The Coachella 2019 Survival Guide

Heading to Coachella? These are your 10 rules to live by while you're there

Yeah, it’s that time again: The back-to-back weekends of Coachella have returned.

Indio has some amazing acts this year (here are 12 you need to know), along with more than 100,000 fans a day. Whether it’s your first time in the desert or you’re refining a yearly pilgrimage, SoundDiego wants to help.

Here are 10 rules to live by at Coachella 2019:

1. Hydrate: Heat stroke is no fun. This seems like a simple one, yet every year the first-aid tent is a sad tale of broken festival dreams. You’re allowed to bring a plastic, refillable water bottle into the festival, or once you’re inside, trade 10 empty bottles for a fresh, cold one. (And you can always buy them for a couple bucks a pop.) There are no excuses for failing this basic golden rule.

2. Don't be a sucker: In years past, late-night TV shows have sent a correspondent to the festival to mess with camera-hungry attendees by chatting them up about bands that don’t exist. They’ll be out there looking for dummies again. Don’t be one of them.

3. Be smart: If you break rule No. 2 -- and we strongly advise against that -- make sure you only answer questions about bands you actually listen to. Even if you have to say, "I have no idea," 10 times in a row, do it.

4. Use sunscreen: This seems about as basic as it comes, but I still see people on Saturday and Sunday looking like John Candy in "Summer Rental." It’s the desert. Do your skin a favor and put it on.

5. Art it up: Sure, bands are the big draw out in Indio, but festival organizers always do an incredible job providing attendees with the best in high-concept installations. New things are added every year, and they’re listed in the program.

6. Don’t get too wasted: This isn’t a lecture, just a call to use some common sense. Have fun but remember that Coachella is a long, physical experience under the hot sun. Go beyond your limits and it can get dangerous. Not to mention that every person there has a smartphone and is just waiting to capture an idiot doing something stupid. Don’t be the star of their movie.

7. BYOC (bring your own charger): Standing in the phone-charging station line is a drag. Really, the self-service stations aren’t much better, but they’ll save you some time.

8. Plan ahead: Don’t underestimate the upside of getting a locker or bringing your own hand sanitizer. You just don’t want to end up asking questions like, "Where the hell did I leave my backpack?" or "What did I just stick my hand in?"

9. Diversify: Make your way down to the never-ending dance party in the Sahara Tent at least once over the weekend. It’s a completely different world and a total people-watching paradise -- and it goes the other way as well. If all you do is hang in the Sahara all weekend, "roll" over to some of the other stages and check out a few bands. Switch it up.

10. Comfortable shoes: I know it’s difficult for some to ignore fashion, but nothing will put a damper on the Coachella experience faster than a pair of incessantly barking dogs. It doesn’t matter if they’re Crocs, Moon Boots or bunny slippers -- if they make your feet happy, wear 'em. At this point, if snowshoes made my feet feel the best, I’d rock them without thinking twice.

Safe travels -- see you in the desert!

Blogger Scott McDonald covers music in San Diego for a few different publications and wrote this post in 2015, but it's obviously all still advice worth following.

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