Coachella 2017 is right around the corner and we are pumped! We couldn't be more excited for this lineup; we get to see a few artists we love a second time and a few that we've been dying to see for the first time! Personally, I'm going to fangirl my heart out watching Lady Gaga.
We bought advanced VIP tickets for Weekend 1 (April 14-17). This will be third time going to Coachella, but first time getting to experience VIP. We went in 2014 and 2016; even though we had a great time, there are a few lessons learned that I wanted to share with you. I know there are many different ways to experience Coachella, but these are our top tips we recommend and will be applying when we go in again April.
Tip #1: Get a Shuttle Pass
If you are not camping, then a $75 shuttle pass is a must. Sure, you can save a few bucks and forego the pass to use Uber; but with surge pricing, you'll probably end up spending the same amount (if not more) as you would have with the shuttle pass. Plus, if you want to go back to your hotel a couple times a day, that adds up with Uber. Valley Music Travel (the vendor that runs the shuttles) has this process down; the shuttles are on a continuous loop from the hotels to the venue from 11 am to 8 pm and will return to the hotel stops until 60 minutes after the music ends. You just have to worry about getting yourself on the bus.
Tip #2: Get There Early
Want to see someone performing at 1 pm? Shoot to be there by noon. We are normally conscious of time, but our time management skills were non-existent when we went in 2014! If you're camping, this shouldn't be an issue since you're right there, but since we were staying at a hotel 30+ minutes out, we missed every band we wanted to see that had an early start time (oops). This wasn't the shuttle or the venues fault… this was on us having too much fun lounging by the pool sipping on frozen adult beverages. Even though we had a good time at the pool, we regret missing some of the bands we wanted to see. So do yourself a favor and get there early.
Tip #3: Bring Water!
Honestly, bring a CamelBak and keep that thing full. Not to sound like your mom here, but drinking alcohol in the desert is no joke. If you want to make it through all three days and actually enjoy yourself, make sure to stay hydrated. Thankfully, there are plenty of water stations throughout the venue where you can fill up for free. The easiest way for us to do this was to have a CamelBak so we could keep our hands free (mostly for dancing and holding beer).
Tip #4: Walk Around the Entire Venue
I know, I know, seems obvious right? I'm adding this on here because we didn't do this until our last night in 2014, and I feel we missed out on some fun opportunities. They have so many other activities tucked away that are easy to miss if you are solely focused on the music. Thankfully, we took our own advice in 2016 and explored more, but we still didn't get to see everything (ferris wheel, we're coming for you in 2017). Make sure to grab a map and check in at each station; might as well take advantage of the whole Coachella experience!
Tip #5: Bring a Bandana
We were lucky enough to pack bandanas just for their normal wear, however we ended up using them as face masks to guard against the wind. You have to remember we're in the desert here, and with that comes some gnarly sand storms. Unless you like coughing up dirt for weeks, throw a bandanna or two in that suitcase of yours and remember to thank us later.
Tip #6: Leave Judgment Behind and Let Loose
You would think someone going to Coachella would already know this, right? If you've never been, I'm here to tell you that you will see a WIDE spectrum of people attending this event. Ranging from your typical hippie, to parents (with their toddlers), to grandparents, to the eclectic, to the rich and famous. The first year we went, I experienced an hour or so of being uncomfortable by the variety of people I was surrounded by. Once I did a little self-reflecting and realized that everyone was here for the same purpose, to relax and enjoy the music, I was able to let go and fully enjoy our Coachella experience.
What weekend are you going to Coachella? Have any other tips I missed? Let me know in the comments!