We're only a few days away from the first weekend of the 13th edition of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Usually, that means Goldenvoice releases the set times earlier in the week so you can start planning your desert adventure.
This will be my sixth year covering the festival and I have a few tips I wanted to share:
-If you have a smartphone, use the Coachella app. The Coachchooser is helpful and inevitably I lose the awesome paper program keepsake they give out. That is the best way to see set times.
-If you're driving in each day, keep a couple of bottles of water in your car. At the end of the night you may be dehydrated and you will be so happy that you remembered to do this.
-Go earlier to hit less traffic coming in and at the security line. In all of my years of covering the fest, earlier is better. There's usually a little bit of the line before the gates open, but I've gotten really lucky right around noon-12:30.
-Know Highway 111, love Highway 111. Highway 111 starts from the 10 Freeway in Whitewater and goes through Palm Springs and the desert cities and continues to Indio and beyond. I don't recommend taking it the whole way if you're coming from Palm Springs, (there are a ton of stoplights), but if the 10 is already getting backed up, Highway 111 is an alternate route off pretty much every exit.
-Plan on where you're meeting your friends in the evening in advance. If you're meeting up with friends, 6 p.m. is usually the time when everyone seems to be there and the cell signals are jammed. Pick someplace very specific (maybe Zia records or the Musician's Institute tent) because everyone will be gathering at the large scale art sculptures. I've found the signal usually clears by the time the penultimate band hits the Coachella stage.
I'll be sharing more tips, and the set times, as the week goes on. If you have some Coachella tips to share, post them in the comments below.
The set times will be on our interactive artist map and here. If you want to know more about the bands playing Coachella, click on the map below.