There are no shortage of summer music festivals. Regardless what kind of musical acts you’re into, there will be a gathering of a bunch of them at some point before Labor Day, complete with myriad wristbands, multiple stages and enough people to make you veer dangerously close to claustrophobia. But the three-day bacchanal that is Coachella has really risen to the top of the heap to become the summer festival. In fact, it’s the festival so nice, they stage it twice. The annual event in Indio, California is now held on back-to-back weekends to accomodate the incredible demand.
This year’s lineup is truly an A-Z affair with everyone from Autograf to Zipper Club as well as megawatt headliners Radiohead, Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar. (Unfortunately for the Beyhive, Beyoncé had to pull out because of her pregnancy.)
There is a lot of excitement at the start of the year when the lineup is announced and tickets go on sale (and then promptly sell out). But now that the festival dates are rapidly approaching, it’s time to shift into full-on planning mode. The usual everday carry checklist of wallet, keys, phone is greatly expanded when preparing to spend three days in the desert, albeit a very swank desert. There are no shortage of noob fails, from underestimating the time it takes to get from A to B to being woefully underprepared for the weather.
To help you avoid some of those errors, we put together this Coachella Survival Kit so that when Kendrick plays his final song on Sunday night you will have come through the festival with flying colors and a lot of (non-horror) stories guaranteed to give your friends serious FOMO. Even if you aren’t going to Coachella this year, the gear in this guide will serve you well at any festival this summer.
BURTON BIG BUDDY BACKPACK
Aside from building bomber bags that can last through Coachella, Bonaroo, EDC, and any other festival, Burton also brings a level of clever to its products that is incredibly user friendly. While coolers are prohibited at Coachella, the Big Buddy offers a discrete alternative. The bottom compartment is insulated and has enough space to hold a 12-pack. Stuff it with non-beer items when you enter and then rearrange the cargo so you have a space to keep things cold and don’t have to make runs to the food tent after each set.
Snaps or it didn’t happen, right? Half the joy of attending a festival like Coachella is documenting it on social media so you can make all your non-attending friends jealous. Snapchat’s Spectacles mean you don’t have to whip your phone out every few seconds (saving precious battery life). They integrate seamlessly with the app, and unlike a lot of wearables, they actually look cool which is a major bonus.
RUMPL PUFFY BLANKET
Part of the joy of going to a big festival like Coachella is the unknown. You don’t really know where you’ll end up. Having a nice blanket ensures you’ll be comfortable when you get wherever you’re going, whether it’s sitting down after a performance or crashing on the couch at some random’s Palm Springs crib. This Rumpl blanket features a beautiful image from photographer Jeremy Koreski and is made of a ripstop material that won’t get shredded during the festival. It is also water resistant, so a little rain or spilled beer won’t ruin your day.
URSA MAJOR FACE WIPES
Festivals like Coachella are not the place for germaphobes. There will be grime. But you don’t have to wallow in it until you look like Pigpen from Peanuts. Ursa Major’s wipes are the ideal way to freshen up after you’ve been in the pit with thousands of sweaty dudes and ladies for hours. You may not think you need these, but you will be so glad you have them.
Coachella prohibits anyone from bringing a professional camera inside the gates. “Professional” is defined as a device with a removable lens. Since you can’t swap the lens on the D-Lux it passes muster, but it still has all the professional qualities that the red-dotted brand is known for. Why have a camera when you have a phone? For starters, it helps you from sapping up your phone’s juice. Also, it takes noticeably better pictures and videos. And with its Wifi capabilities, you can access photos from the camera on your phone and post them to Instagram to show everyone what a talented “art” photographer you’ve become.
MOPHIE POWERSTATION PLUS XL
Aside from missing the one act you’ve been dying to see, there is no greater source of stress at Coachella than your phone’s battery dying. Whether you’re texting friends to figure out where to meet up, posting to your social media outlet of choice, or getting the contact info of the beautiful acquaintance you met near the stage, seeing a phone’s battery dip into the red is cause for alarm. This limited edition Powerstation Plus XL featuring work by Chinese artist Hua Tunan has enough to juice to provide an additional 48 hours of talk time or 14 hours of video playback. It also has a switch-tip charging cable so there’s no discrimination between Apple and Samsung devices.
Any veteran festival-goer will preach the “Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate” gospel. But here’s the thing about water, it’s heavy. Carting around a hard plastic bottle (glass and metal bottles are prohibited at Coachella) adds a lot of weight which gets magnified by the fact that it’ll be on your person all day. Platypus’s soft bottle weighs 80% less than a standard hard 1-liter bottle and when it’s empty you can flatten it down to next to nothing, making it much easier to cart around.
UNDERWOOD ROSE IN A CAN
$28 (4-pack), unionwinecompany.com
While concert-goers are prohibited from bringing in their own booze to the grounds, a little pre-gaming is always in order. Coachella kicks off music festival season, which nicely overlaps with rosé season. Of course, dealing with traditional wine bottles and openers and glasses is extra challenging in unfamiliar environs. That’s what makes Underwood’s wine in a can such a godsend. The cans have a sleek minimalist design and hold a refreshing rosé with fruity notes of watermelon, strawberry, and peach.
COOLA WHITE TEA SUNSCREEN
When you return from Indio, it shouldn’t be obvious to all your friends and co-workers because your face is Ferrari red. Coachella is in the desert and the sun is brutal. Coola’s White Tea sunscreen is organic and has SPF 50 so you can go from first set to last without fear of getting scorched. It goes on light so your skin doesn’t feel goopy and has a nice white tea scent that isn’t overpowering.
BLACK DIAMOND STORM HEADLAMP
If you’re planning on camping in any shape or form at Coachella and don’t have a headlamp, well, then you’re blowing it. There is no limit to the number of nighttime tasks that are made infinitely easier with a headlamp. Even if you’re staying in s posh Palm Springs mansion, we bet you’ll still find use for this handy light. It has 250 lumens of power, which keeps things plenty bright, and is adjustable with a simple tap on the touch-sensitive (and waterproof) housing.