My First Coachella Experience + What I’d Do Differently

I wish I could come on here and share that my first Coachella experience went perfectly and that there was nothing I’d do differently. Unfortunately, there were incidents that happened which make me wish I could do it over. Before Coachella I did some research on what to bring, what to avoid and basically any tips I could take with me. Even with all that, I still wasn’t prepared. So I’ve decided to share my experience and maybe some of you can take a tip or two from this for your first Coachella. Also, the few pictures I have on here, I took with my husband’s phone. You’ll see why.

Ticket Price: $504.00 with shuttle pass

My First Coachella Experience

Thursday – (Roadtrip to Coachella)

My husband, some friends and I drove down to Palm Springs from San Jose on the Thursday. The drive took about 8 hours. We got there around dinner time but went straight to the grocery store to buy snacks and necessities needed for the weekend.

Friday – (Headliner – The Weekend)

First Coachella Experience and What I'd Do Differently

We knew Friday was going to be the longest day at the festival. Why? Because we really wanted to see MHD, a french rapper that started around 12:30pm. We knew we’d be basking in the sun all day so we put on that 50 SPF and made our way on the shuttle that would take us to the festival grounds. I had read that there were refillable water stations at Coachella where you could bring empty water bottles and keep topping up your water all day. So on the first day we were really good about refilling them and hydrating ourselves. I’m so glad I brought flat boots because I lived in them that weekend. I remember wanting to look for shade at one point because most of the day we walked from one stage to another and it took a lot out of us.

first coachella experience and what I'd do differently

I don’t know if it was all the sun but I ended up losing my phone and I know I left it in the restroom. I was really upset by it but I didn’t want it to ruin my weekend. I ended up using my husband’s phone for pictures but I really felt horrible about it all day. We ate, we danced, and enjoyed the music so much that I forgot about my phone and was just in the moment. My favourite artist from day 1 was Kygo. He had a great set and he also had an awesome tribute to Avicii who had passed away that day. The Weeknd came on shortly after and while his show was also amazing, Kygo really stuck out for me. After losing my phone and paying nearly $20.00 for a bit of Pad Thai, it was time for us to head back on the shuttle.

Saturday – (Headliner – Beyonce)

first coachella experience and what I'd do differently

Day 2 came around. We were tired from Day 1 but excited for another day. We relaxed by the pool, laid out in the sun for a couple hours and slowly made our way back to our room to get ready. Getting to the festival grounds after 6pm, we knew we wouldn’t be as tired as we were after the first day. But less tired and dehydrated are two different things. We wanted a decent spot to watch Beyoncé, so we stayed in the same spot for 3 hours before she came on. We had finished drinking all of the water we had on us. Slowly sipping every drop while feeling like we were going to faint. But Beyonce was almost on and we had waited in that spot for so long and at the time it didn’t make sense to move. Experiencing Beyonce live made it all worth while. I loved the show she put on, loved her outfits, and loved singing along to all her songs. Beyonce brought Destiny’s child on stage and I was one happy girl reliving my childhood. As soon as the concert ended we ran to meet up with the rest of our group and drank whatever water they had left before heading back to the hotel.

Sunday – (Headliner – Eminem)

We started off at the pool and at this point I’m already feeling queezy. I feel a bit off and I’m not sure what’s wrong with me. I sat in the shade until I threw up and realized I needed to rest inside until I felt better. I put it in my mind that I felt well enough to hit the festival for Day 3. But after throwing up all day, I knew that wasn’t an option. I’m going to be completely honest and mention that I did shed some tears seeing my friends leave the room while I had to stay in our hotel room, phoneless, and with heat exhaustion. But I decided that feeling sorry for myself wasn’t going to change anything and it would be better for everyone if I instead saw it as a lesson learned.

first coachella experience and what I'd do differently

Monday – (Roadtrip home)

Monday morning, I felt a bit better and the group wanted a couple more hours by the pool so I stayed in the shade. Then it was time for us to leave Palm Springs. I was in and out of sleep the whole way. But we entertained ourselves with an in car dance party. I reminisced about my weekend and how it didn’t really go the way I had wanted it to go. But life is like that and we’ve have to be flexible for changes.

What I’d Do Differently

first coachella experience and what I'd do differently

I’m sure there’ll be another Coachella in my future and when that happens, I hope I’ll be a bit more prepared. In terms of losing my phone, I mean, I’ve just got to be less forgetful but I will be more cautious about it next time I go. What I can do differently is stay out of the sun as much as possible that weekend. I’d also bring more empty water bottles so I can keep refilling at the festival. I only brought one empty bottle and while I thought it’d be enough, it definitely was not. My first Coachella experience was definitely a lesson. I mean I had some great moments too! I can’t believe how many artists I got to see and I can definitely understand why people go year after year. It’s definitely an experience I’m happy I got to do even if it wasn’t the ideal Coachella experience. I hope that this helps someone who’s wondering about what to expect at the festival. Also know that not everything in life runs smoothly, so if something that you’re not expecting does happen, try to have an open mind.


“Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things”. – Kenneth Branagh

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