April 10th, 2012, 10:22 am · · posted by GUEST
Coachella is just around the corner. I’m sure you’re all spending this week planning which bands to see, making mixes for the car ride, and planning outfits for each day. Or, if you’re anything like me, you probably haven’t thought about packing yet, and come Thursday night, you will be tossing the cleanest smelling clothes into a backpack with your toothbrush as you run out of the house into a minivan full of friends. As incredibly life changing as Coachella was, I wish a festival-going veteran had been by my side to help me pack. So, in the interest of giving you all the best weekend of your life, here are some perhaps obvious, but definitely helpful tips to make this weekend a little easier.
Water: I cannot stress how much you need to bring water. Bring a lot of it. Last year, you could bring in an empty bottle, and there are refilling stations marked on the Coachella maps handed out at the gate. Save your water bottle! Also, last year, they had a recycling program that let patrons trade in ten plastic empty water bottles for a new one. The grounds are littered with empty water bottles after each set, so do the earth and your wallet a favor by collecting water bottles!
Sunscreen: I also cannot stress how important it is to wear sunscreen. The last thing you want is to be sun burnt on Friday, and then to spend the rest of the weekend exposing your already aching body under more sun. I recommend buying spray-on sunscreen because you have to reapply all day, and the last thing anyone wants when they’re sweating are dirty, greasy hands. There is a general store on the camping site, but sunscreen will probably cost a lot more.
Food: Food factors into a large chunk of Coachella spending. (Beer counts as food.) Aside from merch, it’s probably the only thing you’ll spend money on while at the festival. After a sweaty dance sesh in the Sahara Tent, it’s easy enough to convince yourself that it’s okay to spend $8 on two tiny tacos and $4 on a mediocre cup of lemonade. Pack food that won’t spoil. Pre-make sandwiches and leave them in the cooler, so you avoid the hassle of extra ingredients. You bring food onto the festival grounds, but you can bring as much as you want onto the camp site. The more filling your breakfast and lunch, the less money you’ll spend on fried foods.
Clothes: I know Coachella is a fashion show as much as it is a music festival, but be practical with what you’re wearing. Wear light fabrics. Don’t wear your fancy new outfit unless you’re okay with dirty, sweaty strangers rubbing all over you. Wear comfortable, but cheap shoes or sandals that you won’t mind throwing away after. Remember, you’re going to be there all day. It might get cold at night, so if wouldn’t be a bad idea to pack a light jacket if you’re already planning on bringing a backpack.
Electronics: Now that I’ve covered food, water, and shelter (I’m going to pretend clothes counts as shelter), the only other important thing to surviving Coachella are your electronics. There are charging stations located on the grounds, but they can be out of the way and take a lot of time out of your day, so your best bet is to stay off the Facebook app, enjoy the sunshine, and save your battery for finding your friends, as it is inevitable that you’ll lose each other or want to see bands with conflicting time slots.
Now that I’ve given you essential tips to make the Coachella experience a little bit easier, I hope you all have fun, stay hydrated, and because I can’t be there, please go see Radiohead.
By Diana Le for orangecounty.com
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