Music Festival Travel: The Coachella Experience

 

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Coachella Festival, it is the largest and most profitable festival in the country. A modern day Woodstock of sorts: it boasts artists from all genres including rock, indie, hip hop, dance electronica, R&B and everything in between. Both spectators and celebrities (non-performing) such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, and 2 Chainz flocked to this year’s festival and were seen in the crowds, either at the festival itself or privately hosted events in the area. The rapper Drake headlined day 3 of the festival and seemed to be a crowd favorite. Azalea Banks, and London based singer and songwriter FKA Twigs also performed.

 

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Since this event attracts so much star power, attendance requires advanced planning. Festival attendees Kristin Raiford and Toni Harrison of Houston, Texas said that they purchased their tickets back in June of 2014. When it came time to travel to the actual Coachella festival, they flew into Los Angeles International Airport in lieu of Palm Springs and rented a car to drive the rest of the way in. The option of booking a hotel 10 months in advance along with the car rental was very popular amongst the attendees. I made the mistake of not getting a rental car and found myself at the mercy of Uber who charged expensive surcharges on top of the travel fees. Driving is ultimately cheaper and cuts down on the stress of having to wait for extended periods of time for a cab especially when the festival is letting out.

 

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While in town I was invited to the private McDonalds & General Motors event that took place on the Bootsy Bellows estate owned by baseball player Coco Crisp. This was the third year in a row that this highly anticipated event took place, and was one of the many parties that took place during the first week of Coachella.  The veteran event brought out high caliber celebrities like Amber Rose, Justin Bieber,Leonardo Di Caprio, and The Kitty Bradshaw along with influencers and music enthusiasts. Event goers lounged poolside listening to popular DJ’s and artists while enjoying McDonald’s menu items.

Since the festival takes place in the dessert, it is highly recommended that you bring along sunblock, Aloe Vera gel, and Cortizone. All three came in handy when I realized I had sunburn on the back of my neck along with my hairline and scalp. Another recommended necessity when traveling to Coachella is dark sunglasses to block out the sun as much as possible.

 

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My final festival tip for traveling to Coachella is to dress light and avoid dark colors. Also, pack a light jacket or sweater for the evening hours. As soon as the sun sets, the temperature drops dramatically. The weather went from 99 degrees to 60 within an hour. Remember to keep it fun as Coachella is an experience to remember!

 

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