It doesn't matter how many shows or festivals you've been to; there's only one Coachella. More than a mere music festival, Coachella is one of the most famous events in the world, period. For any self-respecting fan of live music, it's a pilgrimage one must eventually make.
This year, AXS.com sent two Coachella rookies to Indio to cover the event. Check out what they learned about Coachella below; if you're a first-timer attending weekend two, there could be some valuable tips. And for more coverage of Coachella 2017, keep it here on AXS.com.
Get to the festival as early as possible
Yes, you’re tired, your legs are sore and it's possible you're hungover from the night before. But for some, Coachella is a once in a lifetime experience, and you don’t want to waste any valuable time. Get up in the morning, shower, throw on your Coachella gear and get to the festival. Getting there early eliminates lines, doesn’t make you feel rushed and gives you more time to explore the grounds. - Melanie Moccia
Water. Water. Water.
The first day I went, I didn’t hydrate before and completely regretted it. Being young and invulnerable, I thought I would be fine walking around the desert all day in the 90 degree heat with very little water; turns out I was wrong. When the weather is dry and sunny, you have to stay hydrated. The festival allows you to bring in empty water bottles or CamelBak's that you can fill up. Whatever you choose, you will definitely hate yourself if you don't bring in something and end up spending a ton of money on water at the festival. - Melanie Moccia
You won’t be able to see every artist that you want to, so choose wisely
I wanted to see 75 percent of the acts on the lineup, but I knew it would be impossible. Between trying to meet up with friends and walking between the stages (which are not close), it’s impossible to catch every band you want to see. To make your decision easier, eliminate artists you’ve already seen before. Yes, it’s fun to see some bands that you are familiar with, but it’s also more fun to catch a band you haven’t seen, or don’t think you will have to chance to see in the future. - Melanie Moccia
Don’t take veteran acts for granted when it comes to making your daily schedule
It’s very easy to pass over on some of the less popular acts when trying to figure your way around set scheduling conflicts. Choosing to see one act over the other can feel like having to pick which child you love more, but a decision has to be made. Even though you may want to leave Hans Zimmer’s set early to get a good seat for Lorde, resist. Zimmer has never toured in North America before and who knows if he ever will again, while Lorde has her entire career in front of her. Lil Uzi Vert may be a big emerging name in hip-hop, but Toots and the Maytals are ska/reggae legends. In other words, it’s okay to miss 10-15 minutes of a younger artists set if it means getting to see the full set from a veteran act that may not be touring for much longer. Your future self with thank you. - Tom Shackleford
Embrace your shopping curiosity and check out the Coachella Record Store
Coachella’s Record Store may not have the the glitz and glamour on its outside to draw fans in as they enter the festival, but inside the plain white building located just past the ferris wheel, you’ll find 30,000 albums for sale, all of which have been carefully curated by an interesting and friendly fellow by the name of Alex Rodriguez. No not that Alex Rodriguez, this one. Coachella’s Record Store carries product from all the artists on the festival’s lineup, and will even have 2,000 more albums coming in for weekend two, just in time for Record Store Day. - Tom Shackleford
Watching the headlining performances from the Coachella Stage-left beer garden is an underrated seating location
The Coachella Stage, aka the main stage, features performances from some of the weekend’s biggest artists, which means there will be a lot of people flocking to it well before their sets begin. Trying to catch The xx, Radiohead, Lady Gaga or Kendrick Lamar from a close spot may be tough if you don’t get there at least 30 minutes beforehand, which could lead to missing out on the end of someone else’s amazing set. Life hack: One of the beer gardens for patrons ages 21 and over is located just to the right of the main stage, and offers a less crowded spot to watch the night’s headliners without having to leave the beer/wine area, as adult beverages aren’t permitted outside those zones. - Tom Shackleford
Stay open minded
If you go into Coachella thinking you are going to stick to a schedule, stay with the same people and plan out your whole day, you’re wrong. Things happen, you wait in long lines for the out-of-the-ordinary food options and not everything goes your way. The best thing you can do is stay open minded throughout the whole festival and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get to see someone you planned or that you lose your group. You’re at a beautiful music festival, and it’s important to remember that you may not ever be back, so enjoy it while it lasts. - Melanie Moccia
Stop caring about your cell phone
I was prepared to use my phone all weekend—I had my portable charger and mobile hotspot ready to take all of the SnapChats, keep in contact with my group and post to Instagram to hit my followers with some serious FOMO. But little did I know that even being prepared, my phone service still wouldn’t work; with more than 100,000 people trying to connect to their networks, service still wouldn’t hold up. Even more surprisingly, I didn’t hate it, as the lack of internet bandwidth forced me to appreciate what was around me and, most crucially, enjoy the music. - Melanie Moccia
Don’t underestimate the Coachella community and its Lost & Found
You will most likely lose something at Coachella, and whether it's a dollar bill, keys, a cell phone charger or even your mind, there’s a strong chance it will be found and turned into the festival’s Lost & Found. Unlike the real world where finders-keepers may be the law of the land, there’s an unwritten rule of festivals that 100,000 strangers are now part of a community and should look out for each other whenever they can. Most fans have probably read about the dude who almost got away with stealing over 100 cell phones. Thankfully he was apprehended and many phones were returned to their owners. According to police however, a number of the phones were still waiting to be claimed in the Lost & Found. Check it, don’t neglect it. - Tom Shackleford
Stay in Palm Springs on Monday (if you can)
Having spent all weekend partying and baking under the desert sun, your body and mind will certainly be aching for a detox come Sunday night. Even after wearing quality sneakers all weekend, the feet, legs and lower back will all be very sore after dancing for three days straight. If you’re one of the many attendees staying in or around the Indio/Cathedral City/Palm Springs area throughout the weekend, try and stay for an extra day on the Monday after the festival for a much needed day of relaxation before heading back into civilization. Take the day to nap, relax, chill in a pool/hot tub, practicing some yoga, grill out or find some local food spot for a home cooked meal. Your mind and body will thank you. It’s also worth mentioning that the traffic getting back to Los Angeles the Monday after is about as bad as you’d think, so if you can afford to stay in the luxurious area for an extra day to collect yourself, do it. - Tom Shackleford