5 tips for surviving Coachella

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Surviving music festivals takes time, planning, stamina and a certain mindset that isn’t easy to come by. My husband and I are no strangers to music festivals as we’ve done ACL (Austin City Limits) twice. If you follow me on instagram and facebook, you know this was our first time attending Coachella.

Coachella is a huge music festival in April that draws over 100,000 people each year. Featuring artists of all kinds of genres from hip hop to EDM, it appeals to all music lovers. It’s held in Indio, CA, which makes it susceptible to dust and high temperatures.

Looking to attend next year? Here are 5 tips for surviving Coachella:

1. Be open-minded and flexible

Music festivals are notorious for scheduling big bands at the same time, encouraging you to make an annoying choice about which bands you’re going to see. This year, my #1 was Disclosure, and Justin’s #1 was Arcade Fire. Both overlapped by 15 minutes so we needed to make a plan to see both. There were bands playing at the exact same time in opposite ends of the festival, forcing you to choose which ones to miss out on. Finally, sometimes the best bands are the ones you stumble across while walking around the grounds. That’s how we found Passion Pit and Big Gigantic.

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2. Go with people of the same mindset

We’ve gone with friends and family before that just don’t have the same mindset. A lot of the time people who go for the first time just don’t know what to expect and end up being real downers. The crowds, weather, food, lines and cost of beer isn’t an easy experience. Go with people who have the same mindset as you (whether it’s planning out exactly what bands to see and that’s it, or doing it hippy style and seeing where the wind (or ears) take you).

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3. Actually think about what you are going to wear

I was surprised to see how fashionable people were at Coachella. At ACL people weren’t interested in fashion (we’re here for the music remember?) and just wore clothes that were comfortable. At Coachella it was all about high-waisted shorts, crop tops, peasant tops, flowy dresses, flower headbands and bib necklaces. Shoes consisted of combat, ankle boots and cute sandals. There was also a lot of short shorts with exposed butt cheeks, but I’m hoping that’s a fad that will die soon.

4. Find the perfect spot for the bands you really want to see and get there early

My sister and I are short, 5’4 actually, so being in a big crowd with no elevation is a crap shoot for us to find a place where we can even see the screen. If you are on the short side, consider finding a spot next to a fence where you can see the stage and eliminate the amount of people directly in front of you. It’s worth it, believe me.

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perfect view of the screen!

5. Eat breakfast and pack essentials for being outside all day

The first day and a half left us feeling like we had been hit by a truck. Feet hurt, body aches, coughing (the dust does that to you) and headaches galore. After we decided to get to the festival later in the day to avoid the harsh sun, eating a hearty breakfast (which was cheaper anyways) to fuel up for the afternoon, taking allergy medication to fight the dust complications and packing water bottles and sunblock, we were good to go.

Music festivals are fun but they do take a lot out of you. Whether you camp out, get a hotel, drive down or fly, they are an experience all in of itself. Take the time to check out some bands you may not know, try the different food stations (we had crab fries which were incredible) and peak inside the sponsored brands (Sephora had an awesome tent where you could charge your phone and re-apply your makeup). The grounds are really beautiful, lined with palm trees and a huge Ferris wheel that make a sunset backdrop so picturesque.

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15 thoughts on “5 tips for surviving Coachella

  1. Sounds like you have a fab time at Coachella! Veteran party -girl! Thank you so much for these tips. They totally make sense to me. Havent been in California for a while, but … it’s on the list and I will bring your tips along.. Thanks for sharing them on the blog linky party!

  2. Hi Sandra,
    Your tips are on the mark! I too have attended festivals and felt like I should I have planned better to make the most of the situation. I am so glad you shared these valuable tips at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Blog Hop! We’ll certainly benefit from them!

  3. I do not think I would be able to brave the crowds, but if I ever do, these are great tips! Thank you for sharing at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week!
    Blessings, Deborah

  4. Sandra I am so very jealous. This looks amazing. I wish I lived near Cali I miss that beautiful place. I am now in the UK rainy and cloudy all the time. boo This just made me more jealous of this fabulous post and your awesome experiences. lol Great tips though. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. I loved reading your post and hope to see you again soon. #sharewithme

  5. I’ve never really known what Coachella was before, so thanks for sharing! I live in a very dusty place, so I echo the importance of taking allergy medication! I always see pins on Pinterest about Coachella fashion, so I am intrigued to hear people actually do care. If I’m in a sweaty, dusty place, I’m not sure how much effort I would put in…

    Thanks for sharing on Hump Day Happenings!

    • Absolutely! Coachella is a fun music festival and I highly recommend it. The allergy medicine was a lifesaver with the dust, something we were not prepared for at all. The fashion was all about flowey, airy pieces with a hippy flare. Some put a lot of effort into the fashion, while others opted for just plain comfort. All in all, if you feel uncomfortable you are not going to have a good time. Sundresses and shorts with a crop top with booties seemed to be the most popular.

  6. If I was close to you I’d hug you 20 times. FINALLY someone with a realistic music festival checklist and idea!! While I adore seeing the fashion from this concert series, and often seeing it duplicated at the different festivals I’ve been to, I always go for comfort. Maybe it’s because I’m in my late 30’s. *wink* My hubby and I love music festivals. We’ve attended Music Midtown in ATL 2 years in a row and we’re thinking about hitting up ACL this year (hello, Pearl Jam is headlining, during our Anniversary month – seems like a legit reason to me). SO often I see girls in pain from uncomfortable shoes, lack of sunscreen, and/or too much booze, and not enough water. I fill my jug about 3 or 4 times a day, and bring a backpack with an semi “emergency” kit (bandaids and blister block). I got a wicked blister the first time we went to Music Midtown within the first hour of being there, and Pearl Jam went on LAST so, I did what any girl scout would do. Fixed it, and forgot it, and had a blast. I really need to write one of these, and if you don’t mind I’ll link to yours too!

    • You are so awesome! I’m so glad you liked the post 🙂 I’m in my 30’s and comfort is definitely key (I actually found I could be more creative with my outfits at this festival). I saw people dressed in heels, with nothing but lingerie on (I can’t imagine that sunburn) and elaborate headpieces. I’ve never been to Music Midtown but it sounds like fun! I saw Pearl Jam at ACL a couple of years back and you will not be dissapointed. My husband is a huge Pearl Jam fan (I’m not so much) and I was really impressed by their set. If you write a checklist, let me know as I’d love to read it (and I would love it if you link to mine as well). Have a great week!

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