Seriously Thinking Of Going To Coachella Next Year? Read Louise Cooney’s Guide To The Festival

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Fashion influencer Louise Cooney knows everything there is to know about going to Coachella – if you’ve always dreamed of heading to the Californian festival, here’s her handy guide to buying tickets, picking hotels, and navigating the place itself.

How do I get there?

“You buy tickets on the Coachella website – the early bird tickets go on sale in June, and the second batch of tickets go on sale in the first week of January. Thyey’re about €450 including a shuttle pass that will take you to and from the site. You find out the exact date the tickets go on sale via email once you’ve signed up to the Coachella mailing list.

We flew direct with Aer Lingus from Dublin to LAX, which cost about €500 return. We then rented a car and drove to Palm Desert which is where we stayed. Between four of us the car was about €100 each for the few days.

Last year we stayed in Palm Springs, this year we stayed a little closer to the festival in
Palm Desert. I would say set aside between €400-€600 for accommodation for 4 nights, depending on how many people there will be sharing a room. The best way to find a hotel is to look at the list of stops for the shuttle buses, that way you know you’ll be able to get in and out of the festival easily and without having to get taxis.

You can use Uber to get to the festival site, but it’s a half hour walk to the drop off. When you get to the festival entrance, you can get a tuk tuk ride in if you want to save your feet. They charge $10 per person for this.”

What’s the best part of the festival itself?

“The best bit about Coachella is definitely the music! Seeing Irish singer Dermot Kennedy perform to a tent full of people was unbelievable, there were lots of Irish fans in the audience of course. Experiencing Ariana Grande’s performance after the year she’s had was just incredible and seeing 17-year-old Billie Eilish before she literally takes over the world was pretty epic.

The weather is obviously a major perk – especially coming from Ireland when you can never really rely on it. When you’re planning outfits for a festival in Ireland you always need a plan B at the ready in case it rains, or some sort of rain attire at least! It was so nice to enjoy the sun, and laze at the pool for an hour or two before heading into the festival each day.

It’s no secret that Coachella is nearly just as much about the fashion as it is about the music now. I loved seeing what everyone was wearing, the style was on another level this year and I got lots of inspo for my next festival – whenever that may be!

But the jet lag is a killer – if I was to go again I’d give myself another day or two to get used to the time difference before the festival. It is a pricey trip, well worth it in my opinion but it’s definitely one that takes a lot of planning and budgeting.”

What are your top tips for the festival?

“Bring a backpack. It gets cold at night so you should bring a jumper or a light jacket, as well as a bandana for when it gets windy to protect you from the sand. Drink lots of water – it gets so hot during the day in the desert and it’s very easy to get dehydrated. There are water refill stations throughout the festival so there’s no excuse.

Make a list of the acts you want to see and make a note of what stage they’re on. When you’re in the festival it’s so easy to get distracted by the art, the food stalls, the excitement… so it’s good to have a plan and make sure you see everything you want to see.”

How do you make the most of a trip?

“Stay around Los Angeles before and after. We stayed in Venice beach before, and in the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel afterwards, which is located on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Right in the middle of all the action! LA is quite big so it was nice to have a mix of the beach and the city.

Go window shopping on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills’ most famous street that is home to top designers such as Fendi, Gucci, YSL and more. Search for your favourite celebs’ stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and enjoy the chaos of Hollywood Boulevard – there is so much history on this street! You can get the Hollywood Star Tour Bus from here too, which brings you to all the celebs’ homes.

You can hike the Hollyridge trail right to the top of the Hollywood sign if you want to, it’s so cool and so worth the pain of the hike for the Insta photo. We cycled from Venice Beach to Santa Monica, then enjoyed the carnival on the pier. You can really get a feel for the Californian pace of life there.

Of course, grab a burger at In N’ Out – this fast food restaurant is only available on the west coast of America and is famous for its amazing burgers. Make sure you ask about the secret menu too!”