It’s festival season! Gayety had the opportunity to attend the second weekend of Coachella – the well-known music festival in Indio, California – and let me tell you; the dust is not to be taken lightly. Coming from someone who grew up in the desert, there is a lot of preparation attendees should consider before they go and rage for three consecutive days. Here are a few tips and tricks we picked up so you can fight the heat (whether you are planning to go in the future or going to Stagecoach next week, read on!).
Bring a camelback or refillable water bottle
Coachella’s mission is to encourage sustainability at its festival while ensuring its attendees stay hydrated. The polo field has little shade or air conditioning, so prepare to be in the sun for long periods. To stay safe (and save some money), bring a reusable water bottle to fill up at the refill stations scattered around the event.
Let’s face it; you are not stronger than the sun. Festival goers can choose to bring their own sunscreen into the event and should reapply generously throughout the day. Twelve hours is long, so set a reminder on your phone to pull out the lotion.
If you forgot to bring sunscreen, don’t worry! Coachella has free sunscreen stations where guests can take as many SPF pumps as needed. Having white lotion streaks all over your body is part of the festival look!
Coachella is an entirely outdoor event, but there are a few places you can hide for some much-needed AC or shade. The iconic Ferris wheel is one location that offers air conditioning. It’s $15 to ride, but if you’re lucky, you can find free tickets on the app. The carts are enclosed, so you will have a few minutes of shade and air while you go around and see the sights!
Another classic Coachella landmark is the rainbow spiral building – also known as Spectra. The structure is a seven-story building that takes guests up to a viewing deck. It is also made of colorful window panels that offer a fun and festive rainbow effect – especially at night. It’s a short walk up to the top, but it does have air conditioning the whole way!
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Bring an umbrella and scarf
While a hat and some sunscreen may seem enough to keep you covered, I suggest bringing one more item for sun protection. There are patches of shade all over the field, but they go fast. Plus, if you plan to run from one stage to the next, having an umbrella above your head or a scarf on your shoulders will help keep your skin from burning.
Beware of long parking lines
The festival offers multiple parking packages for purchase, but there is a free parking lot. However, when 250,000 guests try to park at the same event, it’s bound to cause a traffic jam. If you want to be there early in the day, try to get to the designated parking lot before noon to avoid heavy traffic. Free parking spaces are first-come first-serve! But if you arrive later, there is an overflow lot with a shuttle service. Parking can take a few minutes or a few hours depending on when you arrive at the Empire Polo Club, so plan accordingly!
I know this might sound overwhelming, but trust me, putting extra effort into preparing for the festival will save you time and stress in the long run. That will give you more time to enjoy the activities and impressive performances all weekend! Have fun!
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