Coachella, survival guide.

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Léeme en castellano.

IMG_20140413_185554April showers bring May flowers? Not at Coachella, at the Colorado desert. Can you think of a better plan for April than attending the  Coachella Valle music and Arts Festival? Here’s this year’s video in case you’re still hesitating.

Goldenvoice has been organizing this festival since 1999 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. Well known artists and new promising musicians play during three days on two consecutive weekends on different stages scattered around the polo grounds. There’s always a performance to watch, but it’s always a good thing to take some time to enjoy the artworks, food and drink stalls or take a ride on the ferris wheel. What are you gonna do, camp?, next to your car, at Lake Eldorado or at the Safari tents?, book a hotel?, rent a house?. You really feel like doing all of it, right? But be careful, here I give you some tips to take into account.

1. Bring sunscreen. And chapsticks. And aftersun cream. Desert – sun – heat, the perfect mix to be hospitalized with second-degree burns.

2. Wear a hat. A sunstroke is (almost) the worst thing that can happen to you at a music festival.

3. Remember to drink water! It is hard to do so when you’re walking from concert to concert and alcohol is sold at a stone’s throw away but it is vital if you intend to make it to the end of the day alive. Water bottles are available at the grounds for $2, the same price since 1999, or you can refill your bottle at the stations available for it.

4. Don’t forget your identification. Leaving aside the fact that you should always wear it on you, you will need an ID showing you’re over 21 to get the wristband that will give you access to alcohol.

5. Take cash with you, it is more useful and safer than a credit card. Take good care of it.

6. Carry a jacket… It seems to get chillier during nighttime.

7. Get yourself a bandana if you wanna make it back home in the middle of the sandstorm that, be sure, will happen.

8. Wear a pair of shoes you can do without after the festival. There will be dust, there will be mud, there will be booze, there will be stompers, anything else?

9. Don’t carry anything you wouldn’t be allowed to board on a plane. You don’t need it.

10. Put your wristband on. Don’t take it off.

11. Download the app. It can be extremely useful to have everything you need on your phone: maps, warnings, schedules… You can even create your own schedule and itinerary in advance to be sure you’re not missing out anything.

12. Make sure you know where you’re lodged. Did you camp or are you staying in a hotel? Inside or outside the grounds? Which one is your plot? Which way is the way out? Where do shuttles stop? And what about taxis? The festival grounds are huge and it’s easy to get lost, luckily paths are color coded and there are maps every few step. You can also ask any of the volunteers for help; they’re easy to find, they carry a speaker and are usually VERY bored.

13. If you’re not camping on-site try to find a private driver that drives you to and from the festival. Lines for cabs and shuttles are huge, a private car can pick you up and drop you off wherever is more convenient, it’s quicker and even cheaper eventually.

14. If you’re camping make sure you properly secure your tent and stuff. I’ve seen tents flying around in the middle of a sandstorm.

15. Take with you a case with everything you need: kleenex, earplugs, meds you’re gonna need, band-aids…

16. Be careful with text messages. Text affirmative statements (not “where are you?”, but “at 8pm at the beer garden”) and add the time when you texted because you might lack service and your text might take longer than expected to get to its addressee (“I’m at the rose garden, 7.45”).

17. Agree on a meeting point with your friends in case you get lost and phones aren’t working due to lack of service or battery.

18. Don’t feel forced to do everything you thought of doing. Besides concerts there is a bunch of things you can do, stop and enjoy food and drink, meet new people, chat with your friends, try some of the activities they offer…

19. Enjoy in moderation, you won’t have a good time if you end up throwing up in every corner or calling the consulate because you just got arrested.

20. Jump, shout, dance, eat, drink, go crazy. This is the moment.

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One thought on “Coachella, survival guide.

  1. Pingback: Coachella, guía de supervivencia. |

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