This weekend I’m heading to Coachella for the first time (!) and to say I’ve been looking forward to this all year is an understatement. These tickets were purchased as soon as they went on pre-sale (without a lineup announcement) because all I needed to know was that Beyonce was confirmed due to her cancellation last year. #BeyChella
But I haven’t been to festival like this since…Osheaga six years ago, yikes. So I needed a major refresher course in what to pack.
Well, now my bags are packed and after crowd-sourcing several tips from more experienced festival-goers, I think I’ve come up with a few key points to keep in mind for Coachella or any other summer festival you may be attending this year.
Sun protection is so key since when you’re standing in the middle of the crowd waiting for Cardi B to come on stage, there will likely be no shade. Pack a light hat–I have two ready to go. One wider brim straw hat and another black light Nike running cap as they’re both versatile options. A few sunglasses will also be key for your planned lewks, and for protecting your eyes of course. A reusable, BPA free plastic water bottle is key as you’ll want to make sure you hydrate throughout the day (pro tip: metal and glass containers aren’t allowed on the grounds so that trusty Swell will have to stay home). Dust protection in the form of a bandana for your face, plus any allergy medication you may need, will keep you from coughing up dust for a week after (true story).
A few other things you may want to consider: ear plugs for if you plan on getting close to the speakers and a head lamp to guide you through the darkness at night (especially when you’re going to the bathroom and want to avoid a phone-meets-toilet incident).
Comfort is key!
You’re going to be standing in a hot, dry, dusty desert all day from afternoon until late, so throughout you’ll want to make sure you’re dressed comfortably. Yes, those heeled boots may look cute if you get photographed, but at the end of the day you want to make sure you enjoy your experience in comfort and style. So wear your most comfortable shoes (preferable if you’ve had them for a while so they’re worn in) and dress in light layers. Flat leather boots are great for this as they’re easy to wipe down post-festival if you want to wear them again. Sneakers on the other hand may get filthy and you may have to say goodbye to them at the end of the weekend. Open-toe shoes look great but you risk having your feet trampled and covered in sand. So, I’ve packed my well-worn Vans from last summer and flat Chelsea boots.
For convenience sake
I bought a leather fanny pack as that will store everything I need day-to-day: shuttle pass, credit cards, cash, ID, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, SPF lip balm and portable charger. Pro tip from my friend who went last year: one thing I didn’t realize is the temperature drops drastically at nighttime. So make sure you pack a warm sweater or jacket (denim won’t do here) and leggings or sweatpants to cover yourself up. A backpack full of this can get in the way of not just your own good time but others’, so these can be conveniently stored away until you need them in the on-site lockers, which you should reserve in advance and share with your friends. Oh! About that money… honey. Don’t forget to bring cash! The ATM fee’s are worse than ones at that awful club you used to go to. Along with that, don’t risk being late for your fave artist because you were waiting in a twenty-minute line for that mula!
A couple more last minute tips: HAVE FUN. Also, don’t try to make your DIY flower crown at 5am before you have to catch your flight…
For anything else that you can or cannot bring, make sure you check the website.
Anything I missed? What are your festival must-haves?