Each April, music fans head to the desert for a festival like no other: the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. First founded in 1999, the music, art, and culture festival is held for two weekends every spring, and is a draw for thousands upon thousands of spectators every year (tickets sell out lightning-fast). If you’re planning to discover this beacon of California cool for the very first time, read on: we’ve put together a survival guide to help you look like a Coachella pro.
For first timers, Coachella is not in central Los Angeles but Indio, a desert town about twenty-five miles from Palm Springs. It sounds like a hike, but for those travelling from abroad to the festival, there’s luckily no need to get behind the wheel: Coachella offers shuttles from Los Angeles International Airport to the festival grounds and the most popular hotels in the vicinity, so non-drivers are well looked after.
If cars are more your thing, try Zimride, an economical rideshare site by Enterprise. Festivalgoers list their rides, and all you have to do is grab a seat. With festival attendance north of 100,000 people a day, for sanity and safety Coachella encourages you to carpool. Do so and you may even get some lifetime VIP passes out of it. In 2007, the festival launched CARPOOLCHELLA, which awards a windfall of awesome prizes to those who carpool with four or more people, and write the aforementioned phrase on their car. The program is still going strong – and it’s hard to think of a better reason to take a few friends along for the ride.