Palm Springs Life Magazine’s Caroline Rydermarch gives her take on what to bring, what not to bring, where to go, and getting home. Some of her tips: 


  • Spend a few days checking out the bands you haven’t heard of on Soundcloud, Spotify, YouTube, and iTunes, then print out your list of preferred acts and set times;
  • Bring a hat…one that you will actually wear. Shades are important too, but bring a cheap pair…Caroline writes that your best sunglasses have no business being at Coachella;
  • If you want to bring a change of clothes for cooler temperatures once the sun goes down, you can stash your things in on-site lockers. Reserve yours online at (Side note from Caroline: If you buy vinyl, don’t stash it in your locker. It will melt.)


Caroline’s list of essentials include:

  • Chapstick;
  • Tissues or a small toilet roll in case the port-a-potties run low;
  • Baby wipes for your dusty hands;
  • Ibuprofen for the crashing dehydration headache;
  • Benadryl for the dust allergies;
  • Your medications in their original bottles, unless you want them confiscated by security;
  • Earplugs if you want to avoid throbbing post-festival tinnitus (she notes that if you forgot yours, ask the security guards at the side of the stage if they have a free set);
  • Your phone charger; and
  • No glow sticks...they are not allowed.


  • Caroline suggests that the best way to get to Coachella (and be dropped off close to the entrances) is to buy a shuttle pass and take an Uber or Lyft to your closest shuttle stop;
  • If you drive, you’re going to get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic along Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe streets; and
  • Unless you’re friends with a band and have the highly coveted artist parking pass, you will face the excruciating pit of torture known as Coachella parking…Caroline’s parking golden rules: always mark your position on a car-finder app or write down directions to your vehicle and allow two hours between parking and getting inside the festival on day one.


  • Explore, especially if you have a VIP wristbandwhich will aloow you to visit the rose garden and the lake;
  • Caroline mentions an unwritten rule at Coachella that says if you arrive late for the band’s show and try to push your way to the front, you’re a bad person. So, aim to arrive at least a half-hour early for the set (45 minutes early if you’re short); 
  • Don’t be the person holding up your iPad to film the entire show, blocking the view of those behind; and
  • Enjoy the experience.


  • If you forgot where you parked your car, you could Uber home, but Caroline says to expect extreme surge pricing (with an Uber ride for 10 miles or so priced in the vicinity of $250) after the festival ends to around 3 a.m.;
  • If you don’t feel like going home, Caroline suggests some likely spots to unwind: 1. the pool at the Ace Hotel (but the after-party and use of pool requires a wristband), 2. Vista Point on Highway of the best spots for sunrise, 3. the Beer Hunter in La Quinta, a favorite among locals in the service industry, has pool tables and it’s open until 2 a.m., and 4. one of the area’s casinos where she suggests that you could try to win back some of that money you shelled out in the beer gardens.

To read Caroline Rydermarch’s original article and view the accompanying photos, courtesy of Palm Springs Life Magazine, please visit: