Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella
February 24, 2017

Coachella is—arguably—the most popular music and arts festival in the U.S.

Every year, Coachella attracts current top tier artists, legends, and fan favorites to its Southern California outpost. Since it started in 1999, it’s grown commercially, but avoided the full-scale corporate outlandishness so common for festivals of this size.

Coachella has retained some of its wilderness appeal, and that may be due to location. About 130 miles outside of Los Angeles, it’s not an easy jaunt and discourages all but the serious fans.

As per the usual with a festival of this magnitude (in 2015 nearly 200,000 tickets were sold) the details can bewilder even the most experienced traveler. To make the trip easier, we’ve consolidated all the important information to make Coachella 2017 the incredible memory it should be.

Tickets

Tickets for the festival are $399 for a weekend pass, with shuttle combo tickets placing at $474. If you’re the VIP type the cost hits at $899. Get ticket information here.

Artists

Spanning two weekends in April (14-16 and 21-23), Coachella 2017 starts off with headliners Radiohead, plus an assortment of strong and buzzy acts like Phantogram, Glass Animals, Travis Scott, Empire Of The Sun, and Sampha.

The line-up also includes: Father John Misty, Dixon, Local Dice, Crystal Castles, Francis and the Lights, Capital Cities, Big Gigantic, the XX, Guided By Voices, Stormzy, and Oh Wonder.

Beyoncé, who is pregnant with twins, has postponed her Coachella performance to 2018. So festival-goers will instead be able to catch Future and Seattle-based folk-pop band The Head and The Heart. Plus Schoolboy Q, Bon Iver, Two Door Cinema Club, and Gucci Mane. Others scheduled to perform include Tory Lanez, Majid Jordan, Bastille, Hot Since ’82, Floating Points, The Atomics, and rising pop singer Bishop Briggs.

Hip-Hop supernova Kendrick Lamar is the headliner for day three and his energetic socially charged style should resonate with fans in attendance. Faithful devotees of acts like Porter Robinson and Kaytranda should also get excited. Other notables include the ever popular DJ Khaled, Maya Jane Coles, Marcel Dettmann, Lee Fields, Marshmello, Kehlani, and Grouplove.

Travel and Lodging

Located in California’s Inland Empire, this is the desert, meaning pack for very warm days and chilly nights. It’s a two-hour drive from LAX (other nearby airports include Ontario International and Palm Springs International) and if you’re not taking a shuttle (tickets start at $70 dollars and picks up passengers at LAX and several of the local hotels) Avis Rental Car is offering reduced rates for Coachella ticket holders.

There are dozens of hotels in the area leading up to the festival. Prices and quality vary from basic standard to luxury and basically anything in between. Below is a list of nearby hotels easily accessible for festival goers.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa – Rancho Mirage, CA
All the resort trappings, plus a casino in case you want to raise the stakes on your weekend debauchery.

Holiday Inn Express Suites Indio – Indio, CA
Don’t let the name bias your thoughts. This hotel has all the standard amenities of any quality hotel. Plus, since when is saving money a bad thing?

Riviera Palm Springs – Palm Springs, CA
Twenty-four acres of pristine desert relaxation. Plus a bikini pool, spa and four tennis courts.

Del Marcos Hotel – Palm Springs, CA
Complimentary use of hotel beach cruiser, heated saltwater pool, poolside fire pits and in-room spa treatments are just come of the extra special amenities available.

JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa – Palm Desert, CA
If roughing it in a small tent isn’t your cup of tea and your itinerary includes golfing, then this is where you’ll want to stay.

La Quinta Resort – La Quinta, CA
If going to Coachella is just an excuse to visit a desert hideaway type of hotel, then this is the spot.

If consolidating time and money is an option, try carpooling. It’s obviously a challenge traveling with strangers, but it may be the smartest option for last minute attendees.

Local taxi service is available as well:
American Cab: 760-322-4444
Yellow Cab of The Desert: 760-340-TAXI (8294)
Desert City Cab: 760-328-3000

Another option is taking an Amtrak train from LA. Trip time runs a little over three hours, but you avoid traffic, which is a win in and of itself.

Lodging options include off site camping and on site camping which include amenities such as portable toilets, charging stations, free showers and a farmer’s market. On site camping can be purchased at $113 dollars, but for those with luxury tastes options begin at $2398 dollars.

Coachella Grounds

Remember that you’ll be exposed to the elements, so wear waterproof shoes in case it rains. Even better, bring an extra pair that way you can easily swap out. Other must haves include:

  • Socks
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle (Plastic)
  • Insect repellant
  • Sunglasses
  • Ibuprofen (Loud music for hours and hours plus alcohol. Think about it)
  • Air cushion for sitting
  • Hand sanitizer

Get a list of all items not allowed on the Coachella website.

Coachella has several options for the disabled and physically challenged. It’s a progressive crowd and a culture of inclusion is taken seriously. The efforts go way beyond the usual and include wheelchair pathways throughout the park, a separate parking lot and preferred viewing areas. More information available here.

There are also gender-neutral bathrooms available throughout the grounds, water bottle refill stations, bike rentals and breast-pumping stations for new mothers.

Food

With well over 100 food vendors available, Coachella doesn’t disappoint when it comes to eating options. There are tacos, burgers, gluten-free options, vegetarian options, corn dogs, vegan option, kosher options, dumplings, pad thai, a craft beer barn—you get the idea.

There’s also a price fixed four-course dinner called Outstanding In The Field, where guests can eat food prepared by esteemed chefs in the festivals VIP Rose Garden.

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