2016 Coachella Survival Guide For Travelers And ‘Couchella’ Watchers

The 2016 Coachella Music and Arts Festival is finally here. Whether you’re traveling to the Empire Polo Club in Indio or you’re watching it from home, you want to be prepared.

The festival’s official website already has tips and information, including some do’s and don’ts of Coachella. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of traffic en route to Indio, California, this weekend. There’s no easy way to getting there. The best advice is to leave as early as you can so you don’t miss seeing your favorite artists or bands perform.

Do not put your wristband on until you get into the car. There are stories of Coachella concert goers who excitedly wear their microchipped wristbands immediately upon receiving them in the mail. Learn how to to activate your bands so you don’t have a problem entering the venue.

Here are some Coachella-approved items that you can bring, courtesy of CeleBuzz. But the most important items you should bring include bottled water, sunscreen, and a hat to protect you from the sun. Here’s a full list of items you should bring whether you’re camping out or catching a show.

General admission: For camping:
Water Tent
Sunscreen Cooler
Hat Portable grill
Shades Decorations
Low top shoes Lights
Towel/bandana Phone charger
Lightweight T-shirt Camp grounds map
Lightweight shorts Towels
Cash Toiletries
ID Pillow and blanket
Debit card Drinks/soda
Smartphone Fruit/granola bars/food
Bracelet Beer bong
Coachella app Rolling papers/lighter
Contacts BP table/cups/balls
Water bottle/growler Sunscreen
Business cards Hoodie/extra clothes
Polo grounds map Socks, shoes

Make sure that you and your friends print out a map. There’s a printout map already available on the Coachella site. This will help you pinpoint which performances you want to see first and more importantly, which restaurants you want to eat at. For a full rundown of their restaurant and bars, click here. Make sure that you and your friends also have a meeting place in case you plan to split up. Pick a landmark such as the floating astronaut or the Ferris wheel.

But what happens if you know where you and your friends are, but both of your phones are dead? Bring a phone charger, especially one that doubles as a keychain. A car charger to juice all of your phones is also highly recommended. You may also want to wear a flash tattoo or flower crown, but that’s entirely up to you.

Make sure that everyone in your group knows where the medical tents are located upon entering the festival. It’s important in case someone passes out, gets dehydrated, drinks too much alcohol, or even worse — overdoses on drugs. Make sure that you have your medications with you in case you have allergies or any other health issues. You may also want to bring pain relievers in case someone gets a headache or a hangover.

Now if you prefer to stay at home rather than venture out to the desert, then Coachella has got you covered. The event introduced a new virtual reality app that will make you feel as if you’re walking in the middle of Indio. As always, the festival’s YouTube channel will be streaming most of the weekend. The livestream will begin on Friday, April 15, and run through Sunday, April 17.

Sirius XM launched its Coachella Radio Channel that will give you access to live performances and exclusive artist interviews. If you want to know who’s there and what’s happening, read the Press Enterprise‘s Coachella live blog, where their editors, reporters, and photographers are on the field to keep you up-to-date on what’s happening. You can’t ever suffer from FOMO with this guide.

How are you planning your Coachella festivities? Are you traveling to the desert, or are you watching the music festival from home? Share your plans below in the comments section.

[Photo by Matt Cowan/Getty Images for Coachella]