California

An Aussie’s guide to Coachella

Tomorrow is the start of April which means our social media feeds will soon be flooded with Coachella pics. I attended the festival in 2016 and I must say it is a really awesome experience. As obnoxious as it feels to see those pictures while you are on the train heading off to work, I still feel a bit nostalgic when I see the sunny polo fields.

For those of you lucky enough to actually be going this year I have put together a list of tips and things to consider (especially if it is your first time going). While I have written this from an Australian’s perspective most of these would apply to anyone traveling to Indio from near or far.

Beware the Coachella flu
If you learn nothing else from this post, please take away the fact that the Coachella flu is REAL, and should not be messed with. You should definitely take a mask or scarf and do whatever you can to keep that black dirt out of your nose. We spent the next two weeks of our trip coughing and sneezing as we didn’t think this would be a big problem, but it is.

Go for the lockers
Most music festivals in Australia have a coat check and I never bother to use these as you have to line up for ages and your valuables are just dumped in a bucket. Coachella has a really great system where you can rent a locker for the weekend that makes it really easy to stash away sunscreen, a jumper for the evenings and all the merch you will buy. If you are unsure I highly recommend doing it.

Stay sun safe!
While we are taught to slip, slop and slap in Australia sometimes when you go on holidays you forget to be sun smart. It can also be tempting to go without a hat so you can show off your super cool braids. It is verrrry hot and sunny at Coachella even compared to an Australian summer (you are in a desert – duh!) so please work some type of sun protection into your outfit, or splurge on a hat you will be happy to show off.

Drink lemonade (and water!)
Lemonade in America is not fizzy, it is more like lemon barley cordial served over crushed ice. It is the most amazing thing ever and will save your life especially in the aforementioned heat. They are way overpriced as most festival food is – but worth it! Also of course, stay hydrated with water.

Don’t fear the port-a-loo situation
The bathrooms are so much more civilised compared to almost every festival (and even some pubs) in Australia. In 2015 they introduced a new purpose-built toilet block that has enough stalls and taps to get everyone in and out quite efficiently. Your EDM actually posted some great pics if you don’t believe this could be true!

The crowd is really chill
There is far less pushing and shoving compared to Aussie festivals, and generally people feel more relaxed. There are still drunken idiots here and there and the crowd can get really cramped in certain spots but overall people are much more polite and easy-going.

You really can celeb-spot
If you stand close enough to the VIP section you will see celebrities. They might not be who you were expecting (I was disappointed not get a glimpse of Leo Dicaprio) however we did see Emma Roberts and Jaden Smith just a few meters away. I also saw one celebrity walk out to take a photo in the crowd and then within 5 minutes headed back to the VIP tents. We later saw the pic posted to Instagram as a sponsorship deal with a handbag brand! It totally exposed how fake the Instagram game can be when I saw for my own eyes they did not care about the music they were raving about in their post.

The atmosphere at night is unreal
Regardless of how many A-listers you see or how many likes your own pictures attract, being in the valley listening to awesome music while the sun sets over the hills is totally glorious. Take some time to put down your phone and soak it all in as I promise you it will be one of your favourite memories for years to come.

If you have been to Coachella let me know what year! If you haven’t let me know what other awesome musical experience you have had.

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