KCR’S Coachella Survival Guide

Coachella 2018

Haven’t started packing yet? Don’t worry – KCR’s got you covered. Here are the best tips and tricks to survive Coachella 2019!

There are few things better than spending a weekend in the desert with good friends, good music, and even better vibes. If you’re going to Coachella this year, get ready to have fun, but always remember to be safe and come prepared.

FESTIVAL ADVICE:

With headliners like Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande, be prepared for big crowds and even bigger performances. First off, always remember to bring a positive attitude and enjoy everything that comes along with the festival; no one wants to hear complaints while you’re at one of the biggest and best events of the year. Overlapping set-times can be frustrating, but our best advice is to decide in the moment who you want to see and just go with the flow. Festivals are more enjoyable with friends, so stay close to people you trust and remember that every artist has something great to show you.

The heat can be brutal, but staying hydrated is key! Your first stop after entering the festival should always be the hydration station. Thankfully, Coachella has always kept their water prices at $2 ever since they first started, so make sure to stock up on some H2O.

Next, confirm a meeting spot. Whether it’s next to one of the unique art installations, a lemonade stand, or the side of a stage, a meeting spot is necessary in case you get lost or plan to meet up with friends at a later time.

WHAT TO BRING:

  • Portable Charger
    • Taking videos of your favorite bands takes up more battery than you’d think. Also, Coachella is known to have spotty service, so make sure you charge up so you can find your friends.
  • Camelback
    • Vibedration has some stylish backpacks that will keep you hydrated throughout the day. Amazon also has some reliable finds, like this one.
  • Fan
    • A hand fan is trendy but also a necessity. If you think you’ll get tired of waving your hand to the beat all day, stick to a battery powered fan. With the mister included, you will be surprised how refreshed it’ll leave you.
  • Hydrating Sunblock
    • We’ve all had our awful sunburns, and the last thing you want is to burn the first day and be uncomfortable for the rest of the weekend. Apply sunscreen before you go, and bring some into the festival as well. Yes, they do allow sunscreen inside the venue!
  • Bandana or scarf
    • The dust can be absolutely brutal! Make sure to cover your nose and face for protection, unless you want to breathe in dirt all day.
  • Earplugs
    • Obviously, the music will be LOUD! And if you do decide to camp, there is no guarantee that your neighbors will follow the noise rules.
  • Small blanket
    • Standing on your feet all day can be tiring, and being able to sit on a small blanket is one of the small things you’ll appreciate. It also gets cold and windy at night, and having a portable blanket will make your walk back to your site a little more tolerable.
  • Comfortable shoes
    • While you might want to flex your newest and trendiest shoes in the desert, the festival is huge and you will be walking all day. Stay comfortable at all costs to survive the weekend.

And finally, make sure to download the official Coachella app on your phone to get all the latest updates on set times, official rules, and fun activities that are happening throughout the weekend.

CAMPING:

If you’re not one of the lucky ones staying in a house or hotel, you’re probably camping. However, camping is half of the fun and the perfect experience for any first-time Coachella go-er. Make sure you come prepared though, because once you’re at the campsite, it can be difficult to leave and buy things you may have forgot. Thankfully for you, I’ve prepared a list of things to pack if you’re camping.

Besides the basic necessities like a tent, canopy, sleeping bags, and all your clothes and toiletries, here are some packing suggestions you might not have thought about:

  • Cooler
  • Foldable table & chairs
  • Lanterns & flashlights
  • Blow up mattress or mattress pad
  • Battery powered fan
  • Portable grill
  • Portable shower bag
  • Bathing suit and towel for showering
  • Speaker
  • Games for the campsite
  • Battery powered string lights
  • Tapestries
  • Picnic blanket
  • Wet wipes
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Mini first-aid kit
  • Energy drinks
  • Non-pershiable food
  • Water!!!

When it comes to camping, it is always better to over-pack rather than under-preparing. You might be surprised by how cold the nights can get, so make sure you bring blankets, sweatpants, and warm jackets. If there’s a chance of rain, pack a tarp to cover your tent and a couple of rain jackets to be safe. Think through what your daily routine looks like and what you’ll need to bring to keep yourself staying comfortable.

Not going? Don’t worry!

Both weekends will be live-streamed on yt.be/coachella, where you can watch all the live Weekend 1 performances and see original, curated content during Weekend 2. Watch from the comfort of your home and avoid standing in the heat all day. And don’t worry, there will be many more Coachella’s. If you plan on going a future year, I suggest buying tickets during their presale and utilizing the payment plan. In the end, you will most likely have the opportunity to see these artists again for a much cheaper price.

Need a playlist for the drive up? Check out my Coachella 2019 playlist here.

