CAN YOU GUYS BELIEVE I MADE IT THROUGH COACHELLA BECAUSE I CANT.
SOOOO as you guys know I recently attended Coachella and to say it was the best weekend I've had in a very long time would probably be the understatement of the century.
I went with two of my friends on a complete whim. A month or two before the concert we were talking *while drunk* and were like "why don't we just do it?". The next day we were still a bit drunk and hungover and decided to throw caution to the wind and ended up getting tickets, booking a hotel and buying our flights. A complete and total YOLO moment.
I'm gonna break this down into some subcategories because I'm sure some of you are reading this for different reasons. Someone like me who has never been would've loved reading something like this because I like to know what I'm getting into before I sign up. Regardless, the weekend will be amazing.
The weekend started by flying into San Diego from Boston. A quick 6 hour flight filled with 3 screenings of The Greatest Showman on my personal JetBlue headrest..... WHOOPSIES!
We landed at the airport, picked up our rental car and headed to downtown to pick up our friend who was already there with family. Once you're on the road from SD to Palm Springs, it's only about a two hour drive. We stopped along the way for food and to pick up groceries/alcohol and necessities for our hotel room. This is one way we saved a lot of money. I highly suggest stopping and getting snacks before you get into Palm Springs because everyone jacks up the prices (they know they can get away with it).
First of all, our rental car was SICK. I partnered with my friends from Mazda to get us out to the desert and they did not disappoint by any means. Look at this beautiful Mazda CX5 they hooked us up with for the week!
Once we checked into our hotel, we stayed at the Renaissance Palm Springs, we went and laid by the pool for a few hours before heading to dinner and then called it an early night. To be honest, I considered going out because it's Palm Springs duh but then figured my body would thank me if I didn't (which it definitely did).
The next day was Coachella, we woke up at 8AM in excitement and headed to breakfast then started getting ready for the festival in our rooms and by the pool.
WHAT TO WEAR, PACK + BRING
I didn't check a bag on purpose because I knew if I did I would bring too many options to wear and be overwhelmed so I planned accordingly with my packing. This was my outfit for the first day. Even though Britney wasn't performing, I pretended she was and I got so many compliments and inquiries about this shirt. I've linked it here.
I don't think you can go wrong with comfort. Think of it this way, you'll be in the desert under the sun for nearly 12 hours if you go for the full festival. You're going to need to be comfortable if you're gonna have a good time. Pack lightly for the festival itself. All I brought was a fanny pack with my wallet and my phone in it.
There's really nothing I wish I could've brought with me other than that to be honest. Maybe deodorant if you're someone who sweats a lot? The bottled water there is $2 and you won't be able to bring any liquid into the grounds of the concert, plus there's a refill station (that I was always too lazy to wait in so I just went and spent more money *face in palm emoji*)
These were my outfits for day 2 and day 3, respectively. Day 3 was over 100 degrees in the desert hence the need to wear a tank top and show off the fact that I actually don't have a single defined muscle on my entire body.
All three days of the concerts were AMAZEBALLS. Each one brought a different vibe and had different artists playing such good sets so it's hard for me to pick a favorite day. I can easily pick my top 5 favorite performances though.
1. OF COURSE IT COULD BE NONE OTHER THAN QUEEN BEY.
Let me just tell you. I've seen Beyonce several times now live and this performance undoubtedly annihilated every other performance she's ever done. The choreo, the singing, the environment all came together perfectly. She brought out Destiny's Child and I shrieked like a baby goat. I was worried she wasn't going to since I went weekend 2, but she did and it killed me.
2. KYGO featuring a special guest AKA the love of my life Ariana Grande
SOOO I'm a huge Kygo fan and obviously wanted to see his set. I had this feeling that Ari was gonna come out during something throughout the weekend just because she had released her new single (which is heavenly btw) the day before the festival began. As you guys know, I'm obsessed with Ariana and made my way to the stage when I heard her singing. I elbowed and clawed people to get as close as humanly possible to her and I apologize to the people that witnessed that animalistic behavior. She sang her new song and I could have died right there that's how happy I was.
