfit.
Throw in some earplugs in your bag. The festival itself may be too loud for you, and it will keep being that way for an extended number of hours. By putting earplugs, noises are kept at a minimum while the quality of the music is maintained. If you’re planning to be at the front row where all the loudest speakers are, owning some earplugs is essential.
Feel free to bring a portable fan. It’s no secret that it gets too hot in the desert. Cool down by turning on some portable fan you brought with you. Most portable fans come as battery-powered anyway, or you can charge them to your portable charger too. There are also USB fans which you can plug on your phones to operate.
Bring some wet wipes. Wet wipes are your savior against the long shower line. With these, you can take a shower without actually wetting yourself. It can give you temporary relief and a refreshing feeling if you’ve been staying for too long under the sun.
Hand sanitizers are a must. Running water inside the venue is considered a rarity. Aside from your wet wipes, you should also keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer. You can prevent bathroom horror stories by keeping one with you. It can also save you in situations when a sink with soap is out of the question.
Keep a pocket flashlight. Now that you're prepared for the morning’s events, you should also make yourself prepared for the happenings at night. it's unreal how much people drop their stuff during the night raves. Though it's bound to happen with all the excitement happening around and the people dancing up and down, keep your things from being entirely lost by bringing a small flashlight with you so that you won’t have to look blindly in the dark. Who knows? Maybe you can even help others search for their lost stuff.
Bring a bag of toiletries. The Coachella grounds have showers open for everyone so you can bring your brands with you. Just make sure that the ones you will be carrying will not melt under the hot conditions of the desert. The management allows shampoos, body wash, conditioner, deodorant, towel, and even eye drops. you're also allowed to bring oral hygiene kits which would include your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, and whatever else you need to keep your mouth smelling fresh.
Stuff some medicine in your bag. You can also include your prescription medication to avoid unfortunate attacks. On the other hand, “supplemental medication” only include Excedrin, Tylenol, Advil, and Vitamin B1.
Wear some makeup and bring some more for touch-ups. Makeup is an essential part of your Coachella costume. You can choose to wear it beforehand but do not expect that it stays on throughout the day since you will be soaked under the sun. You can bring your go-to makeup essentials so your bag would not be too bulky. You can also bring hair products and colognes but keep in mind that the management will not allow any aerosols inside the venue so pack your stuff wisely.
What Items Are You Prohibited From Bringing?
The organizers of Coachella are very strict when it comes to prohibited items inside the venue. But it's only understandable since they aim to make the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival fun and comfortable for all the attendees. In their website, Coachella organizers have released a full list of things you're not allowed to bring inside the venues. Here are some of them:
- Aerosol Products/ Aerosol Cans
- Air Horns
- Audio Recorders
- Liquid Refills for E-Cigarettes
- Bicycles, Skates, Scooters, Skateboards
- Chains and Chain Wallets
- Chairs (including the inflatable and foldable ones)
- Detachable Lens Cameras
- Drones or any type of remote-controlled cars, toys, or aircraft
- Drugs, Drug Paraphernalia
- Marijuana and Marijuana products
- Flammables (Fireworks, Explosives, Road Flares)
- Flags or Totems
- Flyers, Samples, Giveaways, or Promotional Items
- Glass or Metal Water Containers (refillable plastic ones are allowed as long as they do not exceed 40 oz.)
- Glow Sticks or LED Gloves
- Animals (although service animals are permitted)
- Hula Hoops
- Musical Instruments
- Kites or Sky Lanterns
- Laser Pointers
- Outside Food or Beverage (there will be stalls inside the venue for this kind of needs)
- Selfies Sticks, Tripods, and Narcisticks
- Sharpies, Markers, and Paint Pens
- Sleeping Bags
- Stuffed Animals
- Tarpaulins and Tents
- Toy Guns, Water Guns, or Sling Shots
- Video Cameras
- Weapons of any kind (this includes guns, ammunition, pocket knives, tasers, pepper spray, etc., as well as sharp pointed objects)
More Coachella Tips
Maximum Amount of Passes - You must also know that each person is only limited to buy a maximum of two passes. Passes are wristbands that you’re going to wear for three days. These are only valid for the entire weekend that you purchased and aren't eligible for a date switch.
Activate Your Wristband - Before entering the venue, make sure that you have already activated your wristband. You can do so using the Coachella Mobile App. Lastly, those who are aged six years old and above will need a Festival Pass to be able to enjoy Coachella.
Make A Checklist - While you will surely enjoy the experience, attending a huge festival such as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will require a lot of preparation. Since it's a three-day long festival, you should pack wisely and be ready for it. Make a checklist so you won’t forget anything while also preventing over packing your things.
Check Their Website - Don’t forget to check their website for a full list of do’s and don'ts as well as the guidelines you must follow. You can always make your Coachella experience more fun by saving yourself time by preparing in advance.