Coachella Checklist

Getting ready for festival season?  Check our Coachella checklist to make sure you are prepared to have a crazy, awesome time!

Coachella Checklist

  1. “Small beach towel”: Although, we all would love to believe that we’re invincible and will go wild at every stage for every artist… Truth is… you’re going to have some down time and need a break.  In those times, it’s great to lay on the grass and spend some quality time with friends on your beach towel.  Technically, blankets are not allowed at Coachella, but it should be fairly easy to sneak in a small picnic blanket with your sweater/jacket or bring a straw picnic mat.
  2. Comfortable shoes: I know, I know…  Fashion over function/comfort!  Comfortable shoes aren’t always pretty, but neither is limping or popping blisters during the festival. I will warn that you’ll be on your feet all day so having comfortable shoes that you can stand long hours in will make a big difference.
  3. Bandana/scarf: There have been quite a few years where sand and windstorms have passed through Coachella, so it’s an absolute must to keep a bandana or scarf at hand to cover your face during those times.  It also helps to keep away the dust and dirt that’s constantly being kicked up by the crowd.
  4. Sweater/jacket: Yes, you’re in the desert.  It’s HOTTT.  But, those temperatures drop at night so be prepared for the cooler weather with a sweater or jacket!
  5. Sunglasses: Protect your eyes in the intense sunlight out in the desert! It may be obvious, but it’s oftentimes that one thing you think you packed but actually forgot.
  6. Hat: Keep cool and protect your head with a nice hat.  And, they’re so trendy nowadays, too.
  7. Refillable water bottle/camelbak: There will be plenty of water refilling stations.  It’s important to bring a refillable water bottle or camelpack so you stay hydrated, especially in that desert heat.
  8. Backpack/fanny pack: How else will you keep all these items with you?
  9. Camera: Most music festivals do not allow cameras with interchangeable lenses.  Womp womp.  But, if you have a point-and-shoot or film camera on hand, I definitely recommend bringing it along.  Coachella has some beautiful landscapes and gorgeous sunsets to capture.  🙂  If you have a mirrorless camera, you may even be able to sneak it in and pass it off as a point-and-shoot camera as long as you don’t attach a crazy lens.
  10. Sunscreen: Always keep sunscreen with high SPF handy – no one wants skin cancer!
  11. Phone & phone charger: Signal at music festivals tends to be really spotty due to the sheer volume of people.  It’s still handy to keep your phone either for pictures or to get the occasional text.  Your phone battery will probably die more quickly since it will be constantly searching for signal.  To combat this, try to switch your phone to airplane mode when you don’t need to use it and bring your phone charger since there will be charging stations available.
  12. ID/ATM cards/cash: Square will be available at all vendors, so no cash is needed, but… still recommended! Last year, a lot of the vendors needed internet/signal for their Square/PayPal apps to operate properly, but since signal was spotty, we often were turned down if we did not have cash.  A bit annoying, I have to say, but hopefully this year will be better!  There’s also never any harm in bringing cash for speedy transactions.
  13. Portable charger: If you have one, bring it – it will save the hassle of finding a charging station and allow you to have a fully-charged phone throughout the entire festival day.
  14. Wristband: Most importantly, don’t forget your golden ticket to the festival! 😉

Other Tips:

  • Coordinating Meet-Ups:
    • Time-stamp your text messages: Phone signal is extremely spotty at Coachella so the messages will only send through sporadically.  Sometimes, your message will go through hours after you’ve sent it.  Your friend will really appreciate that time stamp to better assess whether/when to meet up.
    • Have a designated meet-up area: Before everyone disperses, designate an area to meet up at specific times.  This way, you will always know when and where to find your friends if you want to meet up.  Don’t choose a place that’s too obvious or big.  For example, a lot of people will choose the ferris wheel as a meeting area, but many others will have already thought about this same area AND there will be a lot of people standing/sitting in the big area in front of the ferris wheel.  Choose a more specific and less likely to be chosen meeting spot.  Our friends bought a camping pass so we would have an area to meet and hang out before and after the festival as well as during our down time.
  • Security: Be prepared for long lines to get into the music festival as security checks your bags.  I have found that the entrance from the camping area is less crowded than the main entrances.  Different security personnel will be more thorough than others, so sometimes this is a matter of luck.
  • Conserve phone battery: Since your phone will be constantly searching for signal, it will drain your phone battery.  Consider switching your phone to airplane mode when you do not need to use it or find anyone.


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