Yesterday sounded the end of 21 days of travel. Alison’s stay was extended by a few days because of the Air France strikes, she managed to leave Canada yesterday not badly. I will come back to each step of this trip, not really in chronological order, but rather start with the stage you expect most: Coachella! THE American music festival that makes the world dream. The 2 weekends of the year where the world lives to the rhythm of the heat of the Californian desert and chic hippie outfits.
My participation in Coachella this year was a surprise organized by my friends in France for my 30 years, I think that even by writing these lines I still have trouble realizing the crazy thing they did for me.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, better known as the Coachella Festival, is named after the Valley of Southern California, Coachella Valley. Coachella is almost 20 years of festival, each year evolutions, hundreds of confirmed artists represented but also hundreds of discoveries. It’s a little more than 242 hectares, no less than 5 scenes, 250,000 festival-goers in 2017, 2 consecutive weekends with identical programming.
To know before your first Coachella
Where to stay ?
It should be known that the accommodations near the festival leave very quickly! Palm Springs the nearest city is storming, housing prices are exploding during these 2 weeks and some places are booked a year in advance. We stayed at the Travelodge Inn and Suites Yucca Valley a 45 minute drive from the festival and only a few miles from Joshua Tree National Park. Very pleased with the hotel, the room was large, we had direct access to breakfast by the bay window of the room, a small outside area for lunch and a nice pool when it is 45 degrees!
You also have the camping option on site, you must arrive on Thursday evening and you can not leave until Monday morning, it is very hot day but it is a solution to 50US $ per head! It seems that the atmosphere between campers is very good!
What budget do you anticipate?
It’s hard to say since it was a gift but count a plane ticket to LA (Paris about 600 euros if you go ahead), the pass for the weekend to 429US $ (350 euros) , the more accommodation that will be at least 120 euros per night. To this add a car rental + gas (the festival is 3 hours from Los Angeles), count a small 200 euros. Then we must eat well and the festival is quite expensive, we preferred to eat outside before! It’s a good little 3 days to 1000 euros minimum.
Weekend 1 or weekend 2?
Weekend 1 without hesitation! It is more expensive but it is the weekend that is worth the most! The real weekend full of surprises! Given the size of the festival you will have all the information in the press on the weekend 1 and will not have any more surprises for the weekend 2.
Recover her Coachella pass.
I specify because for us it was not easy! You should know that the bracelet is not collected on the site of the festival but 15 minutes (the address can change every year so I will not note it). A few weeks before the event you will receive an email with the info, we did not really pay attention and lost time to retrace our steps to recover the pass. Tip: read your email and write down important info.
And the parking?
There are several free car parks, which are honest are very poorly indicated. The app worked badly (or maybe it was my network) I did not have access to their card. The streets are closed by the police who try to manage the high traffic, it’s a bit long, we get lost, we go back to the same places but we finally get there! Do not hesitate to ask for security. There are also reserved spaces for taxis / Uber / Lyft, do not fool yourself.
How’s a day at Coachella?
This is a question we would have liked to have answered before. If you say that the festival lasts 3 days, you have to understand that it lasts 3 nights. The festival site announces that the opening is at 11am every day, naively we arrived at 12h thinking to make the most of the day. But the day is too hot, there is nobody! People enjoy the pool parties around. The crowd begins to arrive around 16h. The headliner of each evening is not there before 23h. It leaves time to laze by the pool or visit the surroundings!
What outfits for Coachella?
This is a subject that I really want to address. We talked a lot about it with Alison. We are all very influenced by what we see happening on social networks. At the approach of the festival all major clothing stores offer their selections of special festival outfits, the photos on Instagram offer us more crazy outfits than others and we lose a little identity. During the day I had jeans shorts, boots / cowboy boots, a lace top and a hat. Honestly it was too hot for this outfit. In the evening however, it gets cooler and you can expect something more “covering” and a little jacket. I had opted for a jumpsuit and jeans jacket.
Shoes level is a festival, you will walk in the grass to see the earth do not take your favorite shoes and choose instead flat shoes.
- Cameras with removable lenses are prohibited.
- The bracelet has a microchip that you strip at the entrance and exit.
- There is no shadow at all!
- There are bike-taxis on site!
- It is very very hot!
- If you want to consume alcohol you will have to go to a special area, a kind of aperitif pen;)
- During Beyoncé’s concert the network was saturated, make room in your phones to save your stories you can not post anything directly ahah!
What did I think about it?
I had already talked about my desire to go to Coachella but I did not think it would happen so quickly. I had trouble posting it on Instagram after my birthday because I did not realize, I thought it was crazy. I found the atmosphere crazy, I was surprised to realize that far from the fashion show that we sell on social networks there were people dressed “normally”. The diversity of festival-goers is impressive! We spent a long time just watching the people around us and taking inspiration. The pieces of art that are in the middle of the festival are great too. During the concert of Beyoncé we were really afraid of being pushed to the world that was waiting for it, it has of course a little elbows before the concert but once the show began the only movement we felt were those of the fans singing and dancing. Speaking of Beyoncé we lived a unique experience, living together, being surrounded by all these good waves it was really magical. To be completely honest with you we did not understand how important this show was before reading the press the next day. Unbelievable. Coachella you will see us again.
How do I see our next participation at Coachella? To many, being 2 was fun and Alison is a great travel companion but we thought we would share it to many, maybe rent a villa, arrive the day before or a few days before and leave a few days after to enjoy California. But we are already thinking of going back yes …;)
A huge thank you to my friends who made me live this incredible and unforgettable experience for my 30 years. I am so grateful to have you with me and share every step of our lives together.
Love you all.