Guide to Coachella

Coachella 2019 is just over and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t experienced major FOMO this weekend. So in an attempt to distract myself I decided to do a little post on all my top tips for attending the festival. So have a read and we can all go next year, right?

Tickets

We attended the festival in 2018 mainly because Eminem was a headliner. Tickets for weekend one sold out in minutes but we managed to get tickets for weekend two. There isn’t any difference to be honest. Our tickets included an “Any line, any time” shuttle pass which got us to and from the festival daily.

Getting there

Considering the distance I would recommend spending a few days in Los Angeles before the festival.

We flew to LAX with a short stopover in Toronto.

We spent three nights in the Beverly Hilton, a fab hotel in an excellent location.

Book hotel here.

I will do a separate post on what we got up to in LA next week.

After a fun filled three days (with The Marshall Matters LP as soundtrack) we set off to Palm Springs.

We booked a bus from LAX and headed down the evening before day one.

More info here.

While in Palm Springs we stayed in Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa. I absolutely loved this hotel. It is located on 240 lush acres with towering palm trees and a huge golf course. It has three pools, one with a lazy river, two water slides and a cliff-side Jacuzzi. It was the perfect place to soak up some rays and have a few cocktails before heading into the venue.

Book hotel here.

The mornings were spent over-indulging in pancakes, drinking Long Islands in the lazy river and destroying our hotel room with glitter getting ready for the day.

The shuttle to and from Coachella went from the lobby multiple times a day. We usually headed in around lunchtime. The shuttle is basically the equivalent of a party bus and a great way to meet new people and get hyped up for the acts.

The boring (but important) bits

I cannot emphasis the importance of suncream. You may be focused on getting your outfit right and correctly applying glitter but Palm Springs is hot as hell and you need to be prepared! I’d also recommend incorporating a hat into your look and those scarves you see everyone with around their faces, well, they’re pretty much essential for the evenings. The sand storms are a real thing guys!

After your shuttle drops you off you have a quick security check. All info on what’s allowed inside the venue is sent to you in an email and is really worth taking note of.

Don’t forget to bring your ID as you need to queue up and get a band which allows you into the bar areas.

From there on in it’s pretty much a theme park for adults!

What to do

Arriving to the venue is one of those pinch me moments. Greeted by the iconic ferris wheel, be prepared to spend a little while getting the perfect insta photo (or prepare whoever is with you, sorry Rebecca!)

Definitely download the Coachella app which gives you constant updates and also allows you to plan your day. We picked the artists we wanted to see each day and figured out where the stages were and what time we needed to be at each one. That way we could plan visiting the food stalls and other attractions between each act.

Each year Coachella has new attractions and art installations as well as the return of old favourites.

One of our favorites was the Dolab, a bohemian, electronic focused stage with bright colours, water guns and a eclectic mix of DJs and surprise guests. Make this a must see on your visit!

Although we were there mainly for the music (Slim Shady, cough cough) let’s not forget that the festival is actually called “Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival” so the art is really worth checking out. Last year there were three main installations.

  • Spectra by Newsubstance – described as “where architecture meets drama.”
  • SUPERNOVA by Roberto Bear & Rosario Marquardt, R&R Studios – “an explosion of light and color that exudes optimism and hope.”
  • ETHEREA by Edoardo Tresoldi“transcending time and space, and instigating a dialogue between art and the world.”

Food is rarely not on my mind and if said food is instragrammable then I’m there (yes, I’m one of those, but trust me, I always eat it too!) Coachella is known for its food and there is whole area dedicated to it. The Indio food market is any foody’s heaven and each year brings news highlights. Again the Coachella app gives you all the info you need, whether you’re looking fo a Bao Bun, an ice cream taco or a frozen melon ice pop.

If you fancy an alcoholic beverage you need to go to one of the designated areas. People complain about this and make it sound like it’s a really big deal but it’s not. Most of the areas have a viewpoint to a stage and each one has its own unique atmosphere. You just can’t drink at any stage. Again, not that big of a deal.

Our favourite bar was in the Absolut Openhouse, a neon filled space serving Absolut cocktails and housing a DJ and lightup danefloor. The fact that we rubbed shoulders with Stormzy only kind of made this our favourite!

The Music

The 2018 lineup was something to behold. We had an inkling that Eminem might play and when it was announced went into panic stations and had to get tickets. However, there were a number of other acts that really stood out for me too. It’s definitely worth taking a visit to the smaller stages to check out some up and coming artists.

A few stand outs in 2018 for me:

  • Sigrid
  • Miguel
  • The Neighbourhood
  • Vince Staples
  • The War on Drug
  • Blackbear
  • Vance Joy

Then obviously we saw and loved Cardi B, Post Malone, Kygo, BeyoncĂ©, Destiny’s Child and the King himself, Eminem.

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