Are you playing on a Coachella stage? Do you work at Goldenvoice? Are you a charter member of the Empire Polo Club and riding to the festival on your horse? If not, there is no secret side residential street you can take to beat traffic. Indio knows all your tricks and will thwart you -- though we do love taking Hjorth Street just so we can say the name aloud.
We’ve heard stories of enthusiastic Coachellans donning their microchipped wristbands immediately after getting them in the mail weeks in advance of the show. Congratulations, now you’re the office goober advertising to all your co-workers that you’re going to be hung over on Monday.
Cell reception drops to carrier-pigeon-level reliability on the field. So when your friend decides that she isn’t leaving the dance tent if there’s even a shred of possibility that Daft Punk might show up, you'll be glad you said ahead of time: “OK, meet at the fire-breathing robot mushroom statue.”
Coachella couples: If you catch your significant other’s eye wandering to that pack of body-painted rave girls or a dashing young Nick Cave ringer, let it go. Honestly, would you want to be dating someone who can make it through that field of California suntans without even an aesthete’s appreciation?
Yes, we usually advise you to exist solely on a diet of Spicy Pie and Heineken Light all weekend. But with the recent introduction of chefs like Tal Ronnen, Josef Centeno and Kris Yenbamroong setting up outposts of their acclaimed L.A. ventures on site and an alfresco dinner party with tickets at $225 a head, we’re walking that back to say: Treat yourself.
You’ll feel like a drug kingpin walking around with a bunch of currency tucked in your socks. But the ATM fees are ridiculous, the machines are often on the fritz, and you don’t want to be the guy trying to split a bar tab across a bunch of credit cards with a six-deep line behind you.
Google “Naked Wizard Gets Tazed At Coachella” for all the evidence you need.
Tap water is hard to come by at Coachella, and pricey, plus you’re likely to be filthy from sitting in the dirt and using the porta-potties. With sanitizer you can dig into your $10 wilted veggie wrap with alacrity.
Yes, we love whiskey and vodka too. (And tequila and gin.) But hard alcohol doesn’t come cheap at Coachella, and the bartenders in the liquor tents pour with the icy precision of the former East German Olympic team. Stick with beer. It’s cheaper and can’t be watered down, and your mere existence in this heat is burning enough calories to compensate.
Every year we’re blown away by the iPhone refugee camp that is the Coachella lost-and-found. No, your back pocket won’t do – keep it up front. And if you put your phone in a pocket of your backpack, be sure to wear your pack on the front of your body when you’re mashed in with a big crowd.
By day, Coachella is essentially a lawn-scented fashion runway showcasing the finest in barely there lace and swimwear. Then the sun goes down and everyone is instantly freezing in their Stevie Nicks hats and bikini tops. When temperatures drop at night, you’ll be thankful you aren’t stuck buying a $50 Zedd hoodie just to get through the chill.
Feeling beat and want to skip the Replacements reunion? Having a good talk about the future of California high-speed rail in the beer garden and want to tie one on? There’s an old Coachella koan that we just made up, and it says, “She who sees everything at Coachella truly saw nothing.” You don’t lose scene points for showing up at 7 p.m. or posting up at the cocktail tent for the afternoon. You paid through the teeth, enjoy your vacation.