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First Timer’s Guide to Coachella

Every April, musicians and music fans alike converge on Indio, California, for an unforgettable weekend of music, camping, and camaraderie. Coachella first-timers don’t want to stand out in the crowd, looking out of place or downright confused. Fortunately, with some planning, you can navigate your first Coachella like a pro. So, if you’re securing an RV rental and hitting the road to Indio, check out these tips before you go to ensure your first Coachella goes off without a hitch.

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Getting Your RV There

Getting to Coachella in your RV rental is tricky but not impossible. General parking on site does not permit RVs, so you’ll have to find another spot to park your RV rental because it’s not making it to the campgrounds. Fortunately, several RV campgrounds are situated nearby and might be the ideal spot for you to set up for your Coachella weekend. If you opt to park your RV in a nearby campground, you have a few options for transportation to the festival:

  • Shuttles: Several shuttles run during Coachella weekend, taking festival-goers from more than two dozen nearby hotels to the festival and back. Even if you’re not staying in one of these hotels, you might consider taking a ride share to a participating hotel and hopping on the shuttle for easy access to the campgrounds.
  • Ride sharing or taxi: Take a ride share or taxi from your RV campground to the festival. Coachella has a specific Uber and taxi parking lots where you can be dropped off and picked up. Keep in mind that securing a ride during the weekend might be difficult, so you’ll be left at the whim of the availability of drivers.
  • Walk or bike: Several pedestrian and bike paths into the park are available. So, if you’re staying close enough to walk or ride, consider that route to avoid the inevitable traffic that comes with such a large music festival.

Camping

If you don’t want to deal with the traffic and the back and forth that comes with staying off site, consider camping at Coachella for the weekend. Before you choose this option, there’s some basic information you need to know. First, you have several options when it comes to camping. Car camping is designed for passenger cars, trucks, or vans and gives you one 30-foot-by-10-foot site. So, if you’re up for renting a ride for the weekend that’s smaller than your RV, this option may work. Car camping spots fill on a first-come, first-served basis. There’s no limit to the number of people or tents for car camping, as long as you stay within your site.

Preferred car camping takes the stress out of securing a spot because sites are reserved. So, you don’t have to rush to the campgrounds to snag a spot. Otherwise, the rules for preferred car camping are the same. Remember with car camping that you cannot leave the site during the festival, so if you want to come and go, camping isn’t for you.

There are other ways to camp at Coachella as well. Tent camping saves you the hassle of having to secure a second vehicle for your road trip to the music festival. Instead, you can secure a 15-foot-by-10-foot site to set up your tent. These tent sites are distributed first come, first served as well. All campsites open on Thursday at 9 a.m. and close Monday at 10 a.m.

Entertainment

Obviously, the focus of your time at Coachella is the music, and you want to make sure you understand just how it works and how to see the acts you love. First, study the schedule before the festival kicks off. Coachella features eight stages with various performances on each stage throughout the day. So, enter the event knowing that you simply cannot see every act. Highlight the performances that you deem a can’t-miss, and head to those stages early to snag a spot. Stay focused on the schedule so that you don’t miss an act you’re there to see.

During some downtime, take advantage of other entertainment Coachella has to offer. Visit the activities tent for games and giveaways throughout the weekend. Bring your wallet because you’ll find spots to pick up merchandise, as well as classic records and handmade goods from the on-site vintage market. Plus, you’ll find plenty of spots to stop for food and drink as you tour the campgrounds between acts.

Conclusion

Coachella can be an unforgettable experience, and you want to never forget it for all of the right reasons. Follow these tips to ensure you make the most of your experience. As your RV rental nears Indio, California, spend time with your travel mates designing an itinerary for your weekend of live music. Once you arrive, always keep that festival map and schedule in your back pocket so you’re never lost and always on time to see your favorite artists.

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