THE 10 DO’S AND DON’TS
Coachella is coming and 2014′s pre-festival hype is teetering on the brink of hysteria. America’s most glamorous and least relaxing music festival is a flashing beacon to anyone who longs to be someone. Even for just a day on the Internet.
I go to Coachella every year, and every year I observe intrepid attendees making the same mistakes. You’ve heard the hype; now you need to hear the truth.
Here’s my unfiltered, unadorned wisdom about surviving Coachella with style and dignity.
Ignore at your own risk.
1. DON’T Wear Dry Clean Only
NATURE. You will be venturing into nature, and nature does not give a fuck about suede.
Not one single fuck. By the unspoken laws of this vast, cruel universe we live in, any vacation will inevitably destroy or consume your favorite item of clothing. No amount of musical genius or molly will fill the void left by your lost Celine tote or ripped Missoni dress.
What the desert doesn’t ruin, humanity will stain.
Lux garments are made from delicate materials chosen for form rather than function. In other words, materials that don’t bounce back from beer spills, sweat stains, dust smudges, cigarette burns, and Skrillex mosh pits.
Read the label of every garment you pack; if it can’t withstand a stringent wash or deep stain treatment, it cannot withstand Coachella. If you absolutely MUST do designer, wear only at night and preferably in the VIP, far from the oozing, careless masses and scorching sun.
2. DO Coordinate And Communicate
Attending a crowded outdoor music festival together is a great way to like your friends less.
Before going, or even en route to the festival, have an honest conversation with your companions about what you want from the days ahead.
What band do they HAVE to see? How drunk do they expect to be? What bands do they refuse to watch? Do they want to dance all day? How high is too high? Do they want/expect to get laid?
If so, will they be getting laid while you try to sleep? What is the minimal amount of sleep you need to function? Which after parties are they dying to attend? I strongly recommend starting a Coachella group text to keep track of everyone involved.
3. DON’T Wear High Heels
Coachella is a music festival, not a red carpet. No woman looks stupider than a woman tripping across a muddy field in platform heels. There’s a major difference between being a fashionista and a fashion victim.
You know this, women of America, and yet every year some of you still insist on wearing heels, chirping “beauty is pain” as if that’s a rational reason to spend your exorbitantly expensive music weekend in debilitating agony.
Your street style can’t be captured if your body is horizontal on the grass, sprouting blisters by the minute and emitting subtle moans of agony.
If you see a picture of a celebrity in heels, know that she is not romping around the desert in those babies; she is escorted to a red carpet, walked down the carpet, photographed, and then either seated or leaving.
Do not wear heels, or you will be miserable the entire trip and you will deserve that misery because you wore fucking heels to Coachella. Wear boots. Just. Wear. Boots.
4. DO Plot a Route
Indio is a gorgeous if grueling patch of California dessert that will easily soak up your life force and/or will to live if you do not adequately prepare. Packing is important, and we’ll get to that later, but it’s worth noting that the best way to deal with a huge plot of unknown desert territory is to map out where and how you’ll get around.
Spend an hour reading the Coachella schedule and map, pick the acts you want to see most, and familiarize yourself how to get between stages, bathrooms, and vendors without getting hopelessly lost.
Do not rely on your innate sense of direction as it may not exist after a dozen overpriced vodka sodas.
5. DO Budget Booze & Food
Tickets to Coachella are just the beginning of an endless stream of festive expense. Hotel rooms, camp gear, and travel costs will eat away at fun money before you even set foot on the Coachella grounds.
Your bag will be searched with varying degrees of thoroughness to prevent any moderately priced drinks and food from entering the premises, and available goods will be marked up by roughly 110%.
Unfortunate? Yes. Frustrating? Of course. But it can’t be helped, and there’s no point depriving yourself of sustenance to make a frugal point.
Calculate how many drinks you’ll need to get acceptable buzzed (or hydrated if you’re one of those), how many meals you’ll need to remain standing, and bring slightly more cash than anticipated.
6. DON’T Wear Uncomfortable Clothes
Direct sunlight is unforgiving and no one’s body is perfect from every angle.
Crop tops and denim shorts- the standard Coachella uniform- should be comfortable and not crude. No one can see what size you’re wearing, so wear a size that flatters your body and conceals imperfections.
Just because you can squeeze into a size 25 doesn’t mean you should wear a size 25. One of the biggest mistakes I see women make at Coachella (aside from mixing medication) is wearing tight, thigh grazing shorts that squeeze otherwise lovely bodies into disjointed lumps.
Your Coachella look should say ‘effortless & airy’, not ‘Vegas blackout’.
7. DO Mind Your Vitals: Hygiene and Phone Battery
The great outdoors are filled with dirt, and the Coachella music festival is filled with dirty people. You will be one them. There’s no way to really avoid getting dirty and you shouldn’t try; it’s futile.
Instead take reasonable steps to avoid looking a hot mess with dry shampoo, perfume samples, and my personal secret: Reviver.
Reviver is a brilliant line of portable, reusable clothing wipes that instantly kill gross smells lingering in your clothing & hair. Perfect for those long, sweaty Coachella days. You can get yours at www.Reviver.com.
Too many concerts and festival experiences are destroyed by dead phone drama, so be hyper-aware of your cell phone use.
Some basic ways to preserve battery:
- Go to settings and turn your brightness WAY down.
- Close all of your apps. Any app you’ve ever opened and haven’t closed is running the entire time, even if you’re not using it and draining your battery.
- Resist the urge to record videos. It’s tempting to tape each performance, but those videos won’t be that interesting, and you’ll be sorry when you can’t find your friends and your battery is dead… Or you’re having an epic time with your favorite singer at an afterparty and can’t even take a photo!
8. DON’T Over-Accessorize
I’m looking at you, girl wearing floral crown, fringed vest, tribal tank, studded denim shorts, and several pounds of gold plated jewelry.
Pick one festival or Spring 2014 trend as your outfit focus, and then dress to compliment your figure. Over-accessorizing is perhaps the most prevalent fashion faux pas at music festivals because girls get too excited and try to fit every fad into three outfits.
You’ll look silly and loudly clang with every step. Clanging is not cute. Coco Chanel said to take off one item of jewelry before leaving the house.
I say do a set of jumping jacks before leaving the Coachella campground. If you clatter, you’re wearing too much jewelry.
9. DO Be True to Your Personal Style
For some reason, Coachella inspires every woman to dress like a bohemian wood sprite, with various degrees of success.
If you genuinely want to take Coachella as an opportunity to channel pop culture’s unrealistic image of ’60’s flower child, by all means go ahead. But if you’re fundamentally a black clad punk or all American prep, do not feel obligated to dress like someone else.
Faux-boho is insincere enough on celebutantes and supermodels, who have stylists and unlimited reserves of money to draw on. Normal girls who feign hippie-chic for festivals often come off as wannabees trying way too hard to be actually cool.
10. DON’T Watch Performances Through a Screen
I love screens. I’m staring at one right now.
But no screen should be the lens through which you view life. The entire point of Coachella is to watch live music. That is why you are here. So whyyyyyyy would you spend the entire duration of your favorite band’s set recording an instagram vid or snapping pics?
Why are you even here? Is there no experience you can enjoy without online validation?
No one wants to see your crappy video or pixilated shot. Musicians detest looking down on a gyrating crown and seeing phones instead of faces.
Live in the present. Put your phone down. Watch the damn band. Enjoy your life in real time.