Finding your car in the dusty sea of a parking area can be maddening. There’s no blue Mickey here. Tie glow sticks or LED lights to a few helium balloons and attach them to your vehicle.
You can camp at the Empire Polo Field: It’s $82.50 for the weekend, but be sure to spring for a VIP shower pass (your friends will thank you). The two-person tents and tepees ringing Lake Eldorado at the center of the campground fetch $1,750 (cots, sleeping bags, and festival passes included). Or go big and rent a safari tent, which features two beds, AC, private bathrooms and showers, and breaky. You also get shuttled to the stage, two all-access artist passes, and a bill for $6,500.
Throughout the Coachella Valley hotels fill up with concertgoers, but only one doesn’t require taking a shuttle or idling in gridlock to flee the polo grounds at day’s end: the Indian Palms Country Club & Resort. A 25-minute hike away, the sprawling property offers a three-day Coachella package, including meals, for $1,114. But you have to book months in advance.
With groupme.com/coachella, you can pinpoint your friends’ locations, message them all at once, and receive up- dates from Goldenvoice. There are charging stations around the grounds, but in case your phone dies, designate a meeting spot (in the shade—you may be waiting awhile).
Couldn’t score a ticket this year? Not sure you’re up to sweating with the masses? Most of the acts at Coachella do one-off shows in the area. Check the bands’ Web sites for local gigs.