The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, often referred to as Coachella, is a musical extravaganza that's held every year in the Coachella Valley region of the Colorado Desert of California. It features music by bestselling international artists from different genres like hip-hop, pop, rock, indie, and electronic dance music.
Coachella was first held in 1999, co-founded by Rick Van Santen and Paul Tollett. It was the direct result of the success of a 1993 Pearl Jam Concert held at the same venue. The first ever Coachella festival took place over two days.
Several stages are set up throughout the venue, where live music is played continuously. Some of the iconic stages at the festival are the Coachella Stage, Gobi Tent, Sahara Tent, Mojave Tent, and the Oasis Dome. Festival-goers can also feast their eyes on some incredible art installations by artists from all over the world.
Coachella is now held over two consecutive three-day weekends. The same artists perform on both weekends. Beck, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gorillaz, Kings of Leon, Radiohead, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé have all headlined the festival in the past. It seems that this popular event will continue to go down in history as one of the largest and most iconic music events of all times.
Prices start at $430 for general admission passes. Each pass includes entry into the venue and day parking on all three days. VIP passes will give you access to the VIP areas and start at $999. Single-day passes are not available, so you’ll need to commit to all three days of the event.
You can also choose to buy a general admission + shuttle pass or opt from various car or tent parking options. Passes go on sale a few months before the event. All ages are welcome, and children below the age of six can enter the festival for free. Check out the official event website for more information on tickets and pricing.
If you plan on driving to the festival, it's essential to follow the signs for the event and obey traffic rules. Detailed directions will be posted on the website along with a festival map a few months before the event. Traffic routes may change at the last minute due to road closures or rule changes, so follow the instructions provided carefully. RV motorists will need to drive to a selected nearby campground and set up camp first since parking at Coachella does not accommodate larger vehicles during the day or overnight.
Free day parking will be provided to anyone who holds a general admission pass. Everyone in the vehicle must have a festival wristband. Special ADA parking will be available for patrons with disabilities. You also have the option of buying a preferred parking pass, which will get you a spot closer to the venue. Coachella does not offer RV parking.
National and local bus operators will be organizing special services to the venue on the days of the festival. You can also buy long distance shuttle passes or airport shuttle passes. Special incentives and gifts are given to people who carpool to the event. Festival organizers work with private transport and taxi services to make getting to the venue stress-free.
Coachella does offer some onsite camping but is not equipped to accommodate RVs. Guests can choose one of the campgrounds or RV parks in the area.
There are several alternate campsites and RV parks near the venue where you can set up camp. These are a few miles away and come with amenities like electrical hookups, WiFi, swimming pools, fitness centers, and more. Some of them are pet-friendly as well. Coachella often shares a list of recommended RV parks on the festival website to help travelers find a spot that works for them. Guests can expect to find campground options between five and thirty minutes away from the event site.
Scooters, skates, skateboards, Segways, electric scooters, and hoverboards will not be permitted in the performance areas. Bicycles will also not be allowed at the venue, but you can ride one around the camping area. The site is fully accessible, and patrons with disabilities will be allowed to use wheelchairs and small scooters.
When it comes to fashion, anything goes at Coachella. You’ll see everything from bathing suits to outrageous costumes. There are no rules as long as what you’re wearing isn’t offensive. It’s a good idea to protect yourself from the blistering heat by wearing comfortable, free-flowing clothing and a sturdy pair of shoes.
You will be able to take in a small backpack, purse, handbag, or fanny pack. Pack your bag with essentials like binoculars, a small blanket, camera (no detachable lenses), ear plugs, eye drops, mints, a portable charger, and non-aerosol sunscreen. You can also bring an empty water bottle or hydration pack.
Free water refill stations with twice filtered drinking water will be present throughout the venue. So, guests have no excuse not to stay hydrated. It’s a good idea to carry an empty, refillable, non-glass and non-metal water bottle. Also, make sure you apply plenty of sunscreen and wear a hat.
Cooking on the venue or bringing in outside food or beverages will not be permitted. If you’d like to prepare your own meals and snacks, stock your camper's kitchen and enjoy a meal together at your RV park. Make sure you contact them in advance to check what types of fires are allowed and how much fuel you can bring. If you plan to cook outside, check local reports on fire bans and wood allowances.
If you'd like to sample something other than the food on offer at the venue, there are many great restaurants nearby to choose from in the City of Indio and the greater Coachella Valley region. Whether you’re in the mood for fast food or fine dining, you’ll find it a short ride away. There are also many different cuisines to pick from like French, Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican. The area is known for culturally diverse cuisine options and welcomes guests to try something new.
Coachella organizers work with many top restaurants and vendors from across the country to provide varied food options to festival attendees. Vendors will be selling their delicious goodies at the Indio Central Market, a large tent with plenty of seating. There will be plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options on offer as well.
Security is taken very seriously at Coachella. Guests will be searched via the security line before entering the festival grounds. Security guards will be patrolling the areas on golf carts and foot. Remember to check the list of items that are allowed into the festival and keep prohibited items at your campground.
The Coachella Valley region can become quite warm during the day, but in April temperatures tend to have a bit of cool still left in them. The chances of rainfall are quite slim. Thankfully, the heat drops drastically after the sun sets and becomes quite manageable. It is essential to stay hydrated and seek shade during the hottest times of the day.
Medical stations will be set up all over the venue and will be clearly visible. They will also be marked out on the festival map and the mobile app. ADA Access Centers will also be located in convenient areas on the grounds. Medications will be allowed in as long as they are in properly labeled containers that match the holder’s ID.