There isn’t an official calendar, but for most people, Coachella marks the start of festival season and the kickoff to six months of music, art and dancing that spans multiple genres, artists and locations.
This year’s Coachella lineup features headliners Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino and Tame Impala, along with performers like Solange, Khalid, Janelle Monae and K-pop sensations, BLACKPINK.
Though it started as a laidback rock festival in the California desert, Coachella is now known as much for its parties as it is for its music. We spoke to seven Coachella vets about their favorite festival experiences and the essentials all attendees should pack, to ensure a memorable and ‘grammable weekend.
The DJ and producer takes the stage for a solo set on both Friday nights at Coachella this year. His latest single, “Close To Me” (which features Ellie Goulding and Swae Lee) has so far peaked at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The last couple of times I’ve played Coachella have been with my other project Major Lazer and with Jack Ü. I’ve played Coachella enough times now that I’ve definitely lost count, but it’s such a great time always, even if I’m just attending. It’s got a vibe that’s so different from every other festival so I really look forward to going every year.
Just for festival season in general, my schedule always gets so busy this time of year so I always like to have Dosist pens on hand to help me chill out. I’m always doing a dozen things at once so I have them all over my house, in my studio to help me slow down in between all the traveling. Then as far as what I have with me when I actually show up at the festival, I always have sunscreen – I really like Barbara Sturm Sun Drops. My wallet, which right now is the Coach Nasa wallet, and Colgate Wisps, are also essential. And of course I have your normal DJ stuff too: SD cards, headphones, etc. Try: Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Headphones, $148.99 on Amazon.com.
The singer-songwriter was born and raised in Palm Springs, so he’s been around Coachella since the festival started. Hilton released his fifth studio album, “City On Fire,” in January, and is touring through the summer in support of the new record. New single, “How Long Till I Lose You” came out last week.
I’m from Indio, and my earliest memories of Coachella are playing the polo grounds when I was 15, right before they started turning that space into a full festival venue. Since then, I’ve been to Coachella for a handful of the festivals, but 2011 was the one I really remember wanting to stick around for as much as possible. It was like my entire iPod at one festival.
Paul McCartney in 2009 was also an incredible night, which took me by surprise a bit. There can be an atmosphere of “my band is cooler than your band” at Coachella because every band is incredible. So you’re trying to pull your friends to this tent for this band, but they’re trying to make a case for a different band playing main stage at the same time and on and on. But everyone came to see McCartney and everyone was singing along. It was that rare moment where everyone knew almost every word to every song. It felt more innocent than cool – definitely something special.
People go crazy in the desert. The desert’s always been where people go to get weird. My advice: bring a spare phone battery, chapstick, the biggest hat you don’t feel stupid wearing, and a vape pen and you’ll be alright. Try: CBDFX Pineapple Express CBD Vape Pen, $19.99 on CBDFX.com.
French artist Jain is part of the festival’s line up this year and will be performing on the Gobi Stage on both Saturdays.
Festivals are the best when you bring friends who know how to have fun and dance. I recommend that everyone should wear sneakers at Coachella since you are on your feet throughout the weekend. Also, I think it is important to bring your own refillable water bottle because we use too much plastic. Try: Nalgene Tritan BPA-Free Water Bottle, $10.85+ on Amazon.com.
I have heard about Coachella many times [even] in France, as it is one of the biggest festivals. It is amazing how the entire world can meet in one place, all there for the love of music. It feels good to be together.
The UK electro artist has collaborated with everyone from G-Eazy and Chad Hugo (of The Neptunes) and the singer/multi-instrumentalist just hit more than a quarter-billion streams online. His new album, “Dawn” is out later this year and is the final installation from his “Dusk, Dark, Dawn” three-part album series.
I played my first Coachella in 2016, in the Yuma tent early in the day. It was super early in my career and I felt super lucky to be on the lineup, and even then it completely blew my expectations out the water. It was the first US festival I played at, and I didn’t think anyone would come watch. When I mixed in the first of my own songs in the set, the whole tent went crazy – I was honestly in shock. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that feeling. I’m so excited to be back, and to be bringing the live show this time!
In terms of essentials for surviving the desert, definitely start with a face mask or bandana. It’s pretty dusty out in the desert, and if the wind picks up you can end up eating dust. Have something on hand to cover your mouth and eyes.
I would also bring a fanny pack (ed note: festivals will be pretty strict this year about what you can bring into the grounds, and organizers have recommended carrying clear bags, like this one from Amazon, to avoid hold-ups at security). I started wearing one over the shoulder as an accessory, but it turns out they’re pretty functional too – who knew? It makes carrying essentials much easier, and can elevate a ‘fit too.
It gets pretty hot out there, and you wanna stay smelling fresh for the whole night right? Solid perfumes are super compact and won’t get confiscated by security. Diptyque does a really good one. Try: Diptyque Do Son Solid Perfume, $50.00 on Nordstrom.com.
The last thing is sun cream. Without sounding like your mother, being really sunburned isn’t a good look for anyone. Not to mention it f*cking hurts. Cream up and avoid the schoolboy error. Try: Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sweat-Resistant Sunscreen, $9.88 on Amazon.com.
I went to Coachella in 2012, the same year Snoop and Dre had the Pac hologram. I remember the atmosphere being so vibrant that year. I was at a time in my adolescence where I felt like a sponge. I wanted to absorb it all — the music, the fashion, the culture — and I most certainly did that. I cannot wait to be back this year, and I am most excited to perform alongside such a great collection of artists at the Coachella House.
For any festival, I always try to travel as light as possible; only the bare essentials. In my case, that means a pair of sunglasses with thick lenses, one pair of reliable denim (something that can handle a party), and lastly, a set of glow sticks. Try: Lumistick 100-pack glow sticks and bracelets, $9.95 on Amazon.com.
The model and fashion influencer has been to a number of Coachella festivals and is once again planning on attending this year. She recently partnered with Minnetonka on a collection of festival-ready moccasins and slides, inspired by her free-spirited femininity, with embroidered motifs based on her tattoos.
I am really looking forward to attending Coachella this year! I packed the Lottie Moss x Minnetonka slides. They’re cute and comfortable and a little wild which feels about right for 12 hour days in the desert! Purchase: Ashlynn Multi Slide, $58.00 on MinnetonkaMoccasin.com.
The LA-based menswear blogger started making YouTube videos in 2011 and now boasts more than 1.8 million subscribers online. Known for his style, fitness and travel content, he’s returning to Coachella for the fifth time this year.
Coachella isn’t just a music festival, it’s actually way more than that. There’s fashion, tech, culture, art, friendship, and of course, amazing music. The festival starts way before the first song is played – it starts when you’re sitting at home trying to figure out your outfits and your schedule for that weekend. The anticipation and the excitement of getting ready for Coachella is almost as fun as the festival itself.
Last year, my best friends and I saw 6lack perform at Mojave, and it was probably one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. I think another huge artist was performing on a different stage, so because of that, we had a lot of room to dance and enjoy what felt like an intimate performance. My first Coachella, in 2015, was also special. Everything was new and exciting, and I got to see Drake and Gesaffelstein put on a show.
Three products festival goers should have with them are sunscreen, a light jacket (most people forget how cold it gets at night) and a portable charger. You’re most likely going to be using your phone for videos, pictures, and texting your friends to try and find them, so you’ll want to stay powered up. Try: Anker PowerCore 10000 Power Bank, $31.99 on Amazon.com.
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