Each year, thousands of people gather in the middle of the desert for a once in a lifetime experience. With each new year comes new lessons, but having been to Coachella before, I thought this year would be no different than last. However, once I stepped back into the desert, I realized there were many things I didn’t prepare for. Here are 5 things I wish I knew before going to Coachella this year:
- There Is Little To No Shade
While being out in the middle of the desert doesn’t scream “shady, cool areas,” you would think that the Coachella grounds would have more places for people to escape the scorching sun, but that is not the case. However, you can take advantage of some of the art experiences, like the Spectra and the Antarctic, which both provide AC.
- There Are Water Refill Stations
You can bring a refillable bottle into the festival now and refill it as you go! Throughout the festival grounds, you can find several water stations where you can refill your bottle once you have gulped down the first one. Even if you forget to bring one, it’s okay! Coachella prides itself over the fact that they only charge $2 for a bottled water, which they have done for the last 20 years.
- The Dust is Real
You hear horror stories all the time about the dust in the desert, but you never expect it to be as bad as it is. If you go weekend 2, you know that the dust will most likely be worse, but you can never predict the wind that will be blowing dust right into your face and mouth. I like to refer to what the dust does to you as the “Coachella Cold” because chances are, you’re going to leave the weekend with a sore throat and a stuffy nose even if you use a bandana the whole time.
- Gates Open Later Than You Think
The first morning of the festival, we expected to get in around 11:30. However, when we got there, we discovered that the gates didn’t open until noon. While Coachella did make good use of their app this year, there were still some things that needed more clarifying. Finding the opening time of the festival ended up being almost impossible—it wasn’t until we were in line around 11 am that we realized we still had an hour to go before we could be let in.
- Time Flies By
By the end of day two, I found myself wondering how the weekend was so close to being over. All of the walking and hot weather should make the time go by slower, but it somehow doesn’t. Each night, once the sun set, I was sad that the day was coming to an end, and it made me wish that I had taken in more moments at the festival. Leaving the weekend to go back to reality was difficult because all of the good times had passed so quickly!
Going to Coachella is a once in a lifetime experience, and while there are times where it feels too hot or like the walking is too much, it is all worth it. Going into the weekend and not really knowing what your experience will be is something that happens to everyone every year, but it’s that mystery of your time spent at the festival that makes it so special.