Hiking tips

10 Survival Tips for Festival Weekend 2

Prior to last weekend, it had been three years since the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival took over the Empire Polo Club in Indio.

And although there have been some festivals that have taken place since the pandemic, most spectators, even the most seasoned ones, are still a bit rusty when it comes to remembering how to survive a big festival.

We were reminded of all those little things you can do to make your experience the best it can be during weekend 1 of Coachella, which took place from April 15 to 17.

And with weekend 2 from April 22-24, here are 10 Coachella survival tips.

  • Wearing a bunny costume, Nancy Godinez of Riverside dances to Karol G during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Sunday, April 17, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise /SCNG )

  • Kiki Van Eijk’s “Buoyed” lights up the night during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 15, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A person dressed as Jesus sprays water on the crowd on the Do Lab stage on Easter Sunday at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Sunday, April 17, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise /SCNG)

  • Fans with blue wigs react as they watch Karol G perform on the Coachella stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio on Sunday, April 17, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG )

1. Download the app

Paper maps and schedules were hard to come by at Coachella this year, so download the app. You’ll get the map, set times, a list of FAQs, and pretty much all the info you need. Wi-Fi gets spotty later in the day, so if you want to have a schedule always at hand, it’s also a good idea to take a picture of the fixed times that are posted in front of the stages, that way, you can just go to your photos to find out where to go next and don’t depend on the WiFi gods. And don’t forget to activate your bracelet!

2. Don’t bother with money

Coachella is virtually cashless, so bring a credit card or pay with Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Wallet.

3. Pack a phone charger

Yes, there are phone charging stations throughout the festival site, but a few weren’t working the first weekend, so it’s not a bad idea to bring an extra charger. This will be especially important if you take a lot of videos and post them to social media, as this will suck the juice out of your phone faster.

4. Take care of your feet

It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway, in all caps, because it’s so important. WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES. Yes, those high heel boots are cute and they look great in selfies, but at least bring some backup shoes to wear later in the day or your feet will be very, very mad at you.

5. Arrive early

Most of the crowds seem to arrive around 4 or 5 p.m., but doors open at noon so it’s a good idea to arrive early. This helps you get a feel for the terrain before the big crowds get there. If you are not camping, traffic entering the site becomes chaotic by 3 p.m. Plus, you can stock up on food, beer, and other booze before the lines get long enough to kill your buzz.

6. Plan to spend more on food at the festival

Speaking of food, prices are up this year. One of the lowest prices we saw on weekend 1 was around $11 for a slice of pizza, and it wasn’t uncommon to see entrees selling for around $20. If you want the best value for money, we recommend the paella stand near the Sonora tent. It’s nearly $20, but you’ll get a huge plate of rice and chicken that can be your lunch and dinner, depending on your appetite. Otherwise, there are local grocery stores where you can buy a sandwich to snack on before arriving at the festival.

7. Wear a mask

There’s no mask requirement at Coachella, but beyond COVID-19, the dust and wind are very real. There were high winds the first weekend which created dust storms that obscured the mountains and can scrape your throat and burn your eyes for days. Wear a face covering of some kind to protect yourself from the dreaded Coachella cough. Using a properly fitted N95, KN95, or KF94 mask can also prevent you from bringing the coronavirus back as an unintended memory.

8. Buy Merchandising Early

The queue for the main shopping tent, which sells dozens of t-shirts, hoodies, bandanas, socks, posters, blankets, stickers, patches and other artist goods, had a steady line of what seemed be around 1,000 people throughout the day. We heard stories of people who waited for hours. So your best bet is to arrive early and line up right away. You can also try one of the smaller merchandising booths (VIP and camping) which have a more limited selection, but shorter queues. Billie Eilish and Harry Styles also had their own merchandise stands with shorter queues on the first weekend. Or head to the Gobi Tent and find three stairs. Although they seem to lead nowhere, these stairs can lead to a ton of fashion since they are actually a virtual market called StockX selling material from Snoh ​​Aalegra x Melody Ehsani, 88Rising x AMBUSH and Vince Staples x Brownstone. Simply scan a QR code to order the goods directly on the site.

9. Drink, then drink again

And by drinking, we mean water, not alcohol. Even though the weather at Coachella this year isn’t as hot as it has been in the past, it’s easy to get dehydrated since you’ll be walking miles throughout the day. Please know that we heard that finding water to buy on the pitch was more difficult on the first weekend than in previous years. Plan to bring an empty bottle (no metal or glass) as there are several water refill stations around the site. However, they can get quite packed, so stock up as often as possible. Pro Tip: There’s a station near the HP Lounge, which is near the Antarctic Dome. This was one of the less crowded watering holes we found over weekend 1.

10. Know the shady spots

The sun can be unforgiving, so it’s a good idea to know where to find shade without having to wander around aimlessly looking for it. the large scale art mid-field projects are great places to sit in the shade and relax. If you want to cool off and listen to some music, head to Do Lab. The Indio Central Market is another good spot with tables and food under a roof, and there are also lounges like the HP Lounge near the Antarctic Dome and the EveryOne and HeadQ+uarters Lounges near the Yuma Stage that have shade and comfortable sofas to sit on.