Admittedly I’ve only been to Coachella twice and while I’m not attending this year, I still feel the need to inform many of my friends (and strangers) out there about the weekend ahead of them. This may be the first time Coachella has opted to run two weekends in Indio, California but the rules stand.
Rule 1: It’s Always Hot
Of the two years I went to Coachella and even before then, people warned me about the heat. Be prepared to wake up sweating in your tent at 7 am, fighting for a spot in line to get free water from the spigots on the grounds, squishing under the provided shade with strangers (who usually leave their trash after eating), and in my case, passing out under the shade and waking to find you lost your friends.
Although looking at weather reports for this weekend, those attending the first weekend are luckier than those attending next weekend. How lucky? This weekend’s high is 82 degrees on Sunday while it’s over 90 degrees next weekend all around. I’ll chalk it up to the fact that Coachella cheated this year by having two shows.
Rule 2: Expect to Not See Everyone on Your List
The great thing about festivals such as Coachella, is they offer you a chance to see bands you might normally never encounter. However, scheduling with so many bands is no easy feat and when you have that many bodies in one place, your sight lines might be less than optimal. Which means when you want to see Dawes, you only get ten minutes before Arctic Monkeys start their set and you might be relegated to the back. Where do you go? Who do you see? How long will you stay? These are question that plagues any festival goer. At least you can catch thirty minutes of The Shins before you have to rush off to Feist. Oh, and don’t forget some people (not us) will campout at one place to see a headliner *cough* Radiohead *cough* so expect to be starting at a jumbotron unless you camp out or you’re that ass that shoves through everyone to the front. Of course, this doesn’t apply if you’re the person who pops some E and spends all day in the Sahara tent listening to house/electronica/rave/whatever music.
Rule 3: Be ‘AFK’ from Technology
Unless you are hiding multiple batteries and pre-charged charging devices, expect your phone to die. And expect to have to fight people in the charging tent for a place to plug in your phone. Unless you’re staying in an RV or offsite somewhere, getting a full charge on your wireless device might be difficult. Also, Facebook, Insta.gram, Twitter, Foursquare, and whatever other social network sites might not be where you want to send the majority of your phone’s energy and battery time (and that’s ok in my book!). Rather, make sure you can sustain a call from that one friend who wandered off somewhere and you’re worried what they might have gotten into and how far they wandered from the reserve.
Rule 4: Expect to See Some Awesome Things
The last year I was at Coachella, there was this giant metal arm with a hand that could lift, drop, smash, and all together decimate a car. Best part is this hand was controlled by a person wearing this sensory device. My mind was blown. I’ve also had a chat with a mobile robot that likes to run around the grounds. The cool thing about Coachella, is there are always cool displays of technology to look at. From the robotic hand, to twin Tesla coils, to cool light displays, Coachella is were you can always find something cool to stare at. You know, other than the drunk guy who can’t put his flip flop on. You might spot a celeb too!
Rule 5: Expect to Have an Awesome Time
Despite the heat and not always having the best sight lines for a band and maybe losing your battery charge on your phone, you’re still guaranteed a good time. There is always so much to see, do, eat, and experience that it’s hard to not enjoy yourself out on those polo grounds. You might get a little dirty, you might end up drunk and hungover, you will definitely walk into a dirty Port-A-Potty, you might not locate your tent right off the bat, people will be loud and partying from 1 am onward, and you will have to wait in line if you want a shower but you will have a great time. You know, unless your significant other turns into a jerk and you’re stuck having to deal with them. But other than that, good times.