Chelsea Lauren/Stringer/Getty Images
Stacey Leasca
April 03, 2017

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is less than two weeks away, and that means it’s time to start planning every aspect of your three-day weekend to maximize the festival fun.

You’ve probably already decided which bands you’re going to see perform in the Southern California desert, but let’s be real, there’s no way you can see all 100-plus artists set to perform. Instead, pick a few, and then take part in these seven other activities happening in and around the festival.

Shop a Pop-up

Each year, Coachella brings on a few shops to sell their goods at pop-up stores on the festival grounds. In case you didn’t pack enough festival gear, this year H&M has you covered.

“H&M will have a pop-up shop on-site in the H&M tent where festival-goers can buy the H&M Loves Coachella collection,” Coachella announced in its festival guide. The H&M tent will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at the festival.

But before you go buying brand new apparel, first make sure to check out Coachella’s vintage market, which will be filled with carefully curated vintage clothing, hats, records, home décor, and specialty items. Sephora will also be at the festival to help you freshen up your makeup and offer face masks to those looking for a mid-music relaxation break.

Eat Like a King

Oddly enough, Coachella may be becoming more well-known for its food than its music. Each year, Los Angeles chefs descend on the Polo Field grounds to give music lovers a taste of their finest foods, and 2017 will be no different.

This year, the festival promises "over 100 vendors serving everything from wood-fired pizza and hand-crafted burgers to authentic street tacos and fresh-from-the-wok pad thai," plus "plenty of options for every taste and budget, and ample menu items for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free guests."

Along with food booths at every corner, Outstanding in the Field will offer an outdoor four-course, family style, seated dinner in the VIP section so diners can listen to the music in peace and tranquility. If you’re interested in dinner you’ll want to book it now; the $225 meal sells out fast.

Weekend one chefs include Neal Fraser of Redbird, Alvin Cailan of Eggslut, Nakul Mahendro of Badmaash, and Bruce Kalman of Union. Weekend two festival-goers will dine on food prepared by Food Network chef Jet Tila, Perry Cheung of Phorage, Louis Tikaram of E.P. and L.P., Vartan Abgaryan of 71Above, Charles Olalia of Ricebar, Antonia Lofaso of Scopa Italian Roots, Dakota Weiss of Estrella, Nyesha Arrington, formerly at Leona, and Eduardo Ruiz, formerly at Corazon y Miel.

Check Out Some Stunning Art

Goldenvoice

Will Nichols

If you’re looking to add a bit of culture to your weekend, just look around: giant sculptures can be found everywhere right on the festival grounds. This year’s artist lineup includes Chiaozza (pronounced like “wowza!”), Olalekan “Lek” Jeyifous, and Raices Cultura.

Their displays, as in years past, will likely include artwork that transforms as the sun goes down, moves around the festival, and delights just about everyone.

Learn to Dance… or Not

The Disco

Out in the fields, nobody cares how slick your moves are. But if you’re hoping to improve your dancing game, Coachella has you covered. On Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, wannabe dancers can head over to the “Twerk Out” class at The Disco at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. for personal instruction on how to shake what their mamas gave them.

Or, if you’re proud of your terrible dance moves, show them off at the Coachella Bad Dancing competition on Friday between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. You won’t win anything, but you could take home some serious bragging rights.

Get Your Yoga On

Goldenvoice

Will Nichols

Clear your mind and stretch out your sore dance muscles by taking part in one of Coachella’s many yoga and pilates classes offered on the grounds inside the campsite area. Classes, taught by professional instructors, will take place daily  at 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. under the shade structure at the camping center.

Or, if you’re looking to get off the grounds and into the community, check out Coachella Valley Yoga, located just a few miles away from the festival grounds. With classes nearly every hour, you’re bound to find something that fits within your daily lineup.

As a relaxation bonus, head over to Coachella’s wellness center, where you can get a massage for just $1 per minute.

Join a Team

Goldenvoice

Jesse Fulton

One of the best side benefits to the Coachella music festival is making lifelong friends. It may seem silly, but there’s something magical about the weekend that brings people together, and perhaps that’s because of events like human foosball. Tournaments will be played daily all weekend, along with the chance to win VIP upgrades and other prizes.

And if life-sized foosball isn’t your thing, perhaps taking part in a dodgeball tournament is. Dip, dive, duck, and dodge Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, or participate in the Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament, play Simon Says, or compete in the pie eating contest, all hosted by the World Dodgeball Society.

Cool Down at a Pool Party

Last, but certainly not least, sometimes you just need to leave the festival grounds and try out a whole new scene. Luckily for you, pool parties abound during Coachella weekends one and two.

Nearly every hotel in the area has something planned for Coachella, but none may be as extravagant as Desert Gold at the Ace Hotel. The Ace devotes 12 entire days to the non-stop party atmosphere, including an incredible line-up of bands and DJs, DIY crafting with Havaianas, pop-up shops, Rudy's Barbershop haircuts, Feel Good Spa specials and a selection of late-night eats.

For an even more VIP experience, try snagging an invite to Vestal Village, a private campsite and day party located a few miles away from the festival grounds. Amenities include horseback riding, swimming pools, fishing lakes, outdoor bars, restaurants, and more. Spots on the invite-only list are going fast, so act now.

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