Coachella is probably the most famous (and most instagramable) festival in the world and with it coming up on it's 20th anniversary, it seems to get more popular every year. Having attended Coachella this year we have put together our list of 5 essential festival facts about visiting the musical sensation in the desert.
1 - Coachella is not for the fainthearted and as chilled out and dreamy as it looks on Instagram, it is still a festival so having realistic expectations is crucial. It's in the desert so it's hot, very hot actually. Additionally because of the environment it's also dusty so bandanas are essential to prevent the infamous "Coachella cough", which will see you coughing up sand, literally, for days afterwards. Staying hydrated is key to prevent overheating.
Pro-tip: Chill at your hotel and soak up some rays in the morning before going to the festival in the mid-late afternoon when the heat is dying down but the sunlight is just perfect for the 'gram.
2 - You will walk, a lot. The festival is huge and whether you Uber or shuttle in, you need to walk about a mile to even get to the entrance. Once inside there are numerous stages, bar areas and interactive activities that are spread across a huge space. Comfortable shoes are a must. You might want to wear a pair of extra cool kicks, but if they aren't comfortable it can ruin your whole day. Choosing a specific meeting spot with friends, if all phones fail, will really help you to not get lost, which is very easy to do. Planning who you want to see and when will really help you map out your day and hopefully cut down on meaningless meandering. The Coachella app is excellent for this and will send you live updates letting you know where / when your favourite artists are about to hit the stage.
Pro-tip: Phone signal is really poor in the desert so put a time stamp on messages in your WhatsApp group to be sure you're staying up to date with friends.
3 - The surprise guests are such an exciting part of the Coachella experience. This year there was so many great moments, Beyoncé briefly reforming Destiny's Child being a personal "I can't cope" moment. With Coachella being spread over two weekends, people attending the first weekend will be the ones who really get to experience the surprise moment. However those who attend the second weekend will have the foreknowledge to have tempered their expectations. Some friends were sad to not see Rihanna or P!nk make an appearance with Eminem, so weekend 2 attendees will have an easier time planning.
Pro-tip: If you're not fortunate enough to attend the festival, performances are live streamed on YouTube, so do as Adele did and enjoy your own personal concert experience in the comfort of your own home.
4 - Coachella is a branding goldmine. The festival is synonymous with setting trends and has so much global appeal that it can be an excellent way to launch a product or make an announcement for brands if they're smart about it. Specifically for food / beverage brands, the festival is a great way to reach a new market and create some excellent brand exposure. Remembering that Coachella is also an arts festival and not just music will really enhance your experience, be sure to take in some of the installations, they make for great photo opportunities. Hewlett Packard had an immersive sensory experience in a dome which allowed guests to experience 3D animation, paired with vibration and music making for a really impressive festival activity. Also the dome had air conditioning and squishy chairs, winning!
Pro-tip: If you're planning on promoting your brand at the festival remember that just being there is not enough. Having the right people talking about the brand is crucial to capitalising on the Coachella commercial wave. Get the right PR and influencer activity to get the most from your investment.
5 - The main question people ask themselves when considering the festival is - "is it worth it?" The simple answer is yes. If you love music, food, fashion or art then you will enjoy Coachella. For Irish people especially, going to a music festival in the desert is so out of the ordinary, it makes for such a unique experience. Although just because it's warmer than Electric Picnic it's probably still not a good idea to go to the festival half-naked, "fashion" is never worth sunburn. The festival is extremely well managed which also makes for a more enjoyable experience. Everything has a place and the staff are so helpful and friendly, which just adds something nice to the overall vibe. Long story short, get your tickets for Coachella 2019 asap!
Pro-tip: You can sign up for alerts on the Coachella website or follow them on Instagram and turn on notifications to get info on ticket sales first. Getting the early bird tickets is a great way to get ahead of the general sale and save money, they tend to go on sale a few weeks after the festival finishes and you can pay for them in instalments.