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Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of year again. Time to break out your credit cards and shell out half your month’s salary for overpriced tickets and accommodations, time to start listening to music like you’re cramming for a final, time to start preparing yourself for three days of music, heat, partying and walking miles upon miles: it’s time for Coachella.
This year should be very interesting, as the organizers of Coachella realized the best way to make more money this time was around was to have an unprecedented, TWO Coachella Festivals on back-to-back weekends. We’ll have members of the Kid D Camp at both weekends and we’ll be documenting our adventures as long as we can remember to before getting too drunk. And while the double weekend aspect is sure to give this year’s Coachella a different flavor, the same rules of fun, partying and survival will reign supreme. In the spirit of having the best time this year and coming out of Coachella weekend in one piece, here are this year’s Do’s and Don’ts:
DO: Prepare Accordingly- As spontaneous as it is to throw together a backpack full of shit at the last minute containing your favorite jeans, board shorts, condoms and a tooth brush, you’ll wish you had done a much better job packing once you get there. Key items to bring are: sunscreen, sunglasses, ID, cash, credit cards, plastic flask, phone, phone charger, bathing suit, light jacket or hoodie for nighttime, Advil, Emergen-C and more.
DON’T: Be “That Guy”-Going hand-in-hand with the bro who showed up with th e clothes on his back, no one at Coachella likes a mooch. Everyone spent way too much money to come to Coachella and the last thing we want to do is sponsor a friend. If you’re going to drink, have money. If you’re going to smoke, have cigarettes. Even little things like food, phone chargers, clothes, etc. get annoying when you’re asking for them but not bringing anything to the table in return. Don’t be that guy (or girl), people.
DO: Have a Plan Before the Show- Part of the Coachella experience is hanging out in the desert with your friends. Whether it’s bbqing, chillin by the pool, bumping tunes, pre-gaming or all of the above, no Coachella experience is complete without quality time with your friends before heading over to show. So, whether it’s partying at your condo, going over to a hotel party or pre-gaming in the parking lot, do something fun before the show.
DON’T: Let the Pre-Party Ruin the Concert Experience- As fun as pre-parties at Coachella can be, they can also drag on way too long. Here’s where you separate the friends that actually care about seeing the music, and the ones that are there for the partying. My Coachella history is littered with too many great missed performances because my group kept lagging and lagging on getting to the show. While it’s tougher than it sounds, make a plan with a smaller group of people to leave at a set time and stick to it. You’ll always find people on your schedule that really want to see GroupLove and will leave the pool party at 5 PM to make that dream a reality. On a side note, don’t forget that if you want to see someone performing at 5, you should be leaving an hour plus beforehand (depending on where you are) to have any chance of making it.
DO: Pre-Party / Sneak in Booze- For all you drinkers out there, I got news for you. Getting drunk at Coachella gets very pricey, very time consuming and for whatever God awful reason, the only beer they serve is Heineken. I could write an entire blog on this Heineken situation but I digress… Coachella is an all day drinking affair. The only difference is, instead of it being a one day commitment like 4th of July or St. Patty’s Day, it’s three days in a row. Use the time before the show to get a nice buzz going. Bring some road sodas because you’ll have a good 30 minutes plus of walking to the entrance where you can enjoy a couple of more drinks along the way and if you plan on drinking a lot during the duration of the show, bringing in a plastic flask is a great idea. They do not search hard at all and even if they do catch you, the worst thing they’ll do is make you throw it away. Having a flask inside the show is great because you don’t have to go to the beer garden to get a drink and it packs a lot of bang for the buck.
DON’T: Get Too Drunk before or During the Show- Getting too drunk before the show can impact your experience in more ways than one. More often than not, it’s the people getting the most drunk that tend to show up at Coachella the latest. So, if you’re trying to see a lot of bands, it’s usually counter productive. Getting too drunk can also lead to you spending a disproportionate amount of time at the show in the beer garden. While hanging in the beer garden is always a great time, don’t forget that Radiohead is playing about 500 feet away from you too, dipshit. If you take it to the next level of drunkness, you will most likely fall victim to one of the following:
- Not really remembering the music at all. Which in hindsight, sucks.
- Doing something stupid that will usually involve getting your ass kicked, hurting yourself or getting tossed out of the show.
- Waking up the next morning with no wallet, no cell phone and a serious headache.
- Ending up in a viral video on Youtube showcasing your inability to put on a sandal.
None of these scenarios sound great but they are all very likely if you get too snackhoused at Coachella, so drink in moderation, people. And by moderation, I mean the absolute most you know you can handle while still being functional.
DO: Have a Coachella Crew- As great as the music is, it’s always better to enjoy it with your boyfriend/girlfriend, your friends or new amazing people you meet along the way. So, have a crew and have a plan. It’s easiest to cruise around with people that have similar motivations as you. Want to see the same music, like to drink the same amount, have comparable bathroom schedules, etc. I tend to find that the smaller the group the better and then have meeting times where you join up with the rest of the crew in a beer tent to catch up, regroup and slam a couple of shitty Heinekens.
DON’T: Let Your Group Ruin Your Experience- Coachella is a pain in the ass. It takes forever to walk anywhere, there are a gazillion people, cell phone reception is spotty at best and worst of all, your friends are always only “five minutes away”. One major downfall of Coachella is having too big of a group and having people within your group, always insisting on waiting for everyone to be together before you do anything. People lag, people get distracted and people have their own agendas. If you wait around for everyone to be on the same page at the same time, you’re going to be waiting a long time. As long as you have your tight knit crew of people wanting to do the same thing as you, you can always meet up with the greater group later. Don’t forget, you’re there for the music and for your own experience, so it’s ok to get a little selfish at times.
DO: Have a Great Time-Coachella can be intimidating. With the crowds, the heat, the lines, the walking, it’s a major undertaking. That being said, you didn’t spend $1,000 of your hard earned money,
take time off of work and travel to the desert to bitch and moan. As easy as it is to get frustrated with parts of the journey, just remember that there are tens of thousands of kids that would kill to be in your place. Coachella is an amazing once-a-year experience. Not only is it an unbelievable lineup of bands, it’s a weekend you get to spend hanging out with your friends, shooting the shit and doing cannon balls into the pool. Soak it up, leave your bad attitude in LA and have some good ol’ fashion fun in the desert.
We will be documenting our experience at Coachella on:
and when the dust settles, we’ll be posting videos and blogs when we get back.
Happy Coachella, everybody!