@ZackTeibloom Well, we survived the weekend at Coachella. It wasn’t easy, but if you follow this advice, you won’t miss any great artists or have your tent flip over. Also, you’ll learn how to not get stuck inside the festival, how to find a half-decent bathroom and find some decent eats. First things first, if you’ve looked at the weather report for Indio, the highs are 101, 102 and 101. Or, as I like to call it, every day in summer in Austin. But unlike the never ending hell-fire that is Austin, it gets super cold at night in the desert. As silly as it may seem, bring a hoodie and tie it around your waist. It gets cold at night. Always. And bring extra blankets. Don’t underestimate the desert. Oh, and bring Chapstick with SPF. My lips are peeling. It’s gross. If you’re actually going, you’re already in festival mode and not in the mood to read anything long, so let’s get right into it.
- Security is really, really good. Be better: If you’re camping, they’ll go through every single bag of yours when you drive in. Don’t plan on bringing in anything you can’t keep on your person. They will find big things like bottles of alcohol and nitrous tanks. Don’t even try. Once they’ve gone through your bags, stuff what you’re sneaking in back into your bag before you get the physical pat down. That will happen at the car check-in. You’ll have to be on your game for this one.
- Hide things in your socks: They’ll also pat you down when going into the fest every day. They don’t pat down your shoes. Hide things in there.
- Put extra stakes in your tent: Trust me. You don’t want it to blow away and soak everything inside because you didn’t lock the tent down tightly enough. It’s not fun.
- Don’t leave anything in your tent: We thought it would be smart to put our sleeping bags, blankets and pillows in our tent so we’d be ready for bed when we got back. It was all wet because our tent flipped over. So, yeah, don’t do that.
- Don’t leave JUSTICE early for Girl Talk: Even though Justice was 25 minutes late, they were, minute for minute the best
- Catch every second of PULP and pay attention: Jarvis Cocker is a brilliant front man. Soak in his banter and bask in it.
- See FEIST: She blew Florence (and the Machine) out of the water and was truly fantastic.
- Stay at that stage after Feist and get close for MIIKE SNOW. This was honestly my favorite show of the festival. They’re at the top of their game and getting better all the time.
- Go to GIVERS, not Kendrick Lamar: Andy made this mistake and was kicking himself for it. Givers are fun and energetic live, while Kendrick Lamar can’t pull off a solo show.
- Stay for all of RADIOHEAD: You may be exhausted and want to head back, but don’t.
- Revel in JIMMY CLIFF: The reggae legend still totally has it and dances around in a gold suit and will make you happy, I promise.
- Savor the chance to see Sean Kuti: His dad, Fela Kuti is the legend, but Sean is a fantastic dancer and frontman for some authentic Afro-Beat. When else would you see this?
- See some DJs: Andy raved about David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia. I feel like I missed out a bit by not seeing any DJs besides Justice and Girl Talk.
- Bring Your Own Food: Festival food is always overpriced, but man, oh man is it overpriced at Coachella. Caitlin got slices of pizza at $8 a pop while I forked over $9 for my Chinese Chicken Salad wraps. Mine felt like slightly less of a rip-off, but still. Yikes. We came with peanut butter and jelly supplies, water bottles, gatorade, oranges and trail mix to keep at the campsite for breakfast/lunch. We only had to buy one meal a day. I stuck with the Chinese chicken salad. The Philly cheesesteak looked appetizing, but I don’t want mess with heavy foods at a fest. I highly recommend the wrap. Add Sriracha. They have a bottle.
- Don’t drink at the festival. There, I said it. First off, they won’t let you bring hard alcohol into the camp grounds and secondly, they won’t let you take beer into a show. You have to drink it in the beer garden with a bunch of assholes. Who wants that?
- Eat Watermelon: It’s gonna be hot as fuck and watermelon rules, so buy a big-ass slice or 3 over the weekend. It takes pretty pictures. See above.
- Ride the ferris wheel: Do it at night. Maybe after The Black Keys and before Swedish House Mafia on Friday night, maybe before Justice takes the stage Sunday night (our choice) but take that ride. You’ll really appreciate how gorgeous Coachella is from up there. It’s unlikely that you’ll ride with David Hasselhoff, but that’s what happened to us. Just ride it. It’s $5 each. You’ll seem extra smooth if you treat someone special to a ride.
- Use bathrooms near your campsite and try to use ones that have just been cleaned: Don’t use ones inside fest grounds if you can avoid it. Usually there’s toilet paper, but put a little in a plastic bag in your day bag just in case. Look for dudes with long hoses that are cleaning them and then use that one.
- Move your car to Day Parking on Sunday: They lock the campsite down from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. This is a good idea in theory because a bunch of high/drunk people won’t be running other high/drunk people over with their cars. It sucks donkey dick if you really need to leave the campsite to get home and have to sit in your car for two extra hours not moving. Andy realized we should have moved our car to the day parking. That would have saved us. Do that if you want to leave as soon as the hologram’s disappear. Drive safe and don’t speed. There are a lot of cops out there.