You’re really going to Coachella? What are you doing going to Coachella? Aren’t you too old for that? I didn’t know you smoked weed?
Repeated questions I heard over and over when telling friends and family that the hubby and I would be adventuring to Coachella this year. But ya know what? Hell yeah, we were going. And we were gonna dance and rock it. Oh, and by the way no. We are not too old for that. In fact I am happy to let you know by no means were we the oldies at Coachella. And the people we saw there that WERE older than us were rockin’ it and having a great time. So let’s start there. You are never too old to go to Coachella. Now, maybe you won’t be rocking the scantily clad look or wear your bikini with a sheer, glitter slip dress over it, but you will have a blast and meet so many wonderful people. And the music will pump thru your body for three solid days.
Last fall I was on my computer researching this whole Coachella thing and was so intrigued and wanting to attend this music festival. I was chatting with my hubby about what a fun time it looked like and how I always wanted to experience this festival. He said, “Let’s do it. Book it.” I didn’t hesitate. I pressed the button for the three day pass of adventure that would take us to hot temperatures, dusty grounds, and a sweet teepee that would be our resting spot and so much more.
Instead of choosing car camping (which most of you youngins do) I picked the teepee camping at Lake El Dorado. It was a higher cost than the car camping but with this selection you get private access to El Dorado Lake, a teepee with two cots, two sleeping bags, two pillows, two camping chairs and a lantern. This option seemed to make the most sense to us since we were unable to drive to Indio, CA and couldn’t bring any camping supplies. If there are any camping supplies you can’t take home after the festival they donate them to a local homeless shelter. (Bonus!) We did end up bringing our little pillows home as a keepsake but left everything else at our departure. The El Dorado camping also provides you with upgraded port a potty access, showers (a trailer that had about 10 stalls), a charging area to plug into and a nice chill area to hang out when you needed a break.
Now, the other lodging options could be an airbnb or a hotel off site. We chose not to do this option since this was our first time attending the festival and wanted to experience everything. I think there are pros and cons to this option. Pros are when you get back to your place after all day in the desert you have air conditioning and possibly a pool to plunge into and unwind from a dusty, hot, music rocking day. However, you have to get back and forth to wherever you are. For us to walk back and forth to our teepee was probably about a half a mile, but we didn’t have to wait in any lines or in traffic. I didn’t see the people coming and going in Uber or shuttles but I heard it had some very long lines and wait times. That was the last thing I wanted to do after a full day from 11am-midnight. Stand in line and wait to get back to a house/hotel. But, that option might be the best for you.
One thing I wish we would of spent the money on was VIP. VIP is the way to go. Access to different areas within the festival that offer different cocktails, more couch/rest areas, and just great areas all the way around. Of course, there are two levels of VIP. The highest level is where the artists have access as well. Not sure what the price is for that but if you have the funds, I would go for it. Other than that the standard VIP would be great. It is quite a bit more expensive than general admission. But enough about that. Let’s get to the good stuff. The stuff about this awesome festival.
So we arrived Thursday afternoon and the teepees are on a first come/first serve basis for selecting location. Dang. Such a big decision. Do we pick shade? Quiet? Private? Decorated? Ahhhh! We went with an option that was more on the private side on the far side of the lake? Did I say far side? When you have walked miles all day the far side of the lake seems very far at midnight as you stumble back to your cot so you can lay parallel and go over the day in your mind. I would say overall all of the teepees are great spots and you really can’t go wrong. Just pick one. We checked in around 2:00 and got to setting up our teepee. Since we flew in we brought what supplies would fit in our suitcase. Popsicle twinkle lights, battery operated tea lights, a big outdoor blanket, lantern, some rope to make a clothes line, external battery chargers for our phones, and two little mini fans. Everything worked great. The only thing I can say, which you can do nothing about, is after 10:00am it is HOT HOT HOT. It was in the low hundreds during the day and around 70 at night. That means there is not a lot of time to chill in the morning getting ready etc. because you are starting to get sweaty and there is limited shade….
We would shower around 8:00/9:00am and I only had to wait in line once for 10 minutes to use a shower. I did notice the people that decided to shower later had to wait longer. The showers had warm water and it was so nice to start fresh after a hot and dusty day. Sometimes we showered at night after we got back. Heavenly.
After settling in Thursday we went and grabbed some dinner at a local restaurant. The other nice thing about the El Dorado camping is you have in and out access with your car during your stay. One thing to note…..there is ALWAYS music happening at this festival. If it is not at the festival it is coming from a camp site somewhere or it is from the “Silent Disco” club that has been set up just yards outside of the El Dorado camping area. You have to be able to tune it our or just adjust to it as white noise and sleep thru it. Could be very challenging for some people. For us, we were so exhausted by the time we came back to the teepee that we were asleep within minutes.
Up and ready to go on Friday. Had coffee from a coffee/breakfast booth set up at one of the food areas. Food. There is plenty. It is great and should be fine for several different eaters for a few days. Super organized and always a good supply. The festival opens about 11:00 and ends usually around midnight or 1:00. That first day we were there when it opened. There is security to check your bag and a scanner to walk thru. FYI-no aerosol sunscreen or bottled water. Don’t worry, the sunscreen gets passed down the line and used by the people getting ready to go in.
