Last year I was fortunate enough to go to Coachella and although I was working it instead of being an actual attendee, I still got to enjoy the festival and it became clear to me why everyone is doing Coachella wrong.
The past few years every April, we’ve seen our Instagram feeds flood with only the best snapshots of everyone’s Coachella weekend. The sugar coated experience comes melting down when people hear “The Truth about Coachella” or forfeit the cash to experience it for themselves.
Today’s society loves to take things and suck the life out of it through over-stimulation and perceiving things to be better than they actually are creating this hyper-reality that is unreachable. Coachella is a perfect example of this and it doesn’t have to be that way if people started living for themselves instead of for other people. In my opinion, the best memories are the ones know one else knows about because they’re all your own and can’t be tainted by anyone else’s opinions.
If you chose to be immersed into the magic that is Coachella, don’t make the same mistakes that so many others make that immensely impact their overall experience. Here are 5 ways everyone is doing Coachella wrong:
They’re not camping on site
Camping is such a vital part of truly experiencing a music festival and makes things so much easier when it comes to attending the festival each day. Most of the people that avidly post about their Coachella experience are sent by a brand so they don’t have a say in where they stay but if you do, staying in a hotel or Airbnb in Indio, Palm Springs or any other of the surrounding areas is not the move. There’s only one highway to drive into Indio from Palm Springs so you’re bound to get stuck in traffic everyday and then have to make the dreaded walk from the parking lot to the actual entrance of the festival and deal with the hassle of getting a ride back at night.
The Coachella camping grounds are a whole different experience with amazing camping set ups, music blasting, people pre-gaming, and a few brand pop ups. At night after the festival ends is when it really comes alive with a silent disco, chill DJ lounge setup, and food for the late night munchies. All Coachella passes can go into the camping grounds but actually staying on site for the weekend allows you to be close to the entrance, beat the crowd, and leave the festival as you please to rest or freshen up. There’s a general store on site so they’ve got you covered with anything you might need.
They’re showing up to the festival late
After spending so much money on attending Coachella, you’d think that people would get there as early as possible to get the most for their money but that’s not the case. I’m aware that there’s unofficial Coachella day parties off site, but I remember witnessing so many people arriving as the sun was setting to get their golden photo in front of the notorious ferris wheel and to watch the headliners. I will admit, it really is hot as shit out there in the desert so I don’t blame people for trying to stay out of the sun, but with lots of sunscreen one weekend in the sun won’t hurt you too bad.
If you show up to the festival before the doors open or as the doors open then you’ll get to experience the festival before all the crowds which is another experience in itself. My must check spot is the Mini Mart which has a bunch of boutique Coachella merchandise that sells out fast. In addition, showing up early allows you to anchor a front row spot for your favorite headliner, check out a food stall or pop up before a line forms, and see the most acts as possible.
They’re not going for the music
The fact that people care more about what they’re wearing than the actual lineup is a shame in itself. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care about a good outfit but the fact that people stress themselves out about what they’re going to wear is quite silly. Why does Coachella have to be the one weekend where you dress out of your comfort zone? You can literally do that any day.
It’s clear that there are people who attend Coachella just to be able to say that they were at Coachella and if there’s no pictures, it didn’t really happen right? It all sounds quite ridiculous but when our minds are flooded with superficial things it’s easy to forget about what really matters. Coachella started 20 years ago back in 1999 on the basis of showcasing music unable to get on pop radio with bands such as Rage Against the Machine and the Chemical Brothers. They struggled financially for the first few years to keep the festival afloat but eventually found a way to keep successfully reinventing Coachella every year.
Within the past decade Coachella’s popularity has skyrocketed because of fashion, publicity, and social media influencers making it seem like a can not miss event even if you don’t really care for the lineup which shouldn’t be the case.
Their expectations are too high
Based on what we see about Coachella on social media it looks like your life is not lived unless you’ve been to Coachella at least once. There’s eye catching outfits, crazy food, amazing art, celebrities everywhere, and epic Coachella squad photo opportunities. While all these can be true, it’s never good to go into anything with high expectations because it most likely won’t live up to standards.
The reality of Coachella is that it’s incredibly hot with dry heat and high winds picking up dust everywhere. I can promise you will get Coachella cough if you don’t protect yourself with a bandana. Every food stall isn’t out of this world and it is overpriced. There is a possibility of seeing celebrities but honestly it’s so packed that everyone at Coachella looks the same making the chance of getting split from everyone you came with pretty high.
Going into the experience without any expectations and being open to receiving everything that comes to you that weekend will truly make it a more fun and memorable time.
They’re not aware of all the perks of their wristbands
They’re a couple different tiers when it comes to purchasing Coachella passes and each of them come with different incentive perks. Both general admission and VIP passes allow entrance to the camping grounds which people should check out even if they aren’t camping.
VIP passes which is what most people get if they get gifted a Coachella wristband and those give you access to 2 special VIP areas that have full bars, food vendors (sometimes exclusive), and air conditioned bathrooms. I’d highly recommend utilizing the VIP lounges because they’re usually not packed and using a fancy restroom instead of a port-o-potty is such a blessing. You’re also more likely to catch sight of a celebrity in the VIP lounges.
The 1st VIP area is in the rose garden and the 2nd is right next to the Main Stage so you can get a front row view of the headliners without being stuck in a huge crowd.
Weekend 2 of Coachella is coming up and if you’re attending or plan on attending one year, I hope your experience is worth all the money you spent or will spend.
Have you been to Coachella before, what was your experience like? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading and stay hungry to learn, create and grow!