1. Know your game plan beforehand.
2. Make sure you write your info on a piece of paper.
That means hotel address and phone number. Your phone will probably die, so make sure you have hard copies of important info.
3. Always pack your fest bag light.
Fill your fest bag with the absolute minimum. The last thing you want is to be weighed down by that book you told yourself you’d read in the sun.
Pro Tip: Consider bringing a sweatshirt. Yes, it’s annoying to carry around, but at night it gets pretty chilly and you’ll want it for the walk home.
4. Bring extra pillows.
It doesn’t matter if you’re camping or renting a house, there are always more heads than pillows. Bottom line: bring extra!
5. Flasks are your friend.
Alcohol is provided inside the fest, but it’s super expensive and the lines are long. Empty out a sunscreen bottle and fill it with your favorite poison.
6. Get a phone case that doubles as a charger.
These things will save your life. Mophie has them in a variety of colors and phone sizes. You can charge both your phone and the case independently. Woohoo double battery life!
7. No glass allowed!
This goes for both in the fest and in the camp grounds, so don’t even bother trying to bring it in.
Pro Tip: Don’t try to sneak it in either. Even if you get past security, a lot of people go barefoot and could really hurt themselves.
8. Think about extra storage space.
9. Always have a buddy.
There are a ton of people you’ll want to meet up with at the fest, but there is nothing worse than ending up alone with no way of finding your group again. Make sure you have at least one person you’re tethered to at all times.
Pro Tip: To make the most of the time you have with the people in your group, switch your buddy up each day, that way you have quality time with more than just one person.
10. Take lots of breaks during the day.
It’s close to 100 degrees and you’ve been dancing all day. You may not feel it, but you need to relax and drink lots of water. Make sure you set aside time during the day to kick it with friends in the shade.
Pro Tip: You get a free water bottle for every 10 empties you return, so recycle!
11. Security searches you and your car when you arrive to camp.
Be prepared to take out all bags, blankets, coolers, and pillows. They will go through your car and your stuff.
Pro Tip: As you can imagine, this takes a long time. The line for cars to get into the camp ground can be hours long, so plan accordingly.
12. Don’t forget a bandana.
The wind can seriously kick up sand come nighttime.
13. The police are on horseback in the camping areas.
While it may not seem like a big deal, just remember that their line of sight is higher than the top of your tent. If you have the top exposed, they can see right in.
Make sure that you and your friends have a meeting point picked out. Once you’re inside the park there will be zero cell service so pick a time and place to regroup in case you go separate ways.
Pro Tip: Pick a meet up spot that isn’t an art installation. Yes, they are super pretty, but that is basically everyone’s meet up spot. Pick something obscure.
15. Bring tampons.
Tampons are an absolute must for a festival, for more than just obvious reasons. They are great for the random bloody nose, being sneaky, and helping out another female festival-goer in need.
16. Always mind the size of your group.
The larger the group, the harder it is to get organized (hence the buddy system.) The time it takes to do anything (including getting to the festival, getting drinks, bathroom breaks, and finding a spot together in the crowd) is exponentially greater when you have a larger group.
Pro Tip: Keep the group below six. That way you can be surrounded by your closest friends but still able to navigate through crowds. No one likes the 20-person group that plays Red Rover through an audience. No one.
17. Don’t fear the fanny pack.
Fanny packs are essential to the Coachella experience. They adjust fit to your waist, leave your arms free, and have multiple zippered pockets to keep your stuff organized and secured.