The DOs & DON’Ts of Coachella
At 5:00 AM on Monday, I jerked myself awake and looked down at my body to find I’d fallen asleep nude in a large hotel bathtub under a steady stream of scalding hot water. My contacts were dried out and suctioned to my eyeballs, and a ring of black dirt outlined my frame. Half of my hair was knotted up into one massive dreadlock so gnarly it would’ve put the bass players in nü metal bands to shame. Yet despite my broken body and haggard appearance, I was overcome with pride: I’d successfully survived the first half of the two-weekend-long adult spring break known as the Coachella Music Festival. Coachella is the annual desert-music event held in Indio, California, which happens to be one of the most physically grueling places this side of the equator. This was my third time attending, so by now, I’ve seen it all: from Rave Dad to a technologicallyreincarnated Tupac Shakur. For those of you who are going for the first time next week, or are just insane and attending for a second time, here are some tips to making it out of Palm Desert in one piece.
DO BUY VIP
Music-festival passes are extremely overpriced. However, if you’re baller enough to blow half a month’s rent to see a bunch of bands you could watch live on a laptop from the comfort of your own home in the sweltering hot desert, it only makes sense to shell out a couple more duckets to obtain VIP status. There is little to no cell reception at Coachella, so your phone battery is guaranteed to die. But VIPs have multiple charging stations. It’s hot as Satan’s taint in the desert, but VIPs have shaded areas, misting fans, and an air-conditioned bar. When you’re in GA, you can’t drink alcohol on the fairground. But the VIPs have more than one bar spread out in a closed-off section where they can easily watch bands and get plastered. And let’s not forget that parking is a bitch, but VIPs get to park closer to the entrance, so you don’t have to walk a mile to your car in the dark and possibly get stalked by bros in tacky tie-dye T-shirts. Plus as a VIP, you have a better chance of conning your way backstage into the artist areas if you keep yourself from breaking character when lying to security guards about how you’re part of the Earl Sweatshirt entourage, when really you’re just trying to creep on guys with guitars and the topless girls who are having them sign their tits.
DON’T WEAR INAPPROPRIATE FOOTWEAR
Considering that everything is far away, and you’re constantly walking around in circles in a bunch of dirt, your footwear choices will really make or break your entire festival experience. Unless you’re there with the sole purpose of having a bunch of sleazy “blog photographers” snap photos of you for obscure fashion sites that no one has ever heard of, dressed in a bunch of weird outfits you’d never actually wear at home, don’t bother sporting high heels. It’s already bad enough having to trip over the blacked-out idiots laying on the ground in the middle of the crowds at the main stage, but it’s even worse when you sprain your ankle and have to sit in a hot medical tent with a bunch of kids who ate too many brownies and are screaming to EMS workers that they think they’re going to die. Even more retarded are the people who wear sandals or choose to walk around in bare feet, as there are no proper bathrooms; you have to pee in Porta Potties. Between that and all the cop-horse manure you have to walk through, you’re setting yourself up for a pretty shitty experience.