Coachella is predominantly filled with happy, fun-loving, peaceful, like-minded souls. Some may be in an elevated state of pill-induced euphoria, others may be swimming in alcohol drenched love, while many are drunk with excitement for their favorite bands. Mix this up with an excellent Coachella security force, on-site police and EMT presence and your time frolicking in the festival will be a safe and amazing experience...but there is and can be a dark side...
We love our readers and we love our scene so check out our list of "Do's & Don'ts"
DO the best you can to keep your valuables secured.
In 2017, one man stole over 100 phones by simply walking through Coachella crowds and was released the same day after he was arrested. He bought his weekend pass and was able to steal many phones and other valuables every day until he was caught. Coachella, sadly, has been infiltrated by thieves and petty criminals who target anyone that is caught slipping and because petty crime is not strictly punished, they continue to do these crimes without care or consequences. (read more here)
Keep all of your electronics, valuables and wallet in your front pockets, if you have them or in a bag with a small combination lock that will keep your zippers shut. Nothing ruins your experience more than the feeling of being robbed and then not being able to call your friends or an Uber/Lyft because you have no phone.
DO wear masks, COVID isn't done partying with you.
We are all sick and tired of Covid this and Covid that but the truth remains that Covid is still alive and kicking with two lovely new variant mutations, named "BA.2" and "BA.2.2," that are highly contagious. Coachella's Covid restrictions were lifted so YOU ARE NOT PROTECTED anymore. As Los Angeles County begins to see daily spikes of Covid BA.2 infections, keep in mind that you will be partying shoulder to shoulder with many who may be asymptomatic with Covid.
Wear a mask! ESPECIALLY if you're posted up at the front of the stage!
Before Covid-19 was a thing, there was a different "sickness" that was universally dubbed "Coachella Lung" or "Coachella Cough." You know that cough and congestion that everyone got after a whole weekend of late night dancing/partying in the hot desert sun and cold desert night, coupled with that long 1-4 mile parking lot walk through dirt and dust.
Let's just forget about Covid-19 and its variants. Let's just focus on not getting the Coachella Lung or the Coachella Cough. Wear a mask. You'll thank me later.
DO STICK TOGETHER
STAY WITH YOUR FRIENDS or people you know and establish “set in stone” rules to never break up the pack. IF you meet a boy or a girl and spark a festival connection, invite them to chill with your group but do not stray off with them by yourself. DO NOT ALLOW your friends to leave with any stranger(s) especially if she or he is under any influence.
NO ONE GETS LEFT BEHIND. Plain and simple. You go together, you leave together, unless the ones left behind are with people you all know. Remember cell phones get lost, batteries drain and working mobile connections drop calls…losing all communication with your friends can be a weekend-ruining experience.
DON'T get too wasted
PARTY PARTY PARTY but TRY TO NOT GET SO WASTED to the point that you can't see straight, lose all of your things and/or stumble and fall all over the festival grounds... Just like an injured fish splashing in the ocean, these kinds of actions attract the king-predator of the sea (the shark) and will attract security, police or bad people with bad intentions. Don't be the "hot mess" and the next viral video star featured on "World Star" or "TikTok" for all of eternity.
DON'T ACCEPT DRINKS FROM STRANGERS
DO NOT accept any drinks from anyone, guy or girl, unless you are standing with them at the bar while they order or if the bottle’s seal is still intact. Best believe there are people out there, both men and women, who love to have fun with "throw away" girls and boys, and have no problem “partying” you up until you're wasted and they get what they want. Prevent yourself from being drugged and/or refrain from getting so wasted that you become that “throw away” party favor.
DON'T take drugs or unknown substances from strangers.
DO NOT eat/consume/snort/smoke any pills/drugs/edibles/weed from unknown sources. A friend of mine made the rookie mistake of taking a puff of a “joint” being passed around by strangers, only to find out it was Salvia and not weed. Sadly she spent the rest of the night seeing "demons." It was such a horrific experience for her and was just as bad for all of us taking care of a screaming terrified friend. REMEMBER that the majority of cocaine in America is tainted with Fentanyl and YOU COULD DIE from one single bump!