3. CARDI B slayed while 7 and a half months pregnant.
I didn't want to look at any of the videos from weekend 1 in anticipation of my going to Coachella and I surprisingly held myself to it. Before we went to the last day, my friends and I sat in our hotel room looking up the lyrics to some of her lesser-known songs and tried learning them. We failed miserably. Her stage and dancers were amazing, she opened up the set by saying "this one's for all my slutty nasty hoes" and the crowd, including myself, went wild. She was up there twerking and rapping and having the absolute best time. She brought out J Balvin and SZA (who would've been number 6 on this list by the way).
4. CASH CASH
Now cash cash might not have been on a lot of people's list. They played during the first day at 3ish and not a lot of people were there but I've been a fan of them for a really long time. The best part about this set was how close we got. We were essentially next to the stage so that's why I think it was so fun. Plus it was one of the first sets we saw for the weekend so it really "set the stage" for how the weekend was gonna play out!
5. The DOLAB
I know, I was confused too. The DoLab isn't an artist but it's a stage in the back of the festival. It's lesser-known DJ's who play remixes of the songs on the radio and you have to go there if you're going to Coachella, at least for one set. We went to this tent at least once a day, plus it's right next to some of the food.
SIDE NOTE THE FOOD AT COACHELLA IS HEAVENLY BUT I DON'T TAKE FOOD PHOTOS BECAUSE I EAT TOO FAST.
Some runner-ups for best performances would've been SZA, Alan Walker, Hayley Kiyoko and SNAKEHIPS. BTW I found out that they're name wasn't "ships" at Coachella so that was fun, too. These are just my opinons, I'm pretty basic when it comes to music analysis but these were the people I had the most fun at.
A lot of the questions I got about Coachella centered around the costs and the logistics of the festival. I'm gonna be completely transparent with you guys. In no way should you go to Coachella if you're not going to completely and totally "ball out". I went into day one with a budget and completely failed after being there for a total of five minutes.
It's just not realistic. In total here was my (loose) breakdown of spending.
The reason these were so expensive was because they were resale. Next year, I'll definitely try to get them from the website as they're much less expensive.
Shuttle Pass: $50
If you're staying at a hotel I could not recommend this more. It picked us up directly at our front door and brought us right to the festival's entrance. We bought ours on the Coachella website because they weren't sold out and I'll definitely be using them again next year.
Hotel: $600 (for four nights, shared between 3 people)
This was obviously expensive because of how last minute we booked it. I know people who booked houses months in advance with their friends and saved a lot of money, so that's a cost-effective way to do Coachella.
Spending Money: $750
This was on the more expensive side. Could I have been more frugal? Absolutely! But it was vacation and I was in a mood. Alcohol plus all of the food I could ever want equals a very poor Hayden.
Rental Car: ?
Depends on where you're driving from or what company you're going to use but I definitely recommend making it a road trip. You're not going to want to sit on a bus once the festival is over plus you get to stop along the way and get yummy food!
1. Make sure you're attending the festival with the right people. This isn't the type of thing that's gonna be everyone's cup of tea. I probably couldn't see half of my friends having a legitimate good time at Coachella for different reasons but make sure the crew that you're attending the festival with are people who have similar tastes and personalities to you. Luckily, we all wanted to see the same artists and didn't really disagree too much on the lineups we created. Ocassionally there would be a (alcohol induced) fight about something stupid but in general, we got along great so make sure you're comfortable with the people you're going with.
2. DRINK WATER. I don't mean to sound like my mom but I'm serious Do it. I saw so many people who looked like they were about to pass out and I saw even more people actually getting medical attention. It's huge to stay hydrated, especially while drinking in the desert and constantly moving, walking and dancing.
3. Be weird. Don't take it too seriously. A lot of people were in these elaborate outfits and just went "for the gram" as they say it. Personally, I went to dance my ass off. I went to meet guys and girls from all over the world who wanted to listen to music together and was very weird to people too because that's what my friends and I do for fun. Yes, it's a cool event. But at the end of the day if you're not gonna have fun, don't spend all the money on it.
If you guys have any questions about Coachella as a whole or my experience please feel free to ask me so I can relive my experience as much as humanly possible. Here are some extra photos of outfits, if you want details let me know and I can tell you guys where I got them from.
I'll 10000000% be back at Coachella next year, who wants to get a house?!?
And until then, you can find me rereading this blog and re-living my best life through the videos I took on my now cracked iPhone. What are some of your guys favorite festivals? I need to start planning some in advance so I can *attempt to* save money.