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5 Things We Learnt At Coachella

Sound advice from a festival first-timer.

After two wild weekends, the sun is setting on Coachella 2015 and the buzz is winding down. Confetti storms closed out AC/DC’s huge headline stage show, Drake and Madonna shared a much blogged about moment and a little up-and-comer called Kanye West crashed The Weeknd’s second weekend performance. Festival first-timer NATALIE HODGES made it out the other side and is shining a light on what she learnt.

RELATED: COACHELLA: BEHIND THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH.


#1 Plan ahead

Getting to the festival is a bit of a trek (especially for the majority of festival shuttlers heading in from Palm Springs) so be sure to allocate enough time for travelling in and out each day. While you’re at it, be sure not to underestimate the vast number of attendees leaving the festival at the end of the night. It takes hours to get to wherever you call home (which I can now vouch for after my three hour schlep home on Saturday night) so if you’re not good with lines and huge crowds, be sure to leave an hour or so early. Sure, you might miss a bit of Drake (and Madonna) but it makes life a whole lot easier. For those of you sticking it out until the end, be sure to grab a free water on the way out because you’ve got a long road ahead.


#2 Desert evenings ain’t that cold

Being a Coachella virgin, I was privy to plenty of advice from veteran festival attendees – mostly unsolicited. One consistent theme was to pack a big warm jacket for when the sun sets and the temperature drops. This was grossly exaggerated. Evening temperatures drop to around 20°C making my oversized LA Dodgers Hoodie unneeded, not to mention an outright pain to lug around for the day. A light cardigan or throw over will be just fine.


#3  Get juiced

Not Venice Beach style – we’re talking batteries. Charge your phone because reception is surprisingly good. Once at the festival be sure to use all battery saving methods (thanks to my overly tech savvy boyfriend I’m now well versed in these): turn brightness down, ensure unnecessary push notifications are off and turn off Wi-Fi, but if all else fails the good people at Coachella have set up charging stations on ground (BYO cable or make a friend). You’ll thank us later when you’re stumbling around completely contactable and still using the fantastic Coachella app loaded up with your customised program each day.


#4 Line your stomach with an In-N-Out Double Double & Animal Fries

A trip to Cali is never complete without at least one stop in at notorious family owned fast food haven, In-N-Out. My first in-n-out experience was about six months ago and I can assure you it was one that you crave to have again for months to come.

The menu is one of the simplest you’ll find, offering only a couple of variations on the classic cheeseburger and fries BUT for the more adventurous you can take a look at the not-so-secret secret menu featuring a 3×3 and 4×4 version of In-N-Out’s classic burger. Also found on the not-so-secret secret menu are the infamous animal fries which are the perfect side to a cheeseburger and chocolate thick shake. It’s the ideal pre-festival binge.


#5 Bloody Marys are your friend

Don’t feel like you need to rush back to the festival each day. The days are hot and long so if you’re lucky enough to be staying at one of the many amazing Palm Springs resorts, recuperate and lap up a few Bloody Marys by the pool and soak in some of that amazing Cali sun. If you’re not staying somewhere with a pool don’t fret – there are plenty of hosted pool parties where you can even catch a set from one of your favourite DJs while downing a cocktail (or four).

(Lead image: Thomas Hawk/Flickr)

It’s never too early to start planning for next year. Check out Qantas flights to LA.