DON'T volunteer your personal information
ALWAYS be the one to take an interested boy or girl's NUMBER, don't give out yours and if they keep hounding you for it, offer your email with a "take it or leave it"...I'd suggest you create a Gmail specifically for Coachella... something easy to remember like "mynameis....@gmail.com" if you meet a guy/gal who seems genuine, (s)he will remember your email and contact. Otherwise, it was just a fun innocent desert fling...
DON'T SHARE DRINKS WITH STRANGERS
DO NOT share drinks with strangers or friends you just met. We are still in a viral pandemic and swapping bottle spit with a sweat drenched festival goer is just a bad idea. Not only can you get sick but there are a ton of other things that can happen, like stupid ass me and the time I made the mistake of taking a swig of someone's water, which had GHB in it. I don't remember anything except my good friend, who watched me closely and carried me to my apartment where I spent the night hugging my toilet.
On the flip side, taken from the "Laws of Fauxchella," it is important to drink tons of water so DO HYDRATE HYDRATE and HYDRATE some more.
DON'T MAKE OUT WITH EVERYONE
DO NOT go on a make out session with everyone...HPV, cold sores, herpes, mono, meningitis and other nasty things travel through those "innocent" tongue tangos, which always become the viral-guest that won’t leave, even after the festival ends... REMEMBER THERE WAS AN OUTBREAK OF MUMPS recently at a college and WE ARE STILL UNDER THE DARK CLOUD OF COVID!
DON'T GO TO SOMEONE'S HOUSE TO AFTER-PARTY BY YOURSELF
DO NOT AGREE TO GO TO ANY STRANGER’S "MANSION," "ESTATE" or "HOUSE" for an “after-party”. UNLESS your whole group is going too. A true after-party won’t have any issues with your friends coming so DON’T throw caution to the wind and go solo or else you could find yourself in unknown territory alone, where YOU are the after-party. REMEMBER the majority of the houses in the desert are mostly vacation homes and are available for rent year round. More importantly, many of the next-door homes are EMPTY, so if something were to go bad/wrong, the chances of someone hearing any screams for help are slim to none.
DON'T WALK ALONE BACK TO THE PARKING LOT OR CAMPSITE
DO NOT WALK ALONE to where your friends are, through the parking lot to your car or to your campsite, THERE IS NO SHAME in asking a group of GIRLS and guys if you can walk with them...on a few occasions solo girls asked if they could walk with me because they recognized me while I was photographing Coachella and I happily obliged, making sure they got to their cars in the vast parking lot, unharmed. NO ONE WILL EVER TURN YOU AWAY for asking for a safe-passage escort.
DON'T VIDEOTAPE SOMEONE NEEDING HELP, HELP THEM!
DO NOT be the person that takes their phone out to document someone's misfortune. IF YOU SEE SOMEONE IN DISTRESS...find a security guard/police officer/EMT to help and if that isn’t possible, try and HELP THE PERSON IN NEED. Coachella will be a better place if we think about all of "us", instead of only thinking of ourselves and shooting that next viral video.
DON'T FEEL ASHAMED TO SCREAM FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT
DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SCREAM OUT FOR HELP if you get into a scary situation. I’ve read that some girls felt embarrassed about screaming for any kind of help, which is ridiculous. IF YOU SCREAM FOR HELP MANY OF US WILL RUN TO YOUR AID, I PROMISE, unless you didn't listen to my earlier tip about NOT GOING to someone's "mansion estate after-party" by yourself... at which point you're on your own :(
And there you have it, our Coachella Do's & Don'ts list for everyone to memorize. By following these simple common sense rules, please be assured that you WILL have an amazing life-changing experience at one of the greatest festivals on the planet. But remember that it’s always good to know what’s up…because “knowing is half the battle.”
And now that you “know”, check out our 2022 preview of all of the parties going on outside of the festival grounds (here)
And lastly, NEVER forget to respect…The Laws of Fauxchella