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What I Wish I Knew Before Going To Coachella

Last weekend I attended Coachella for the first time with a few of my best friends and future roommates. Before I went, people warned me that weather would be scorching, drugs would be everywhere, and getting lost and separated from your friends was to be avoided at all costs. After attending (surviving) the music festival myself, I think it is important to clarify a few things about Coachella for all those going this weekend or next year.


Be careful with your wristband. For the three days you spend at Coachella, your wristband is your entire life. If there is any suspicion that you tampered with it, security will have no qualms pulling you aside and interrogating you. If you do happen t o damage it, you can pay $40 at customer service for a new one. 

Not everyone is high or doing drugs. Yes, you can still have fun being sober at Coachella. Better yet, you will be able to remember the entire weekend.

Do. Not. Come. Before 3 p.m. Unless your absolute favorite band (most likely won’t be) is playing this early, do not bother. You will be too hot and exhausted by the end of the night, especially with the bigger performers set not starting until midnight. You will be in physical pain (trust me on this one), and should avoid that feeling at all costs.

Do stay for the headliner’s entire performances. This year Guns N’ Roses performed for over two hours, than continued to play overtime. It was magical and incredible, even if my feet were practically bleeding.

Never spilt up, you will get separated. Everywhere you turn you will hear panicked phone calls of groups trying to reconnect. Even if you have a meeting spot, it will be the same as 1,000 other attendees, making reuniting is nearly impossible.  

The food prices are crazy expensive. I paid $10 for a smoothie, $7 for coconut water, $13 for Tad Pai Noodles (worth every penny), and $9 for a Pinkberry. I was not expecting this, but thankfully I brought cash.

Water, water, water. Either add $2 to every meal for a bottle of water, or bring a reusable water bottle and fill it up for free on-site.

Be prepared to run into people. Even in a sea of thousands of people you’ll always see someone from high school or a class from college.

Wear closed toe shoes. There is dirt everywhere and people will step or jump on them, so you will want the protection.

Your phone is essentially useless. I was able to receive texts the entire time, but sending one out was an entirely different story.

Take photos when you can. Capture it, remember it. You spent a lot of time picking out those perfect festival outfits! Have fun with it.

It isn’t that hot. Dress in whatever you feel comfortable in, but keep in mind that it does get breezy at night.

It will be amazing. Coachella will be one of the best weekends of your life. The ride there with your friends will be fun, sharing a hotel room will bond you, and you will have incredible stories to tell forever. 


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Deirdre Durkan

Cal Lutheran

An aspiring journalist, majoring in English at Loyola Marymount University.