Going to Coachella has always been on my bucket list, it was one of those once in a lifetime experiences! But for me it was always that awkward time of the year when you couldn’t really get time off work, as we’d just had that christmas break, and it was such a big and expensive trip for a festival. This year I was lucky enough to finally be in the right place at the right time so to speak! We were very last minute organisers who only got confirmation of our V.I.P tickets a few days before we left L.A. Turo was a life saver when it came to hiring a car for the 4 hour trip to palm springs (cheapest car hire that I’ve found so far). I madly dashed around L.A looking for last minute outfit goodies- even convincing a company to let me go directly to their warehouse to pick up a hat!!!
The day before Coachella we had a prior engagement at the roosevelt hotel to support a few friends who were throwing a party there. We had to stay there until about 1am and then headed from there down to palm springs! Not the best way to start a long weekend in the desert, I tell you! We arrived around 3:30am (thank god for no traffic at that time of night!) and I was determined to do my fake tan before bed- worst idea ever, most of it went on the hotel sheets! We woke up around midday and the boys went and bought us provisions- whilst i got ready- such as wine (the most important) and some snacks. Note to self do not let boys do a grocery shop for things one might need when hung over. Basically there was vodka and more vodka, Cheetos and salt and vinegar chips! Oh and coconut water just to be fashionably hydrated of course. I did luck out though and received a sandwich and some wedges for breakfast which was oddly satisfying.
We were lucky enough to get a suite at the Marriot suites in palm desert which were lovely. They had a pool literally a few steps from our room and there was even a flamingo island where real natural flamingos lived!!! So day one outfit was a long black maxi dress that was lace and slightly see through- nice and breezy with sturdy black boots and a backpack. Being with two veteran Coachella attendees they told me to never bring a hat as by nighttime it just gets annoying and you’re hair is ruined- lol but they have a point. So that stupid fedora I trekked half way across the globe for had a great time in my hotel room the whole three days. Day two I wore an outfit that was the exact opposite of day one. It was bohemian style white dress from revolve which was perfect for the desert and some grecian tie up sandals- mind you wearing white was a gamble! In the first 10 minutes I had dragged my dress in the dirt and dropped pizza on it, ha! Day three I was feeling pretty tired and run down and the idea of deciding what to wear was the biggest challenge ever. I ended up going with a little floral top shop dress and my baby pink pom pom runners. Funnily enough I got more compliments on my shoes then I did on anything else the entire Coachella! Goes to show planning doesn’t necessarily mean better!!!!
Luckily these days Uber’s are pretty much everywhere and we were able to get one every day from our hotel into the festival- where they now have a designated Uber drop zone. This I thought would be so quick and easy! BUT you forget that palm springs is much bigger then you would think and a few streets over can take you up to 30 minutes in a car (be mindful of this if you plan to go) especially with all the road blocks and traffic. We decided to head into the festival everyday around mid afternoon when the sun wasn’t too strong. When you arrive in the drop zone you have about a 15 minute walk through serious dust or they have a rickshaw bike system set up that costs $10 per person to be transported to the entrance in 5 minutes. We chose to do this in and out as it was seriously worth the money- Make sure you have cash though. Once you get to the front entrance there are different gates for certain ticket types. From here the V.I.P entrance is about a 15 minute walk through security check points, ID check points and bag check points.
Unlike Australian festival’s the V.I.P section was very different. There were about 3 thousand people in this area. And although this is much more civilised it was certainly not what I was expecting. You will find a much more chill vibe then general admission with an array of food stalls, bars, toilets, hair, makeup, phone chargers etc. It is definitively the way to do this festival as it ensures that you have somewhere to retreat to if you want to have a drink or get some good quality food. Be prepared to pay the usual $15 dollars a drink here, watch as the bank account goes down quick!!! I recommend you pay a visit to the pizza stand tucked away in the front corner, its one of the best I have ever had. I advise you to grab a slice of pepperoni with a margarita and take a seat, this will make you feel good as new! Almost everyone who is a someone in L.A is here, from Victorias secret models to the Leonardo Dicaprio’s of the world (makes for great people watching as long as you don’t leave your mouth hanging open like I do!) This also has a great view of the main stage with grass areas to sit and re-group and chill out before heading out in the general admission areas to go and see the next artist. The only down side about going into general admission is that you cant drink because it is an all ages festival. There are designated drinking areas around the festival but I ended up buying a few drinks and putting them into a drink bottle as a little traveller!
