It’s festival season, folks! Rowdy concerts are near and dear to our heart (seeing as we met at a rave). And living in Southern California, the month of April is dominated by Coachella talk in our neck of the woods. Since 1999, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has lit up Palm Desert like fireworks on the fourth of July. Music lovers, party animals, art enthusiasts, and people in search of adventure call the Coachella Valley home three days each spring. And naturally, we were curious to find out what all the fuss was about.
The event is definitely not for everyone. Temperatures in the triple digits, massive crowds, and rowdy festival-goers are enough to put some party-goers over the edge. But fear not young Coachella newbs, even though you’ll be partying with 90,000 strangers, you’re definitely going to have the time of your life. Just keep an eye out for rogue crowd surfers and strangers handing out “candy.”
Camping is one of the festival’s main draws. Setting up camp on the concert’s grounds is a humbling and happy affair. You’ll make new friends, learn how to beat the blaring midday sun, and swap stories about which bands blew your mind.
Even if you’re not crazy about music, there are a ton of art installations to be seen throughout the event. When we went in 2013, this massive snail slugged through the grounds delivering the message “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Coachella houses five large stages (and several smaller sponsored domes). The Sahara Tent is where the party goes down. Electronic artists sweep the arena, its vaulted walls packed to the brim with rambunctious partiers. If you decide to brave the Sahara, be on the look out for flying blow up bananas, mind-blowing projections, and a ton of bros trying to get their groove on.
If you’re camping you want to pack as much food as possible (think easy meals like PB&Js and granola bars). But there’s also a ton of dining options inside the festival’s grounds. Gone are the days of waxy nachos and questionable hot dogs. The festivals of today offer up organic coffee, grass-fed burgers, and innovative ice cream.
Word to the wise: Check out the Do Lab Stage. You won’t find as many big name artists, but you will be able to take a mental break from the sizable crowds. Free from walls or ceilings, the stage boasts funky beats, calming energy, and fun surprises (think super soakers and leis).
Above all else, your crew will make or break your Coachella experience. Make sure to set up camp with people who are looking to have a good time and try something new.
Have you ever been to Coachella?