One of the cool things about Coachella is that it’s been held in the same venue every year, which can’t be said about many other festivals.
2017 will be the 18th edition of Coachella, and after 18 years at the Empire Polo Grounds so many logistical issues have dissolved. But that doesn’t mean all the work is done for you.
Here are few expert tips to navigating Coachella 2017. Some are repeats of the ones you’ll find in the Coachella Welcome Guide. That’s how important we think they are.
1.Bring a Camelbak
It might sound insensitive to the environment, but if buy water bottles your Coachella will be much smoother. Literally every food and drink stand sells water bottles for the low price of $2. The lines at the refill stations are always REALLY REALLY long, and they’re usually right near bathrooms which means they can be overwhelmed with crowds. Lines at food and drink stands are generally short because there are so many of them. Coachella recycles all the bottles anyway.
If you’re planning on bringing a water container, our best suggestion is to bring a camelbak and not a reusable water bottle. It will hold far more water.
2. Beer Garden Bathrooms
If you’re not close enough to the real bathrooms on the grounds (that’s right, one that flush), head to the closest beer garden. By default a huge percentage less people can’t use them so they are the most likely to be clean. Coachella is pretty good about cleaning them too.
3. No Backpacks
Buy shorts or pants with bigger pockets instead. Draw string bags are OK, but leave everything else at camp or in the car. If you absolutely need to have a backpack, don’t go deep in the crowd. It’s almost impossible to keep track of all the people you’re bumping behind you, and it doesn’t feel like you’re hitting people when you wear it.
4. Portable Sunscreen
Coachella has gotten better about putting more shade around, but there’s more than enough open space that is drenched in desert sunlight. If you don’t have a campsite where you can retreat, small spray cans are highly recommended for the fairer skinned attendees.
5. Crab Fries
They’re somewhere every year, and they’re totally worth the Coachella-sized markup.
6. Be Wary of Sahara
It’s not that Sahara should be avoided. It’s more like there are certain things that can’t be avoided about Sahara tent. The first is that the layout makes it the most susceptible to being overflowing with people. Pair that with the fact that huge DJs like RL Grime, Zhu, and DJ Snake still get booked in there, and it’s comparable to a jelly bean jar. The only large entry way is through the back, and for a big artist the crowd can go as far as 50 feet back from the structure. This also means you should be wary of the time you enter and exit. Try to leave a little bit before sets are over because when all those people leave the stage at once it makes the surrounding area even worse (especially if you your first stop is the bathroom).
7. Trash Bags
This one’s more for campers, but there’s a little known fact about Coachella. If you bag up your trash and leave it on the side of the road, someone will drive by and pick it up for you.
8. Record Store
Vinyl is back in style again, and Coachella has a fine selection both weekends. The shop is next to the huge merch booth by the main entrance.
9. Try Something New
Coachella is a festival with a truly diverse lineup, and practically every artist is beyond excited to be there. So check out some new music. You’re there for 3 days after all.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will take place at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA on April 14-16 and April 21-13. For more info go to Coachella.com.
Featured Photo by Rukes