The highlights of my weekend would have to be Future who brought drake out as a special guest. We watched this from the V.I.P area with the best view across the whole stage. Another would be Australian DJ Whatsonot who closed the Gobi stage which was amazing to see how many fans he has!! There was a line outside the tent of people just trying to get in/hear the music from a distance! Other highlights were Dj Snake, Lady gaga and lorde! Our main issue with the big acts was they were always last, and out plan of attack was to always leave an hour to half an hour before the majority of people because it is a nightmare. So I would usually only get to see half of these performances before we had to get going.
The ‘after parties’ are renowned for being on another level of their own at Coachella. The mixture of celebrities and music artists that attend Coachella mean these after parties tend to be pretty amazing. The first night T had to play at a Nana Judy after party around 1am. We arrived at the front gate of a gated community that had the road blocked and a line of people coming out the door. As we walked through we were navigated up the path into a Palm springs mansion. This estate centred around a pool with private seating booths, food stalls and drink stations. There was an enormous shed like building to the rear of the property which was set up with a stage. Here I was lucky enough to watch T play amongst a few friends from Australia.
The second night- which I’m told is always the best night- we had planned to go to a friends after party in some estate. I was told that this is the by far the best after party at Coachella (lol) as its at the most insane estate in palm springs. Arriving there we were transported in mini bus’s from the estates gate entrance. Security here was tighter then the bloody white house! Entering the property I genuinely felt as though we were walking into the a resort, the pool was like a mini lake that took you at least 10 minutes to walk the entire thing. There was levels to this pool my house doesn’t even have! There was bridges, waterfalls, islands, daybeds half submerged in the shallows, it goes on and on. The main living area was set up as a stage for the DJ and a bar. The outhouse bathroom was bigger then my apartment in L.A!!! There was an extremely drunk Paris hilton tearing up the dance floor on one side, every Instagram model under the sun was here, there were Victoria’s secret models, this place was insane! Its safe to say that I crawled into bed that night pretty worse for wear!
The last night we went back to the Nana Judy estate to watch P.diddy host the after party. There was a live performance by Migos, with the sparkling queen, Rihanna looking on from her private booth!!!! The mood this night was pretty mellow as everyone was pretty dead after the last few days. But seeing Rihanna in that sparkly bodysuit really made it all worth it! We got home pretty early that night knowing we had the big drive back to L.A the next day ahead of us!
This festival is certainly not for the faint hearted, especially if you plan on extending your festivities into the late night! It is hot, dry and absolutely huge so make sure you have the comfiest shoes in the world on so you don’t have
an added stress! Also be mindful of heat stroke especially if you are planning on being in the open sun for most of the day. If you are like me I’m generally dehydrated enough from drinking! When nighttime hits it can drop in temperature pretty suddenly so take some sort of jumper incase just for backup! Coming here with a big group can be heaps of fun but most people I spoke to found it tough to all agree on decisions such as when to leave or who to go see, so make sure you have smaller groups who you can break away with or do your own thing- Its too hard trying to please everyone!!
Overall it was one of the most amazing festivals I’ve ever been too, with the palm desert as the most stunning back drop. The mountains and the palm trees feel like a green screen in a movie they are too good to be true! Seeing the pastel pink sunset with the landmark Coachella ferris wheel will forever remind me of the long nights spent dancing amongst the palm trees with the ones I love the most.
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