The energy. It’s there as soon as you walk in the gate. It’s great. It’s awesome. You at so excited for this adventure. I had heard not to wait until the end to ride the ferris wheel so we took that advice and it was one of the first things we did. So fun! Great to see the venue and how huge it is from that view. Seeing all the campers and all of the people lining up was crazy! Oh, and one little bonus. The ferris wheel capsule is air conditioned. Enjoy!
From there we just started walking around and exploring. Coachella has a great app that tells you the start times of all the music and a map so you can figure out where you are going. Stage after stage. Some indoor. Some outdoor. Some dark and sexy. Some funky and fun. Again, food. Great selection. Everything from Vietnamese to pulled pork sandwiches and hamburgers. Lemonade, ice cream, coffee, fresh cut fruit, cold water and all kinds of things. If you are over 21 you will want to get an id bracelet. This gets you into some different areas that are fun with great cocktails and craft beers/ciders. Seriously, not just a stand with beer. Cool areas with tables, standing areas, charging areas, areas to sit on the ground and visit and chill.
Early on I had heard some people talking about a tiki bar. I knew I hadn’t seen it on the map and was curious where they were headed. After some investigating I figured out it was a speak easy that had been added this year that was a fun place to hang out with great cocktails. Couldn’t get in on Friday but got our name on the waiting list for Saturday. Was super fun! Met a great couple while we waited in line. The tiki bar held only twenty people, they acted like you were getting into the most private area in the world but it was worth it. Had a few cocktails and we were back on our way to dance and listen to music. Saturday and Sunday. Wake up and repeat.
It is hard for me to put into words the energy and feel of the music at this festival. It is awesome. It moves thru your body. You can’t help but move to the beat and scream when the venue lights up and some music starts pumping. I hadn’t anticipated so many DJ’s and I wasn’t sure what to think about that but I really, really loved it. The set-up was so fun and the crowd went crazy for all of them. Check out my videos below to get some of the vibe. My two favorites were SNBRN and DJ Khaled. Other bands and DJ’s like Local Natives, Tall Juan, Kungs, Preservation, SOHN, Father John Misty, Travis Scott, Bastille, DJ Snake, Preoccupations, Honne, Kiiara, Lorde, and of course Lady Gaga. So many more we enjoyed but I can’t list them all because the list would go on and on. Seriously. And really, there weren’t any I hated. Just fun to hear music and be able to dance and enjoy for three days!
Now let’s talk about the outfits people. I didn’t get enough pics to truly capture all of the truly amazing, crazy, wonderful outfits that people rocked. I didn’t want to be that person walking around snapping pics right in front of the outfits I loved. I took some on the sly but they really don’t capture the true looks. Ladies. If you are going may I suggest two must haves. Short denim shorts that show some of that booty. Don’t worry about the size or look of the booty. Just rock it. Seriously. Have a black simple swimsuit? Great. Put it on and then a sheer, sparkly slip dress over and you have a great outfit. Now, that swimsuit might be standard bikini or possibly Brazilian cut. Great. Own it. Wear it. Sprinkle the glitter. Put on the sparkly tattos. Whatever goes. Don’t bring a bra. No need. No one wears one. There are hundreds of tops, wrap tops, cool tie tops, everything that is great! If your boobs sag, so what. Leave the bra home and own it. It’s all about in the attitude and how you carry yourself. DO NOT TAKE WEDGES OR HEELS. Don’t do it. In ten minutes you will regret it. Wear great flip flops, some cute sandals, but seriously go for comfort. You won’t be sorry. Guys, whatever goes. Cool, bold button ups. Tshirts with shorts. Fun hats. Glitter. No shirt. Whatever.
Now, let’s talk about pot. Are people smoking it? yes. Is everyone smoking it? no. If you don’t like the smell or watching people smoke marijuana then this is not the place for you. It’s happening. If it bugs you, don’t go. If people are doing other drugs I was not aware of any of it. I’m not tuned into that, not my thing, so I have no idea. I just know I saw people smoking pot and smelled it several times throughout the day.
I am so happy, thankful and thrilled that the hubby and I went on this adventure and experienced Coachella. We had such a wonderful time adventuring to something we had never done before, into the unknown together. Before we were married and at times throughout our marriage we have adventured. These adventures always takes me back to the days when it was just Mike and I and the world and life were in front of us and we were going to rock the hell out of whatever we did. It brings back that connection I felt when I first met Mike. It brings back a side of myself that gets tucked away sometimes. I looked over at Mike several times during our time away and felt such a rush of love and gratitude for him. He always says yes to adventure. To me and my crazy ideas. To trying new things. To not always doing the norm. To learning more about what is out in this world. To exploring and leaving our comfort zones. To meeting new people and expanding our horizons. To Coachella.
We had the best time. I went with my best friend and we adventured. Life is good.