Coachella was lit af! Beyoncé does not owe me a damn thing! Sis can have all my coins! It was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Seriously, ONCE in a lifetime because doing that again is highly questionable lol. So, I paid for a VIP ticket in hopes of being close to the stage. The VIP ticket was $999, so why would I not be close to the stage, right? I quickly learned that there are levels to this Coachella shit. There is Beyoncé at a level of her own. There is Drake, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj who have their own section to view her performance in private seats secluded from everyone. There is the Artist Section with Instagram celebrities and influencers, NBA and NFL players, Fitz from Scandal, Chance the Rapper, friends of celebrities, models, and whoever else I forgot to mention with that red Coachella band that I didn’t have. *blank stare, blink, blink* The artist section was blocked off by a black steel gate separating them from general admission. General admission, not VIP.
What is VIP good for if you cannot be in the front for your favorite headliner? I think it depends on your expectations. This was my first time attending a huge musical festival. I automatically thought that VIP meant that you were in front for everything. I vented to my sister about not being in the front for Beyoncé and she said “Why? It’s a music festival. You have multiple stages and you have to walk to them. VIP is probably for lounging time.” Well, the brat was right. VIP is perfect for cleaner bathrooms, charging stations, lounging, crowd relief, and relaxing during your top pick of performers. If you have VIP, it does not put you closer to the stage. I bought VIP tickets just to be closer to Bey.
Blessings on the trip:
2. Cash (You can bring a credit card too. There is mention of apple pay being available, but apple pay was down and not working every place we made a purchase)
3. Cleansing wipes/baby wipes (I used these for my feet and pits lol)
4. Extended battery packs
5. Jacket! It’s hot during the day, but cool and windy at night
6. Bandana or face mask to prevent breathing in dust in areas where there are a lot of people
7. Beach Towel (stole from the hotel)
8. Water! You can bring empty plastic or collapsible water bottles, but they also have water stations. Bottles of water are $2.
9. Camera: Cannon Rebel T6i
Coachella has a serious rule about cameras. Any camera with a detachable lens is not allowed. If you have a mirrorless camera like a Sony A5 or A6, then you should be good. If you have, a Cannon or Nikon with a detachable lens, be careful. I took the risk of bringing mine in and I am thankful mine was not confiscated. If you are a lover of cool ass pictures *yells* BRING YOUR CAMERA! My backpack has a laptop compartment. I put my camera at the bottom of that and placed a jacket on top of that. Security has too many people to search, so hide your camera well enough.
10. Airborne or Emergen-C will be helpful if you’re prone to getting sick because of little sleep
The gates open at 11, but I wouldn’t be pressed to get there so early. It’s really not necessary unless you want to see someone perform. We mapped out whom we wanted to see before we got there. Plan to be in traffic. We had VIP parking which was amazing for this, but there was still traffic. Leaving the festival is ridiculous no matter what type of parking you have. If you leave after the last performance count on being in traffic for an hour plus. Ubers and Lyfts are available. (Look further down for tips on Uber and Lyft)
Going out to the festival early is cool if you want to mingle with people and truly enjoy the food and the art. I will be honest, my friends and I did not go there for that, we went for Beyoncé. If I ever go again I’ll explore more.
Beating the Crowds VS being in them
If you have a performer that you really want to see and be close to, you must prepare for it. It is survival of the fittest out there lol. Let’s say you want to see Beyoncé perform, when the person performing before them ends be in place to move towards the stage. You have to be ready to move in. As people move away from the stage, you have to go forward.
If your preference is not to be in crowd, just find a spot anywhere you can see the screen. Being in the crowd away from the stage is cool as well. You have space to dance, eat food, breath fresher air, and mingle with more people.
I met many cool people at Coachella and a few of those people were celebrities. There is a way to increase your chances of meeting them. It is all about placement in relation to the stage.
Check out this video explaining it all.
Things to keep in mind when you meet the celebrities:
1. Remember that they are people too. Sometimes it is good to just say, “Hi, you’re amazing” and keep it moving. Trust me you are not the first person to ask for a picture.
2. Don’t be mad if someone denies your request for a picture. Imagine if someone came up to you all day asking for pictures. It’s like being black in parts of Asia where they’ve never seen black people. It’s annoying and sometimes rude depending on how you approach them
3. I found that snap videos worked best for me. I don’t always get the best pictures and if everyone is smiling and looking at the camera at the same time for one sec then you can just take a screen shot of the video to get a picture
4. If you call their name as a group then you don’t seem as thirsty lol and they’re more prone to come to you. We only tried it once and the one time we did it worked. I made everyone around me scream the name at the count of three. That’s how we got Winne Harlow’s attention
5. If you see someone doing anything that’s federally illegal, I would say wait until after they’re done to take a picture lol
Uber vs Lyft
First of all, take a Lyft and don’t even consider waiting on Uber.
If you take a Lyft, walk over to the family and friend pick up and request it there.
I do not suggest taking an Uber and after our experience with them, I may never use their service again. You know aside from the fact that their CEO supports the Trump administration. Uber is a Coachella sponsor, so their services are provided and marketed for festival goer usage. There is a process of using Uber there. It’s all explained in the Uber pick up area.
1. Download the Uber app
2. Set your drop off location
3. Receive a pin
4. Then wait in line
The lines are long af because everyone is trying to leave and go home. The wait is over an hour for some people. Even though, these things are bad, they’re expected. What’s unexpected is, requesting an Uber, receiving a pin, and having Uber cancel all the services in the location because there aren’t enough Uber drivers available. That’s what happened to us. After the service was cancelled, we were released from the line and told that they couldn’t help us. We had to walk two blocks outside of the festival and then request a Lyft.
Again, I do not recommend Uber, especially if you are attempting to get one after the last performer of the night.
Being Closer to Beyoncé
Finally, yet importantly, try to get close to Beyoncé. Every other performer will only utilize the first part of the stage. Beyoncé will utilize the runway. The runway is not present for any other performer. If you can, get to the runway area before, during, or right after Tyler the Creator! Yea, you may be on your feet for a while, but if you are closer to Bey who cares! It is that simple, get close to the runway!
Things that would get me back at Coachella:
1. Finessing an artist pass because I’m clearly not an artist, but they have a better view of the stage, and they still get the perks of VIP. I feel like that is possible for my future.
2. Actually staying in Coachella Valley makes a huge difference, we stayed in Palm Springs. The commute is crazy. Getting there isn’t too bad, but leaving is ridiculous.