From surplus of sunscreen to comfy shoes: Here’s how to survive Coachella 2024

For eager festival-goers, here’s a guide on how to survive Coachella 2024

Olivia Hebert
Los Angeles
Sunday 14 April 2024 19:31 BST
Related: Suki Waterhouse shares ironic Coachella video featuring ‘topless Robert Pattinson’

Music lovers and influencers alike are descending upon the California desert to join in on the annual revelry and chaos that takes place at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

This year, the first weekend of the 2024 Coachella festival begins on Friday 12 April until Sunday 14 April, followed by its second weekend on Friday 19 April to Sunday 21 April. Lana Del Rey, Tyler the Creator, and Doja Cat will headline both weekends, along with performances from Gwen Stefani’s reformed ska punk band No Doubt, rapper Ice Spice, and Mexican artist Peso Pluma.

As someone who has been there and done that, there are certain must-haves and things to avoid that I certainly would’ve benefited from knowing as a first-timer and not-so-seasoned festival attendee. First and foremost, whatever you’re wearing truly doesn’t matter. You will most likely give up on looking somewhat chic by day three, and may resort to wearing an ill-fitting band tee and cutoffs and call it a day.

If you are hellbent on looking good among the throngs of influencers - who will likely be stuck carrying around their metallic Jeffrey Campbell cowboy boots they forgot to break in - at least wear comfortable shoes. A sneaker with good arch support can make all the difference when you’re standing around for eight hours and walking from tent to tent, or getting your groove on beneath the web-like ceiling of the Do LaB. A pair of running shoes from brands like Hoka, Brooks, Saucony, Asics, or Nike can save you some grief.

The California sun can be harsh in the desert, so it’s best to bring a surplus of sunscreen, a pair of funky sunglasses, and a trusty hat to achieve ultimate coverage. Most people also wear masks or bandanas, primarily to protect their lungs from breathing in dust kicked up by thousands of festival-goers. By adding these must-haves to your festival gear, you’ll help yourself in the long run.

(Getty Images for Coachella)

If you’re planning on spending the majority of the day on the festival grounds, make sure to arm yourself with a game plan, a solar-powered portable charger, and a water bottle. Without all three, it’ll be much more difficult to last throughout the day.

It’s important to remember that you can’t coast on vibes and hit all the acts you’re dying to see. Frankly, it’s impossible given how the Coachella lineup schedules artists at overlapping times. A game plan can help you identify which artists you want to prioritise and the tents they’re scheduled to play at; this information is crucial given how large the Empire Polo Club golf course is. By knowing the length of each artists’ performance, you can easily decide what time to leave one set and get a good spot at another.

If you’re planning on going with a big group, a game plan can also help you keep track of your friends’ locations. With such spotty cell service at Coachella’s festival grounds, try to establish a meeting point or time to reunite with your pals after you inevitably split up.

At Coachella, don’t forget to check out newer spots like the Quasar outdoor stage or hunt for the multiple speakeasies hidden throughout the grounds. The latter makes for a nice reprieve from the heat, and typically boasts excellent cocktails. If you’re more of the beer persuasion, look no further than the Beer Garden close to the main entrance.

Those who are camping can bring food and drinks to the campgrounds, but not to the festival grounds with them. Ticket holders who aren’t camping are not allowed to bring their own items to Coachella, so they may be relegated to the endless options of overpriced food. That being said, the food is pretty good for the exorbitant prices. Be prepared to drop a lot of money on food, either at the shady Indio Central Market or other stops by the Yuma, Mojave, Sahara, or Do LaB tents.

If you’re going to take pictures at Coachella, be sure to snap a photo at golden hour or sunset - when the festival grounds practically glow and the serendipity of the Coachella experience takes hold of you. Trust me, sunset at Coachella is spectacular and there’s nothing like it... much like the festival itself.

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