Coachella 2016: The Guide

I’m recovering from my fourth (or fifth?) Coachella complete with an emergency eye procedure (Captain Jack, anyone?) and green juice for days. But as a seasoned and suntanned (aka not sunburned) veteran of this world-famous music festival, I’ve compiled my pro-tips for your Weekend Two Goers:



Allergy medication, eye drops, and if you’re really on it: nasal spray – The dust storms were cray this year and there is nothing worse than a sinus headache mixed with flailing, acid-dropping teenyboppers.
Sunscreen (Cream) – they’ve banned the aerosol spray sunscreens so bring a cream or stick one.
Portable iPhone Charger – because duh.
A scarf, wrap, etc. – Something to sit on, use as a pillow or a face mask, or post-sunset warmth.
An empty waterbottle – just so you can refill and not wait in ridiculously long lines for a $2 water bottle. (But also drink water from the car to check-in so you don’t die of dust and dehydration prior to security check).
Normal people wear cut-offs and jeans. Idiots wear pasties and Native American headdresses.
I went for a 70s bit this year. Easy midi skirt, crop top, rompers and a maxi dress -> coverage from the sun, easy to dance in, and pretty fucking cute.
Things to consider:
– Your clothes will get trashed. So don’t wear that new Reformation dress.
– Think about clothes that will look cute layered post sun-down.
– Porta-pottys are gross – wearing long, drapey things may cause more grossness.
– Cultural appropriation – don’t do it.
– Flower crowns are definitely out.
SEE (listed in order and * denotes a favorite):
SEE: Ibeyi, the Foals, the Kills, St. Germain, Of Monsters and Men*, M83, Ellie Goulding*, Purity Ring
SKIP: A$AP Rocky (possibly the worst show I’ve ever seen, bad presence, sound, set-up and an obnoxious number of people); Sufjan Stevens (the visual gimmicks were tacky; the sound was shitty).
–> both A$AP and Suf were at the Outdoor Stage, which, IMHO, has always had sound issues – the levels are off, sound systems faulty, etc. But those two acts on Friday were roughhhhh even giving them leeway with that.
SEE: Zella Day, James Bay, Run the Jewels*, Chvches*, The Arcs, Ice Cube*, Rufus and Grimes*
SKIP: Meh Halsey, meh Guns N’ Roses (not that GNR is of my taste anyway)
SEE: Nathaniel Rateliff*, Rancid, Wolf Alice, Meg Meyers, Cold War Kids*, the 1975, Edward Sharpe, Major Lazer*, Beach House*, Sia*, Flume
SKIP: Matt and Kim (so disappointing… and tacky), The Chainsmokers (way too many bandwagon, crazy, drug-addled peeps in the Sahara tent)
We drank primarily at the craft beer barn – some of my favorite LA breweries were there including HPB and Avery. Skip the sugary margaritas and the overpriced heinekin at the general beer gardens, unless you’re stuck between shows between Main and Outdoor on Sunday and need something to quench your thirst.
Check out: the Fig Burger and Truffle Fries at Eureka Burger (Craft Beer Barn), the Spicy Pie (pizza stand in the Outdoor/Main Beer garden), SCPop popsicles (get the dark chocolate or the coffee one).
Skip: Afters ice cream ($12 for a scoop of okay ice cream? No.), Beer Belly. I can’t even believe I’m saying that bc I LOVE Beer Belly. I even did my birthday dinner with them last year. But their “special Coachella menu” is shit. Four chicken wings for $15 with a less than spectacular sauce, useless fries. Ugh.
We hit up Cheeky’s for brunch (the bloody marys there are en pointe plus their almond butter French Toast is to die for) as well as Trio(the pomegranate mojitos though plus their Mushroom Enchiladas – I can’t even).
Overall, Coachella keeps getting better and better for me. The festival is better organized, I’m better prepared and I always have the most amazing music companions (holla Becky and Annie). I love this festival, even with the antics and silliness and heat and terrifying Ferris Wheel (which I go on every year). Until next year. xx.

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