Ultimate Guide to Coachella 2024: Navigating Music, Culture & the Desert Heat

In the heart of Indio, Calif., the desert is preparing once again to transform The Empire Polo Club into a vibrant oasis of music and culture for Coachella 2024. The legendary festival promises an unforgettable array of performances across two action-packed weekends.

While tickets for Weekend 1 (April 12–14) have sold out, opportunities to be part of this cultural phenomenon still linger, with Weekend 2 (April 19–21) tickets still for sale. This year’s lineup boasts an eclectic mix of artists set to grace the stages, including the ethereal Lana Del Rey, pop sensation Sabrina Carpenter, the innovative Tyler, The Creator, chart-topping Doja Cat, the reggae-infused sounds of Sublime, indie favorites Bleachers, and the rising star Peso Pluma. Coachella 2024 is shaping up to be an extraordinary celebration of music, art and community under the Indio sun.

Below, we have put together a festival guide for new and seasoned festival-goers alike to help prepare you for a seamless, music-packed weekend of excitement.


The rideshare situation at Coachella is chaos at best. If there’s any way for you to get dropped off by friends or drive to the venue (with a designated driver), you might save yourself a lot of money and time. Plus, parking at Coachella is free.

Alternatively, you could buy a shuttle pass, but they often sell out in advance. The shuttles will regularly pick up festival-goers from local hotels and designated parking lots. The parking lot and rideshare drop-off locations are about a one-mile walk from the main entrance.

Food & Drink

The festival boasts a myriad of cuisine options; from Japanese onigiri to Spanish paella. For many Coachella regulars, the iconic lemonade stands are a must. Food ranges from $15–$22 a meal and drinks are about $14–$25.

Photo: Coachella

Prepare for the Heat

Come prepared for the heat–you will get hot, dusty and sweaty.

With temperatures often ranging from the high 80s to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it is important to stay hydrated throughout the day. The festival has water refill stations in every major area, so avoid having to pay for water bottles and bring a reusable plastic water bottle. Alternatively, you can also refill any plastic water bottles purchased within the festival.

When the sun is at its strongest, explore the shaded tent stages for a respite from the heat. For a cool escape, the Yuma tent is a top choice with its air conditioning. Similarly, the Heineken House and Do Lab offer relief with their misting fans.

Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! The desert heat is intense and unforgiving. Remember to apply sunscreen throughout the day and think about wearing a hat for additional sun protection.

Art Installations & Festivities

Stop by Spectra, the giant rainbow tower, for a break from the heat. Experience this air-conditioned permanent art installation during the day when the sunlight shines through the structure’s rainbow windows.

The polo grounds are hosting over 100,000 attendees per day of Coachella, so be prepared for lines, but don’t be discouraged. If you’re looking to buy merch or records, or to simply get the most out of the activities and art exhibits, arrive early. As most people sleep in from the day before and wait to arrive later for the more popular artists, the first couple of hours that the grounds are open are ideal. Plan ahead and arrive early for shorter lines and uncrowded pictures.

Take a picture in front of the iconic Ferris wheel, or go for a spin in the air-conditioned ride for a bird’s eye view of the festival.

With sponsored areas like Queer+, Every One and the Heineken House providing activities and rest stops, there is always something new to check out between shows.

Packing Necessities

While the polo fields start off as grassy grounds, the grass will soon turn to dirt as thousands trek through the festival after Weekend 1. Bandanas and masks can help avoid getting “Coachella Cough” from all of the dust. Masks or bandanas are a must-bring for anyone attending Weekend 2, when the ground is no longer covered in grass.

If you want a break from standing, prepare to sit on the ground, which might be grass or dirt. Consider bringing a thin towel, tapestry or blanket to sit on while waiting for sets to start.

Nearing the end of the day, many porta-potties will run out of toilet paper and soap, so bring a small pack of tissues and hand sanitizer.

Wardrobe Do’s & Don’ts

It’s tempting to go for the trendiest shoes that perfectly match your outfit, but consider shoe comfortability as a top priority as festival-goers are on their feet for the majority of the day, all weekend long. With lots of dancing, walking and standing, opt for closed-toed shoes you don’t mind getting dirty.

While the days are hot, after the sun sets, temperatures will drop, sometimes even into the 50s. Consider packing a jacket that could be folded up and fit in a bag or a shawl that could double as a blanket.

Fanny packs are the perfect festival bag, as they are lightweight and have a low risk of theft. If you decide to wear a backpack, make sure all openings are secured to prevent any pickpocketing.

Instead of carrying around a blanket, sweatshirt or merch all day, festival-goers have the option of renting a locker for the whole weekend. They come in various sizes and sell out fast.

Plan for No Reception

Reception can be spotty on the grounds, and you don’t want to be the friend who gets lost on the way to the show. Prepare for getting separated on the grounds and not having any reception.

Screenshot the festival map before the weekend begins along with set times and locations so that in case the app cannot load, you still have access to important information. Set up an emergency meeting spot with your group. This could be universal for the whole weekend or specific to each day or show. Sometimes, after a set is over, the crowd’s sudden departure can become chaotic, so it might be more efficient to meet somewhere after the set, instead of trying to find each other immediately at the venue.

2024 Coachella line-up. Photo: Coachella


Did you know that Coachella is adding a new tent this year? The notorious Sahara tent, the go-to for EDM fans, is moving to a new location, receiving a size upgrade to the already massive hanger-style setup, and is gaining a new neighboring tent, Quasar. This new neighboring tent will host multiple hour-long DJ sets and will be located at the previous location of the Sahara tent.

The Coachella Main Stage is where you’ll catch the biggest headliners each night, amidst the largest crowds and with the festival’s top production values. This stage, lacking shade, fills the festival with sound, is supported by speakers across the grounds, and features a nearby dedicated bar area. The Outdoor Theatre, just to the right of the Main Stage, hosts big names across various genres but also lacks much shade.

The Mojave Tent is known for indie rock and emerging artists, offering good production without the heavy crowds. Similarly, the Gobi Tent is a more relaxed spot for up-and-coming artists, providing a shaded retreat. 

For those seeking respite from the heat, the Yuma Tent offers air-conditioned comfort, a club vibe and exclusive underground DJ sets but expect a line due to its limited capacity. The Sonora Tent caters to fans of Latin and punk rock in a smaller, intimate setting.

Not officially on the main lineup but equally engaging are the Do Lab, a vibrant tent with artistic installations and electronic beats, known for its surprise performances, and the Heineken House, an open-air venue with a lively dance atmosphere, mist fans and a bar, catering to attendees 21 and over.

Navigating between stages takes roughly 10–15 minutes, depending on crowd size, with access to all stages included in the wristband (Heineken House is 21+ only).


The First-Aid tents are there to help you. Ideally, visitors will go the whole weekend without needing to seek medical attention, but in case you do need help, they are your friend, whether it’s a Band-Aid for a blister or an antihistamine for a bee sting, they have seen it all.

Be aware of your surroundings; as with any big event, pickpocketing is always a potential threat.

Visit coachella.com for the complete line-up, tickets and more. 

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