Coachella has announced that presale, payment plan tickets for 2014's shows will hit the market this Friday (May 24, 2013).
Seriously, didn't we just leave Coachella?
In honor of this quick turnaround, and to help those vacillating on the "should I, shouldn't I" purchasing dilemma, I've lined up fifteen lessons I learned as a first time Coachella camper and attendee. I had a blast, but here are some things I wish I would have known (or known more about) prior to. Read on!
1. Purchase presale: We know Coachella is expensive, but the ticket purchasing process doesn't need to be a part of your stress. Buy presale, and save yourself the hassle of gathering your friends around your home computers during the general sale (so many glitches!) or dealing with suspect resellers after tickets inevitably sell out. We didn't buy presale and regretted it: The stress was not worth it. I mean, there's a payment plan: It's so much more budget friendly in the long run.
2. If you're camping, get there early Thursday: It's no secret that Los Angeles' traffic is a nightmare, but it is so much worse to have to sit in it for four hours on the way to Coachella, and THEN sit in the line to get into the camp grounds for another two hours, and THEN set up camp. We got lucky in that our car spot was right next to one of the massive light poles, but most people had to set up in pitch black darkness. The site also harbors a number a cool, kooky activities and it is easier to learn your way around before the concert schedule is looming over your head.
|The line to get into the campgrounds Thursday night hit a standstill, so I sat in my window and laid my head on the car roof, exhausted. http://instagram.com/lianalozada|
|Arts & crafts tent Friday morning. http://instagram.com/lianalozada|
4. Gas up before you enter the camp grounds: We didn't, and though we survived, it would have been nice to have some gas in the car to run the AC during the day, heater at night, play music, and charge our cell phones. If you approach the camp grounds with your red gas light on, you may run out of gas in the line to enter (depending on how long the line is)...then everyone is going to hate you for causing more congestion.
5. Coachella is where cell phones go to die: My phone was dying the entire weekend. BRING AN EXTRA BATTERY. The camp sites and concert grounds have cell phone charging stations but they were ALWAYS PACKED. So packed, that the power was low (and whole units would blow out), and it would take almost two hours to charge a phone. Whenever I wasn't going to be using my phone I set it on airplane mode, which helped a little. If you go with a group, come up with a meeting spot in case you separate; don't rely on your phone being there to help.
6. Empty your phone's memory card: Mine got full there, and with so few sockets around, it was hard to back up anything on to my computer. Sooo frustrating.
|One of the few great photos I was able to snap on my cell. http://instagram.com/lianalozada|
8. Coachella style blog posts can be misleading: Mirrors and sinks are hard to come by. Shower lines get long during peak times. It's hot as hell during the day and freezing at night. Your makeup melts. I barely saw people in heels - let alone wedges - on the camp site: There was just too much walking (and dirt, and jumping around) involved for all that. When I went back to look through the Coachella style snaps, they were mostly of bloggers who had stayed at hotels, attended private events, or slipped in and out of VIP. It is not the full Coachella experience. The first day, I walked around in a bathing suit top and shorts, and I still wanted to swim in a pool full of ice water. Bottom line: Be comfortable and functional, pack light, and think layers for nighttime.
|What I wore, day 1. http://instagram.com/lianalozada|
|La casa de Yas & Liana. http://instagram.com/lianalozada|
|The sandstorm before sunset. That fading dark shadow is the mountain. Instagram/lianalozada/|
12. Packs things you can dispose of after: I brought underwear specifically to throw away because the thought of dirty laundry just hanging around for four days grossed me out. We brought old towels and blankets that we used for showering, shade, cleaning, walking on the grass, etc. - and then tossed them. Our coolers were disposable. We brought hand wipes to serve multiple purposes. We also threw away our shower sandals afterwards. It made the return trip home so much easier.
13. Most places are cash only: Come prepared, but don't be stupid and put all your cash in one place. If you lose it, you're screwed. Depending on your spending habits, if you leave site or not, and how much you bring with you, I don't think you need more than $200 for the weekend.
14. People share: If you're a South Floridian like me and have been to Ultra Music Festival, know that the vibe is completely different. People are more chill and communal, and ummm, how do we say... share their wealth. Of course, we saw people who couldn't handle themselves, but it wasn't like Ultra where I saw a girl literally shit her pants.
|That's me. He's a stranger. He offered to let me sit on his shoulders so I could see Wu Tang better. And that was it, just a kind favor for a short gal. http://instagram.com/lianalozada|
Which leads to my final lesson...
15. It's a marathon, not a race: Pace yourself! Drink water. It's hard to not be excited upon arrival, but remember the days are long and hot, nights are cold, there is a lot of walking... and those toilets are not pleasant.