All you need to know about Coachella camping

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Coachella was my first experience. It was 2013. I will never forget seeing my favorite bands, such as Phoenix and the Postal Service. Or the rush of running between Tegan & Sara, Local Natives, and Tegan & Sara. Or the stress of deciding if Wu-Tang Clan should be replaced by Red Hot Chili Peppers. My first golden hour was watching the sun set behind mountains and the lights from the palm trees come on as the giant roaming snail lit up the ground. Euphoric.

It’s also something I will never forget. This amazing weekend almost ended in disaster because my best friend, and I, were not prepared for camping in the desert. In all the excitement surrounding the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Indio, Calif., my friend and I forgot to pack the right things. Our tent, pillows and sleeping bags were all there. Our shower caddy was there, but we didn’t have towels. We didn’t have an EZ-Up, which was fatal.

Fortunately, I was able to recover and have camped at Coachella every year since. (And have been moderating the Coachella subreddit). Through the years, I have learned tips and tricks from the best. Pre-sale begins Friday at 11:01 PT.. Here’s a guide for camping at Coachella.


What camping options are available?

Camping in your car ($149 plus fees). Car camping spots measure 10 by 30 feet. You can accommodate as many people as you like in your spot. Only one camp pass is required per vehicle and the spots are valid for the whole weekend. Your car will remain parked for the duration of the weekend. There is no need to drive in or out. The spot is not accessible without a car, so bring your entire group to the event or wait in the waiting area until others arrive.

You will need a regular passenger car, truck, or van. (No motorbikes, RVs or trailers allowed. See the Coachella website for a complete list of banned and approved vehicles.

Yes, camper vans can be allowed. They are an easy way for people to camp in the suburbs without having to fly with all their gear. You will receive a bed, linens, and a small kitchenette equipped with a stove and mini fridge. You should ensure that the company does not use butane (the festival only allows propane) or real silverware (that was confiscated by festival security).

Camping in a tent costs $149 plus fees Tent-only camping areas are 10-by-15-footet of grass and can accommodate as many people as possible. Every tent camping spot includes one overnight parking space to park your car in the nearby street.

A.k.a. “preferred camping”: Camp at the festival’s closest location. “preferred camping” ($375 + fees). Prefer camping is available in the first 15 to 20 rows on Lot 8. This will put you closer to the festival’s entrance. This option allows you to arrive at any time during the day, and you will be guaranteed a spot near the front of the festival. This could help you save some money by the end.

Glamping is also available in Safari and Lake Eldorado. However, these are more expensive and often include festival tickets. These glamping options don’t meet the same criteria as GA camping areas so I have limited the article to them.

Campers hug their tents.
(Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)


What is the difference between tent camping and car camping?

We have found that tent camping is more convenient than car camping. Although you can camp in your own tent, everyone stays on the same lot. Tent campers can have all the amenities of car campers, but you can also stay in the car camping lots.


How many people are possible to fit into a camp site?

My personal limit is two people and a small car. It was cramped when I tried it with three people.


Do I require a camping pass in order to get into the campgrounds?

Nope. No, you don’t need a festival wristband to get into the campgrounds.


Do you need a tent?

No. No. You can either sleep in your car or outside under a canopy, on the ground behind it, or both. You can do whatever you want with your space.

(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)


How does security work?

Make sure that everyone in your vehicle has a wristband and that your camping pass is visible on your windshield. You’ll be directed to one of the approximately 20 lines once you arrive at the site. Security guards will ask that you get out of your car when you reach the front. They will inspect all your belongings. They are not always consistent. Your line might have security opening suitcases, tent bags, coolers or. If they do, they will open your glove box to let you go.

Pro tip: I love to give security guards water, soda, or a snack. They are often underpaid, overworked and understaffed. It is important to show kindness, no matter how difficult it may be for them to start their day.


What are the camping amenities available?

The General Store: This large store is located in the middle the grounds and sells everyday items such as toiletries, camping gear, bedding, snacks and even a microwave.

Silent disco: Where the party people go at night.

Activities Tent This is where the early birds go for daytime activities such as yoga and dodgeball.

Internet cafe and charging stations: for busy bees.

Necessities: Food vendors, Port-o-potties, shower trailers.

The shuttle: It takes you to Ralph’s grocery store.

What should I bring?

  • Straight-legged EZ – Up. This is not a suggestion. This is a must-have. If you don’t have an EZ-Up, you will regret it the rest of your lives. A canopy wall is also a great option for privacy and protection from the sun.
  • Use plastic stakes and a mallet to stake down your EZ Up. Security will confiscate all metal stakes.
  • Frozen water bottles. They can be used in place of ice packs in your cooler. These will keep your food and beverages cold and melt to give you cold water. Some swear by dry Ice. It’s something I have never been able find. You can also buy bags of ice at the general store or from the pickup trucks that drive around the campsite.
  • A beverage and food cooler. The beverage cooler will be used more often than the food one so it should make your ice last longer in the least one.
  • Anything that makes your camp feel homey. I have a lot of solar- and battery-powered string lighting. The fancy lights can make your campsite look great and help you locate your campsite in the darkness.
  • More lights. Headlamps. Lanterns. Flashlights.
  • Multi-tool. A multi-tool is also a good idea. Last year, our camp shower was damaged by a windstorm. We duct taped it all the way and it survived.
  • Camping shower. If you don’t have one, shower as soon as possible. Ideal time to shower is around 7 a.m. You’ll have to wait until it reaches 9 a.m. before you can enjoy the heat.
  • Eye mask and ear plugs are essential. The eye mask was something I added last year. It made it so much easier to sleep in my tent without worrying about the sauna effect.
  • If you are car camping, make sure to have enough gas. Just before you get in line for security, fill your car. It’s impossible to predict how long you will be waiting in security. Addition: I often take my makeup with me in the car, either to cool down or to do my makeup. Don’t leave your keys in the ignition for too long. It is very disappointing when your car won’t turn on Monday morning, just as you are ready to leave for work. Jumper cables are a must! AAA is available if you forgot.
(Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)

What is the best part of camping at Coachella, California?

Day Zero is the Thursday before the festival. It’s a complete mood. It’s electric. Everyone is mingling around. To absorb the beauty of it all, I love to get to the campgrounds as soon as possible. These are some key points to remember when you go camping.

  • At sunset, a vintage merch sales takes place near the Silent Disco. Here, merch from previous decades is offered at huge discounts.
  • Sunset from Lot 4. This beloved landmark is a gathering place for hundreds of campers to enjoy the first sunset over desert.

A tent might be the best place to party at Coachella.
(Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)

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Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

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