Girl at Coachella
Girl at Coachella

Preparing for the Coachella Festival Experience: DOs and DON’Ts

DO protect yourself from the sun, hydrate, balance confy to stilisg clothing. DON'T overpack, try to sneak prohibited things inside

Ah, it’s that time of year again when the sleepy town of Indio transforms into the hottest music destination on the planet. Yes, Coachella season is upon us!

As someone who has been attending the festival since the early days, I’ve got a hell of a lot of experience when it comes to surviving – and thriving – at this world-famous desert party.

If you’re one of the many folks making the pilgrimage to Indio in the coming weeks, listen up. I’m about to share some hard-earned wisdom to ensure you have an epic Coachella experience without any rookie mistakes.

You can thank me later over a cold one when the festival’s done.

The Dos:

DO practice serious sun safety. I can’t stress this enough – the desert sun is no joke, and you don’t want to spend your weekend at Coachella a lobster-red, peeling miserable mess. Slather on the high-SPF sunscreen (at least 30), throw on a wide-brimmed hat to keep that face shaded and don’t forget the lip balm with SPF. Keep reapplying that sunscreen like it’s your job, even when it’s cloudy. Trust me, you’ll regret it if you don’t.

DO hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Dancing and vibing under the desert sun is a surefire way to get dehydrated fast. Bring an empty, reusable plastic water bottle and make use of the free water refill stations scattered around the grounds. Not drinking enough H2O is a one-way ticket to feeling dizzy, fatigued, and just plain crappy. No one wants that festival FOMO. Bonus tip: Those accordion fans people carry around are a lifesaver for cooling down.

DO gear up sensibly. Looking stylish is part of the Coachella experience, but you’ve got to balance fashion with function. Your footwear choice is critical – leave those flimsy sandals at home and opt for sneakers or shoes with thick, supportive soles. You’ll be racking up miles trekking between stages. A bandana to cover your face can help keep dust at bay, and moisture-wicking fabrics will be your best friend in the desert heat.

DO bring the right accessories. Earplugs are non-negotiable for me – they’ll let you still hear the music while protecting your precious hearing from the blasting speakers. A portable phone charger is also a clutch for keeping your devices juiced up for photo-taking, calling your lost friends, and more. Small bags, fanny packs, or backpacks are ideal for stashing essentials like sunscreen, wet wipes, hand sanitizer and gum or mints. You’re going to want to freshen up after raging all day.

The Chemical Brothers Coachella 2023 BY Gina Joy Chong
The Chemical Brothers Coachella 2023 BY Gina Joy Chong

The Don’ts:

DON’T try to sneak anything prohibited inside. The security team knows all the tricks, and they’ve seen it all before. You’ll just slow down the entry lines and risk not getting in at all if you try to bring in anything on the festival’s banned list. That includes drugs, weapons, aerosol cans, spray sunscreen, large professional cameras, and more. When in doubt, leave it out.

DON’T overpack your bag. Sure, you’ll need some essentials, but lugging around a ton of excessive gear is just going to make you miserable. Things like coolers, umbrellas, blankets, lawn chairs, and other bulky items are banned for good reason. You’ll thank me later when you’re not stuck hauling around a ton of extra weight in the desert heat.

DON’T be unprepared for the conditions. I’ve seen so many Coachella first-timers underestimate just how grueling the desert setting can be. Have a plan for beating traffic getting in and out, designated meetup spots for your crew, storing belongings, dealing with crowds, and taking breaks from the heat as needed. A little preparation goes a long way towards making the weekend stress-free.

At the end of the day, Coachella is what you make of it. But doing your homework, following the rules, and coming prepared will ensure you have an insanely fun time. We locals love hosting the festival, so we want everyone to have a blast. Now get out there, stay hydrated, and get ready to dance your heart out to some amazing music!

Coachella’s tickets and the full lineup are available now.