Also known as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Coachella attracts thousands of music fans every year for two epic three-day weekends of live performances. Rock, indie, hip-hop and electronic dance artists come to entertain the massive crowds, along with art installations and sculptures. In 2016, Coachella sold 198,000 tickets, and this year’s festival looks to be even bigger. Will you be a part of it?
What Coachella’s All About
Coachella got its start in 1993, when Pearl Jam performed at the Empire Polo Club in protest of performance venues controlled by Ticketmaster. That show kicked off Empire Polo Club’s popularity as a venue for large music events, and the first Coachella Festival took place in October of 1999. The show started running annually in 2001, growing from a single-day event to the two-weekend blowout it is today.
This year’s Coachella happens on the weekends of April 14 and April 21. The lineup of artists includes Father John Misty, Empire of the Sun, Lady Gaga, Bon Iver, Tycho, Röyksopp, Kendrick Lamar, Justice, Lorde, New Order, and dozens more.
Coachella Survival Tips
The Coachella Music Festival is one massive and lengthy party, and veterans of past festivals have a wealth of tips for making the most of it while you’re there. These include:
- Bring plenty of extra water and stay hydrated. Sorry, but beer does not count.
- Make a bandana part of your wardrobe to guard against the desert dust.
- Many consider renting a house with friends considered much more comfortable than camping out. But camping out puts you closer to the action.
- Don’t be afraid to be spontaneous at the festival, but plan ahead to see the bands you truly don’t want to miss.
- Treat the event like a marathon, not a sprint.
- Long-time festival goers recommend two pairs of comfortable shoes, a watch (to keep time while saving charge on your phone), earplugs, and sunscreen.
How to get to Coachella
While not everyone has the cash to take a helicopter to Coachella, there are many ways to get to the festival, from driving to shuttle vans to bicycle rentals.
This year, Coachella takes place at Empire Polo Club, 81-800 Avenue 51, Indio, CA 92201, 131 miles from Los Angeles. By car from Los Angeles, it’s approximately 4 hours via I-15 South, or a little under three hours by I-10 East. Attendees driving from San Diego should expect similar (or longer) drive times.
For the ecologically conscious, the festival offers travelers a chance for VIP upgrades, backstage passes and other perks if they carpool (or “Carpoolchella”) with four or more people. There are also free charging stations at the Palm Desert City Hall and Palm Springs Visitor Center for anyone taking an electric car to Coachella.
Environmentally-conscious travelers might also consider a charter bus, especially for a large group. One vehicle for twenty or thirty passengers (or up to sixty for a coach bus) saves a lot on fuel and emissions. A charter or party bus not only takes the hassle out of the trip, but if you choose a party or tour bus, you can rock it like the bands at Coachella, park at the festival, and sleep up to eight people for the weekend instead of camping or renting a house. And what better way to arrive at a huge party than in a luxurious party bus, complete with wi-fi and satellite TV?
Whether you have a small group or fifty friends, Metropolitan Shuttle has your transportation needs covered. Call us at 1-866-556-3545 or contact us for a free quote, and see what we can do to help make your Coachella trip unforgettable.