Last year was my first year attending Coachella and along the way I learned my way around the grounds and the aspects of the festival itself. Many people will try to explain Coachella in a simple manner, but there is no plain definition for such a colorful word. You must experience the culture on your own and create your own adventures. However, there are a few pointers that can enhance your time at Coachella and single handedly make it the best weekend ever.
What to expect: Considering Coachella is a music festival in the depths of the desert, there are quite a few free spirits, but on the other hand, it is a completely safe environment. Throughout my three days spent in Indio, I cannot recall one time where I felt anxious due to craziness.
However, I do highly recommend the buddy system because crowds are indeed large and meeting up with a group again is like finding a needle in a haystack. If you are traveling in a large group, create a big poster that stands out, so you can maintain your group and reconnect easily. Also, arrive about an hour and a half prior to the first act you want to see. Due to the vast amount of security guards and the heavy flow of traffic, getting through the checkpoint can take a good amount of time.
What to bring: Coachella is evidently a germ fest, and if you are like me and are always in dyer need of feeling clean, bring hand sanitizer. I promise you it will be your best friend. Between the necessary bathroom visits or helping someone crowd surf, staying hygienic is a must. In addition, sunscreen and a portable phone charger are needed. My advice, do not be on your phone the whole time during the festival; you will run out of battery and it takes away from the whole experience. Also, bring a bandana because sand storms can happen.
Overall, try not to think too much about the outside world and just enjoy your experience within the Empire Polo Club. Coachella is about enjoying yourself and the people around you and along the way, you will learn the ropes of Coachella on your own.