Coachella is: all the crowds, all the music and all the heat. Every April thousands of festival lovers take over the Palm Springs area. One of my favourite ways to kick off a summer of festivals is to jet down to Coachella for 2.5 days of sun, fun, stellar music, crazy art and big, beautiful crowds. Coachella is the first big American music festival of the summer season and usually harkens the first hot hot hot weekends in the Coachella Valley, located about three hours east of Los Angeles and 45 minutes from my one of my favourite US Sun destinations: Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park.
Located in Indio, California the 17 year-old music festival is one of the best organized, greenest and cleanest festivals I’ve attended. The grounds are generally immaculate thanks to the festival’s posh hosts, the Empire Polo Club. Cochella’s grass is shorn like a navy boy’s haircut and the palm trees perfectly hug the funktastic art installations and five plus music stages.
With temperature soaring to the high 30s and early 40 degree Celsius range plus tens of thousands of people, Coachella demands respect. It’s easy to loose your friends and bank account to the mega ebbing and flowing crowds and overpriced booze gardens due to the beating sun. I was lucky enough to attend Coachella three times in the past few years (2009, 2010, 2012). Each time was both beautiful (Lykke Li sunset set of 2009) and mind-boggling (I’m looking at you Tupac hologram) and each time my ‘Chella posse grew. I attended the fest with one other person, with three others and then with five others. I wouldn’t recommend going with any larger of a group because then the potential for war-like logistics and compromise spats grows exponentially.
I love Coachella and really want you do have a great time – whether you want to sway slowly to TV on the Radio and dagger to Major Lazer (just kidding, kind of), there are so many bands to see and sunny hangs with friends to be had. Below you’ll find my guide to a having a fantastic and kinda frugal time at Coachella. *Caveat: I’m not a Coachella camper, this guide is aimed at people is staying off-site.* Read more