whoa hey what Paige went to Coachella? Yes. It is true I went to Coachella weekend 2 this year with my boyfriend and a few close friends. This post is not going to be a typical, picture-sprinkled post because I am going to talk about my personal experience with Coachella from the perspective of someone who doesn’t do well with germs, dirt, crowds, and heat. Lol.
I made a promise to myself this year to try new things and push my ever so tight boundaries a littler further. Coachella was a gigantic leap for me because not only would it be my first music festival, but also my first time camping. Before I get into any details…Coachella is what you make of it. I really dislike it when people bash on this festival because of the dust, sweat, crowds, heat, etc…like seriously? You are going to one of the hugest 3-day, outdoor, festivals in THE SOCAL DESERT. It will NOT be comfortable so you really have to an optimistic mindset going in. And this is coming from someone who gets anxiety with everything that Coachella has to offer. Yeah I have a lot problems but I survived, had a good time, AND will likely go ahead (minus the camping).
Wow. Haha. Camping in triple digit weather is no joke but the experience was a good learning lesson for me. It doesn’t matter how much ice or portable fans you take, the heat will get to you unless you love being roasted. My friends and I ended up napping as much as possible during the day so we had energy when it got a lot cooler during the evening.
It was hilarious because the comparison between our group and college frat next to us was night and day. While we were napping, they were playing beer pong and dancing around.
Coachella offers portable restrooms and 24 hours showers at all camping sites. The porta- potties were horrendous so be prepared: disinfectant wipes, toilet seat covers, and toilet paper will be your best friends for the weekend. The showers were actually quite nice! They felt private and each had a section with a bench and a hook to put your dry belongings and towel somewhere. Sandals is a must! Don’t you dare go in there barefooted. You’re just asking for athlete’s foot. The line for the showers were long but I never had to wait more than 20 minutes to shower which is not that bad. I also would go at odd times of the day like 3pm when people were most likely in the festival.
Phone charging was okay as well. Each camping site had a section full of outlets for you to charge your phones. Some people forgot the actual wall block part of the charger and only had USB cords. This is fine but we quickly found out that a lot of the USB outlets did not work at all. I highly recommend just getting a few external batteries and charge them all before Coachella. I saw a lot of people with solar-powered chargers as well!
Food and drinks. There was plenty of this all around the camping sites. I was surprised at how good the food was but everything was obviously expensive. Ramen cups, bread, peanut butter & jelly, and bagels were staples for me. I also had a propane stove which was a life saver. They also had a merchandise store where they sold essentials like sunblock, band-aids, water, ice, blankets, fans, etc…Again, pricey but if ya need it, ya need it.
I should also add that I carried a fanny pack with me at all times with my wallet, sanitizing hand wipes, tissues, face wipes, Advil, lip balm, phone charger, and sun block.
All in all, I would have enjoyed camping so much more IF it wasn’t so darn hot. I would have been ecstatic if it was a good mid 80’s every day but triple digit weather fried all of us alive.
The Actual Festival
Coachella was fun. It’s essentially a huge open space with food, drinks, and good music. They had a big shaded craft beer section with open charging stations that we spent a lot of our time in during the hotter parts of the day. A lot of food, drinks, and dessert options and some cool zones that had huge fans blowing cool mist.
The inside of the festival was also the only place that had flushable, stalled toilets. Hallelujah. I would sometimes enter the festival JUST to use these toilets haha.
The art. The exhibitions this year were so interesting-definitely take the time to check them out. I did not read much about them so I am unfamiliar with the artists but the huge bulbous, vegetable-like sculpture were SO CUTE and my favorite. They also provided some shade which was a plus!
Comfy shoes. You will be walking A LOT, especially because the festival is vast with multiple stages, it is absolutely mandatory to wear shoes you can walk in for a long time. I saw some girls wearing platforms or high heeled boots and they looked cute but they were obviously in pain.
Dust. Something to cover up your nose and mouth is essential-especially when it got windy. There were no sandstorms the weekend I went, but I have heard stories of how bad the winds can get. Even with no wind, the dust gets kicked up by the thousands of people walking so there were parts of the festival where you can see the cloud of dust. So a cute bandanna to cover up will become handy.
Music. So gooooddddd. Some of my favorite performances were: Two Door Cinema Club, The XX (AMAZING), Justice (WOW), Hans Zimmer, Bon Iver, Breakbot, DJ Snake, Empire of the Sun, Banks, Porter Robinson and Madeon, and so much more. I didn’t even watch full sets for some of them but I still enjoyed the fact that I got to see them live for a few songs. As for the headliners, none of them were really people that I listened to very much. I watched Lady Gaga for the first 10 minutes but had to use the restroom and ended up sleeping. Kendrick was okay-no guest appearance which I was hoping for…One of the biggest and most recurring issues was the fact that the EDM artists like Marshmello and Galantis would be performing in the Sahara tent which is like a dome from hell. It’s not an open space so people were getting trampled, there was no air ventilation, and it was just a crowded nightmare. I ended up not watching quite a bit of some of the DJ’s I wanted to see because of how over-crowded it was.
Good vibes. Almost everyone a Coachella is really friendly and people come in with good attitudes. Our camping neighbors were amazing and basically built our campsite for us by helping with the tent and EZ up. Everyone is there to have an awesome time-I mean ya spend a couple of hundred bucks, ya might as well have a good time. Even the staff was SO positive, helpful, and they were obviously having fun as well.
To sum it all up, I feel like I had a great experience because I was quite prepared and I was surrounded by people who I am extremely comfortable with. There were definitely moments where the heat got to me or I was being suffocated by the crowds where I had waves of really bad anxiety. But when you are with people you trust and you are prepared, you will be okay! I have to say I was proud of myself for surviving (well, barely as I was sick for almost a week and a half after) and definitely going again next year!
I hope this post encourages anyone who’s terrified (like I was) of Coachella to consider attending. This experience makes me want to consider going to other festivals and venture out a little more!