Your Guide to Surviving Coachella

By Zach Bourque / Special to LAist

Like a fast-spreading benign cancer, Coachella fever has infected Southern California. Your neighbor’s talking about it, your dry cleaner’s talking about it and most importantly, you and your friends are talking about it.

And really what’s not to love. First and foremost, it features some of the biggest names in music over a three day marathon where there is nary a genre or style left unturned. Secondly, it serves as a metaphorical second Halloween for the region, allowing women of all shapes and sizes to dress up as scantily clad Pocahontas’ and hippies and encouraging a no-holds-barred party atmosphere in which anyone and everyone is now your best friend.

However, with any 80,000-person-plus, three-day music festival comes one gigantic, equally magnificent 80,000-person-plus clusterfuck. Here are a few tips to handle the chaos and stress of the year’s best and biggest party.

1) Take your time - I can understand and respect that most of you graciously mapped out your entire weekend based on set times and weather patterns on the company dime this week but be prepared to make sacrifices. You will not be able to catch every act you want to at this festival. Time conflicts, group bathroom breaks, overpriced Heinekens and blacked out friends will shave minutes if not hours off your schedule. Focus on staying in a particular area and catching as much music as you can without traveling. It’s a 15-minute walk from the Main Stage to the Rave Cave and that isn’t factoring in beer dependencies and shitty bladders. Be forewarned.

2) Find a meeting spot - You will lose your friends. It’s a fact. There are countless impossible not to miss meeting spots scattered around the festival. Saying something like meet me underneath the gigantic neon balls is a realistic and practical text message.

3) Enjoy your downtime - Downtime in between sets? Wander around and enjoy the scenery. The Do-LaB and countless others have provided amazing art exhibits to stimulate your mind and body. Still bored? Eat some food. Coachella has upped the ante when it comes to food this year so browse around and find something special to power your day.

4) Use technology - Live Nation and Coachella have created their own app to keep track of your schedule and map your away around the grounds. Hyped new networks like the Instagram channeling CrowdsEye app can help you catch the acts you missed and share your own best/worst photos to gain respect and potentially win some serious cash. Want to rub in that front row spot for Radiohead? Post it. With categories ranging from celebrity sightings to best crowd shot and everywhere in between, it’s a great time waster and a potentially lucrative nest egg to finance those 8-dollar beers.

5) Stay hydrated - This should go without saying but even with the impending room-temperature weather and potential rain showers you are bound to
need water. Thankfully, Coachella and Live Nation have kept the price of a bottle of water at a thrifty two dollars.

Don’t have a ticket? Ask around. There seem to be countless tickets floating around after the initial shock of selling out so quickly. The current market price seems to be hovering around $400 which is only a few bucks over the day 1 sale price.

Lastly, have fun. This isn’t a cheap trip by any means so enjoy yourself, you deserve it L.A. Stay safe, stay together and stay inebriated.

Related:
Coachella Releases Weekend 1 Set Times
Road to Coachella: Where to Imbibe Fest-Inspired Cocktails
Coachella Craziness: Desperate Fans Offer to Swap Kidneys or Medical Services for Tickets That Sold Out in Three Hours