The Do’s & Don’ts of Coachella

Do you have that one person in your life who makes you do stuff you would have never done on your own?  I do .  . . it’s my husband, Sean.  I owe him a shout out because at this point, in our 16 year relationship, I have numerous amazing memories because he “made me do it.”  And yes, I’m adding Coachella 2015 to that list.

Going to Coachella was apparently on Sean’s bucket list. Although I didn’t really protest, I was definitely not super pumped about going. I’d been warned by some of my girlfriends that it was going to be too crowded, dirty and gross. And here’s the thing  . . . I didn’t find it to be any of those things.  In fact, I found it to be hilarious, entertaining and most of all, super fun. I actually highly recommend going. That said, I will share some words of warning (or perhaps wisdom) to make your experience a little more comfortable, more memorable and more fun.  So here are my Do’s & Don’ts for Coachella:

1.  DO dress the part.  Even if you don’t think you’ll wear it, bring your favorite hippy outfit. On the last day, I totally got into it – sporting my favorite flowy shirt and head band, and I’ll admit, I enjoyed myself more. When Florence and the Machine came on, I felt like I was reliving Woodstock up on my husband’s shoulders, and I had the time of my life.

2. DON’T wear ass-shorts and a sports bra. Okay, first of all, what is up with the new ass-shorts trend?  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m referring to the recent fad of wearing Daisy Dukes so short that you can seriously see a chunk of ass on each side. Oh, and don’t forget the matching bra top as well. Do I sound like a Mom?  LOL  In all honesty my main reason for saying DON’T is that if you plan on staying into the evening (which is when all the good stuff happens), you’ll want to have something warmer with you.  It cools off real quick at night, so if you do plan on attending half-naked, make sure you bring some layers. 

3.  DO drink ahead of time and bring an empty water bottle (or at least $ for water).  I’m not a huge drinker but if I was, I would definitely consider doing some pre-partying , especially if you want to go to the music tents right away.  No alcohol is allowed in the tents. There is, however, a decent beer garden that even serves up glasses of Prosecco.  Cheers!

Water is cheap – only $2 a bottle, and you can’t bring any water in from outside the venue.  There are tons of places to refil water but the lines get pretty insane from all the “partiers” needing to hydrate.

4.  DON’T eat ahead of time.  The food selection is unbelievable, from vegan options to barbecue to paella – “Only in LA,” right? The options are limitless and seriously delicious.  I promise you won’t go hungry.


5.  DO bring ear plugs and a bandana.  My husband got tinnitus from a rock concert a few years back, so we’re a little on the paranoid side, but I seriously recommend bringing ear plugs.  I promise they help.  We use the clear wax ones – no one can tell you have them in and you can save yourself ringing later on (or worse, life). 

So many people were wearing bandanas, which of course may have been for “other reasons,” but it’s also because there is sooo much dust everywhere.  Sean had to constantly put visine in his eyes.

6.  DON’T bring a purse.  I made this mistake the first night. I had my wrist purse annoyingly swinging around as I sang and danced to ACDC.  I wish I’d known that fanny packs are totally acceptable at Coachella.  In fact, you really won’t want to be carrying anything.  Whether you actually think you’ll dance or not, if you are checking out any DJs (as I quickly learned with David Ghetta), you sometimes have to keep jumping just to keep from getting run over.  Purses just get in the way.

David Ghetta at Coachella 2015

7.  DO wear comfortable walking shoes.  It’s a decent walk from the parking lot and the venue is enormous.  Although, you can pretty much sit down anywhere, if you want to enjoy the music, you’ll want your feet feeling ready to dance. 

8. DON’T camp out.  So, yeah it looked like a great thing to do in your 20’s but the camp site was basically a bunch of people sleeping in their cars with some tents set up behind.  I don’t think I’m high maintenance, but I’m also not really into using nothing but a port-a-potty for three days straight. 

9.  DO bring a cell phone (or at least a camera).  The venue is enormous, which is great because unless you squeeze your way up to the front of a stage, it doesn’t feel claustrophobic at all.  However, if you go to the bathroom or try to meet up with someone it can get tricky finding each other, since everything is so spread out.  You’ll def want your phone for the mere sake of not getting lost.

Internet service is kind of sketchy there, so you’ll have to save all your social media posting for after you leave the venue.  You will, however, want your phone (or at least a camera) to take pictures with.  There’s unbelievable people watching, gorgeous scenery, lighting, and lazors.  If you geek out like me, you’ll want to capture yourself in once-in-a-lifetime photographs.  Also, Coachella has a pretty cool app where you can see the line up and make your own schedule of who you want to see.


10.  DON’T Bring a Selfie Stick (or a Go-Pro on a stick).  To be honest, I’m anti-selfie stick in general.  It seems super pretentious and most of all, annoying to others to have a stick roaming around in the air while trying to enjoy your favorite bands.  

11.  DO your research ahead of time.  I had no idea about the majority of the bands, but we weren’t really interested in spending all day every day there (My girlfriend called us “Coachella tourists.”)  If you are going to hang out all day, I would spend some time reading up on who is there and use the Coachella app to plan out your days.

12.  DON”T be stuck to a plan.  Check out as many artists as you can. There is so much going on and you may fall in love with a band you never knew you would. 

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