First Timers Guide to Glamping at Coachella like a Boss
There are concerts and there is Coachella. During two weekends of April a small desert town of Indo, California transforms into THE PLACE to be for music lovers, A-list celebs, adventure seekers, and instagram influencers alike. Coachella has been on my dream-bucket list for the longest time now and finally this year I decided to kick off my summer early and go. And, guys, it was UNREAL, PHENOMENAL, EPIC, and all other cap-appropriate superlatives. Below, I wrote for you a guide of what to consider to have the most wonderful coachella experience. Let me know if you are planing to go / went and what your experience has been. Can't wait to hear!
1. Pick your weekend: Weekend 1 or Weekend 2
In principle, Coachella strives to provide the same experience for Weekend 1 and Weeekend 2 goers. To their credit, both dates have the same line up and arts. However, the vibe is deffinitively different. Weekend 1 is the one that most celebrities, influences and partty-goers go to. This translates into more artist guest appearances (e.g. KYGO broght out Rita Ora and Jamie Foxx, Party Favor brought out Tyga, ect.) and substantially more after-parties (incl. the celeb-filled Neon Carnival attended by Rihanna, Nicki Minaj ect.). Weekend 2 provides a much more laid back vibe. Less people attend, which makes it easier to get close to the stage and the crowd that goed cares more about the music than all other aspects of Coachella.
2. Book early
Once you choose your weekend, book early. Tickets sold out in the past couple of years and getting them from the official website vs re-sellers is substantially cheaper. Flights will get more and more expensive, reaching ridiculous highs as the dates approach, so try to book them at least 2-3 months in advance. Same goes for hotel reservations. The earlier you can finalize the details the better and more cost effective your trip will be.
3. Where to stay
Hotels vs Camping
Hotels: There are few hotels in the area with a ~20 min drive to the festival. The cool thing about them is that (You have real-showers - ha! ;) #TooReal ) they provide a nice escape from the camping grounds, which can get very crowded, and many organize after-parties. The downside is that it will take you a while to get to the festival. Even if the GPS estimates the drive to be ~20 min, you have to add time for traffic of everyone getting to the festival and then extra time to wait in line to be let into the venue
Camping: That's what I did this year. Generally, staying in the tent was expecdatly not as conducive to perfecting your outfit/make up but I LOVED the fact that we were literally right there. There was no entry lines and when the concerts end and I was leaving the festival arena at ~1:30 am every night, it only took me 10 minutes to get back "home." The other very cool thing that I was not expecting was the "Camping Center" - an area with food trucks, activities (think yoga, life-sized fosball, ect.), and after parties opened only to the campers. Finally, it was super easy to make friends with the fellow-campers, and "hey Ladies, do you need help setting up the tent?" was the pick up line of the trip! ;)
4. What to bring
Shoes: I've survived in sandals, but the first stop upon my return to NYC was a pedicure saloon. The best type of shoose would be close-toe ones that you have tested multiple times and are confident that they won't give you blisters... even after 6 h of walking in the desert sun.
Bandana: Especially toward the end of the festival when the grass gets worn out, the deserts gets extreamly dusty.
Warm clothes: Something that was great about living in the tent was that we wore out desert -heat appropriate clothing during the day when the sun was up and it was hot outside, and than around 7 pm when the sun was setting down we would go back and change into something warmer. California gets very cold at nights and packing a pair of warm sweatpants to sleep in was such a blessing. For those not staying on festival grounds - the festival offers lockers, so I would deffinitively get one and bring at least a jacket with me.
5. Insider Tips
Wrist bands: There are 4 types of Coachella wristbands: 1.GA (General Admission) - hello fellow mortals ;) 2.VIP - fellow mortals who paid more to have better accomodations. 3.Friends/Family of Coachella - People invited by Coachell to atend think VIPs who are not part of the line up: e.g. Gigi Hadid, Rita Ora, but also music producers, and kids of studio execs ect 4.Preforming Artist. It is realtively easy to figure out which wrist band color coresponds to which of the 4 categories, and since every one attends the concerts and is in the crowd together, getting a hang of the wristbands is a really easy way to tell wheather the cutie dancing next to you is not the same guy or girl that you were just armiring on stage few hours ago
Music: An awesome thing about Coachella, and one of the reasons that makes it so successful is the variety of artistc that they bring. Under no other circumsatnces could I imagine seeing Vance Joy, Cardi B, and Party Favor play as part of the same event.
Early arrival: The camping grounds open at ~11:30. One of the best tips is to arrive early. During the day the venue is not as crowded and you can see people drining rose, pickinging and going freely from one stage to another.
Pop Ups: Take advantage of them! For example Sephora pop-up was providing free festival make up and hari does, Heineken pop-up provided an AC-ed lounge with suprise DJ guest