Unfortunately, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival had to postpone this year’s performances to 2021 due to Coronavirus. But that shouldn’t stop you from adding this amazing festival to your bucket list and start planning. I went to Coachella for the first time in April 2018 & I had the best time ever! The festival lineup is usually announced just three months before the festival, but that doesn’t stop everyone from buying their tickets well in advance.
Before you buy tickets for Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2021, I want to share with you everything I learned from months of planning for Coachella. There are so many things you may overlook that could throw off your entire trip, so I’ve created this beginner’s guide to one of the best music festivals in the world.
What is Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival?
Coachella is a Music and Arts Festival that takes place in Indo, California at the Empire Polo Grounds every April throughout two separate weekends. Some of the world’s most famous artists and bands perform at this festival every year across five main stages. Coachella makes it a point to represent all musical genres.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is located approximately 2.5 hours east of Los Angeles Airport. Thousands of people make their way to Coachella every year, and tickets always sell out. The location of this festival is very unique which adds to the whole experience. Not many people can say they went to a music festival in the desert!
Purchasing Tickets: General Admission or VIP:
Coachella General Admission Tickets in 2019 went for $399. If you buy during the pre-sale, you will be able to pay off your tickets in 7 monthly payments. The sooner you start saving for your Coachella 2021 trip the better because things will start adding up. Tickets usually sell out within a few hours, so make sure to buy Coachella 2021 Tickets as fast as you can.
There is also an option of buying a Festival Pass/Shuttle Combo form. You can find out the drop off locations for the shuttle on the website. If your hotel or campground is one of them, I highly recommend purchasing the combination pass.
If you’re feeling fancy, a Coachella VIP Ticket will cost you near $1100. There were certain instances that we wished we had bought VIP tickets. Having the VIP wristband allowed you access into designated VIP areas with clean bathrooms and certain beer gardens/restaurants that were inaccessible to those with General Admission wristbands. The lines for the bathrooms and food there were significantly shorter.
If you end up buying general admission, make sure to plan when you want to eat between sets. Give yourself at least an hour to get food or drinks because of the lines. If you forget to eat, you will get hungry at the worst possible times. I missed at least three artists I wanted to see because I was stuck waiting in line for food. Make sure you bring an empty water bottle into the festival. There are free water refill stations all over the festival grounds and you will want to stay hydrated.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival Weekend 1 or 2?
If you didn’t already know, there are two weekends of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The performers for both weekends are the same, so you can pick whichever weekend works best for you for Coachella 2021. Last year I went to Weekend 2 and had no complaints.
There are a lot more celebrity sightings during the first weekend. It is more crowded on the first weekend with people who want to be “seen”. Coachella live streams online during Weekend 1, so you see all of the huge surprise guests and performers before attending Weekend 2. You still get some elements of surprise during Weekend 2, like when Kygo brought out Ariana Grande for his set.
Almost all of the exclusive parties happen during Weekend 1 (Revolve Festival & Neon Carnival), but unless you’re a “somebody” you are not going to get into them. If you survive to be out in 95-degree weather from noon until midnight, don’t get ahead of yourself and think you’d also survive to party your ass off till the morning. We were so tired after each day of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival that we couldn’t even imagine going anywhere besides the bed.
Camping at Coachella 2021:
Don’t get me wrong, I love camping and being outdoors. However, just the thought of camping outside with thousands of people side by side in 95-degree weather made me pass out. I knew I would want my own space, a bed, and air conditioning after being out in the desert heat all day so camping was out of the picture for me. I will say, however, that car camping on the festival grounds is the cheapest way to go.
Car camping costs $125 total per campsite for your entire weekend, and from what I hear one campsite has enough space to comfortably fit 4-5 people with all of your gear, tents, and up to one vehicle (additional car can be added for a fee). Once you’re all settled in, you will not be able to drive in and out of the festival.
When buying tickets for Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2021, make sure at least one person in your group purchases a car camping pass with their ticket in the same order on the Coachella website. If you have a bigger group, you may purchase multiple parking passes among yourselves and combine campsites. Keep in mind, if you buy your tickets from a reseller without a car camping pass together in the same order, you will not be able to go on Coachella’s website and buy just a camping pass.
A lot of people we met said that camping adds to the entire experience of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It seemed like a great way to meet new friends since you’re all camping so close to each other (literally back to back camping). Being close to the festival entrance is also a perk of car camping, however, I have to warn you that it gets very HOT in the desert and you have to be able to tolerate a lot of noise/heat/people to get through a weekend camping at Coachella.