Coachella has become one of the world’s most premier music festivals. It’s so popular it had to break into two weekends to accommodate the crowds (and celebs) itching to spend 3 days in the desert soaking up the sun, catching the hottest musical acts, and bringing flower crowns back year after year.
Weekend 1: April 14-16
Weekend 2: April 21-23
Indio, California, is located in the Inland Empire (aka the desert – stay hydrated!). The grounds are a two-hour drive from LAX and just short flights away from Las Vegas and San Francisco.
If driving, be advised that day parking is free, but leaving your vehicle overnight is only permitted for those camping onsite. To cut down on LA traffic, this year Coachella is introducing Carpoolchella, where cars of 4 or more attendees can enter to win prizes (including tickets to one of the aforementioned fancy dinners).
There are plenty of hotels in areas leading up to the festival grounds, and some are even offering discounts to Coachella passholders, so be sure to check. The Coachella website is a great resource for planning the Best Weekend of Your Summer, and they’ve got an exhaustive list of offsite camping spots for you to peruse if you’d rather make your own bed in the morning.
But if you really want to be where the action is, you can pay varying prices to camp on the festival grounds. Camping locations include free showers, water-refill stations, a farmers market, an Internet cafe, and more. The pricier option of camping at Lake Eldorado in ready-made tents or teepees includes free exclusive showers, private bathrooms, a 24-hour concierge, and more (plus you get to keep your Coachella sleeping bag and pillow).
Even though Beyoncé had to drop off the lineup due to her pregnancy, Coachella still boasts some of the biggest names in music, including headliners Radiohead, Lady Gaga, and Kendrick Lamar. With over 100 acts to choose from over the course of the weekend, there’s sure to be something to bring you sonic pleasure, whether you prefer Car Seat Headrest or D.R.A.M.
The festival also includes over 100 food vendors – and vegetarians and vegans, they’ve got you, too. Check out large-scale art installations by some of the most exciting names in the art world, including Gustavo Prado, Do Lab, and Chiaozza. Take advantage of these Insta-worthy photo ops to commemorate your adventure.
If you’re lucky enough to snag them, weekend passes for the festival started this year at $399. Or, big spenders can drop $899 for the VIP treatment. The price then varies depending on what you want to add to your ticket:
- Shuttle bus: $75, and picks you up at LAX and a few nearby hotels
- Parking: $60-$150
- Camping: $113-$2398 (seriously!)
- A pop-up dinner curated by famous chefs: $225 per night
If you’re planning on going in 2018, the tickets will likely go on sale in January. In past years, the festival passes have sold out in less than an hour. Be sure to budget ahead of time and be ready to buy!