Written by: Brittany Roache

How To Survive Escape Psycho Circus

Attending a music festival is a rite of passage; after an amazing weekend at a Halloween themed festival, it makes sense why everyone should attend at least one music festival in their life.

On the weekend of October 26 & 27th, the National Orange Show Event Center in San Bernardino hosted another year of Insomniac’s Escape Psycho Circus! DJs from the EDM music scene such as Seven Lions, Kaskade, Martin Garrix, Galantis, KSHMR, Diplo, and more, performed over the weekend for attendees.

Escape Psycho Circus is a 2-day music festival that occurs the weekend before Halloween, which is considered to be North America’s largest Halloween Electronic Dance Music Festival & Freak-show. At this music festival, there were 4 stages that you could go to watch your favorite artist, including the Slaughterhouse, Ghoul’s Graveyard, The Chopping Block, and Cannibal’s Tea Party. There were performers spread throughout the festival grounds in order to bring a stronger ambiance of Halloween to all attendees, as well as an interactive section known as the Asylum, for those who are brave enough to enter.

Crowd picture during KSHMR’s set

Being a first timer for Escape Psycho Circus & music festivals in general, I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve only had very few experiences from past concerts I’ve attended throughout the year, but never an event this huge. I’ll start off with a few tips that helped me enjoy the 2-day experience

1. Bring a Camelbak

This may seem like common sense, especially since everyone gets thirsty at any concert, but Camelbaks were a lifesaver. I love drinking water throughout any event so I feel like this was worth purchasing for myself, especially if it can hold more than 2L of water. Depending on the amount your Camelbak can hold, it means less time to refill your backpack and more time to watch your favorite sets for the night.

2. Bring as little as possible

As someone who tends to over-pack for a 2-day trip away from home, this was a tip I took advantage of when heading out to the festival. Only bring the necessities you need for that night. In my case, I only needed a portable charger, hand fan, ID, debit card (for purchases), and a small towel to soak up any sweat from my face. The reason I say this is because your small Camelbak, fanny pack, or small backpack cannot fit more so try to take as little as possible.

3. Always bring a portable charger

There is nothing like going to an event to take squad pictures or videos of your favorite set in the background, and your phone dies. It’s always best to charge your phone to 100% before you leave and always have a portable ready for when you run low on trying to meet up with your lost friends.

4. Bring a totem pole

This tip is vital. I always have experience losing my friends within the crowd of a typical concert. However, if you lose your friends at a music festival as huge as Escape Psycho Circus, you are honestly doing it wrong. It will be very difficult to find them, especially considering the NOS events center has no service once inside the venue. By creating a totem with a symbol, sign, or meme on a 5-8 ft pole, you are able to find your friends with your distinct totem. Plus, this allows for groups to be very creative in how they decorate it.

5. Go with a friend who has gone before

It is best to attend your first music festival with someone who has experienced at the same venue or Insomniac themed events. I was lucky I invited my close friend to show me around & determine a meet up spot in the case that something happens. With that said, it allows for you to explore the festival grounds with someone who can help you find the next stage to go to.

Ferris Wheel featured within festival grounds

Besides these steps, I also have some small lessons for those who are either inexperienced or concerned about any fears.

If you are HIGHLY claustrophobic or develop anxiety attacks from being in crowds, please sit/stand within a safe distance. I discovered over that weekend that I have claustrophobia from being unable to breathe in crowds with little to no room, so I had to step out for one set. Honestly, I believe the main factor could also be the anxiety one develops from their first music festival. But remain cautious.

Remain respectful to everyone attending. We’re all here for the same reason: to watch our favorite DJs and spend time with our friends. Unfortunately, I came across several attendees who were disrespectful by inciting violence & preventing others from enjoying their experience. Don’t be that person in your group who ruins everything for others because you decided to push impolitely through the crowd; most attendees would be glad to help you through. Also, if you are trying to stay with your group by holding onto each other, please do not be the reason you separate their group because you couldn’t remain patient for 1 minute.

Set a budget for purchases inside the festival. I personally love to purchase one item from the merchandise tent at every concert I attend, so I set a budget aside for food, drinks, and merchandise before entering the festival. It’s best to avoid purchasing too many alcoholic drinks (for those who are 21+) due to ridiculous pricing. Also, try not to purchase snacks that you can get back home for a much lower price, especially if you are traveling from another country, city, or state.

Honestly, live in the moment. This lesson goes out to those who are considering attending their first music festival or will be attending one soon. As much as it’s great to take videos & pictures throughout a DJs set, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. I decided to opt out from recording too often & took my group photos beforehand to avoid wasting time. Living the whole experience without having your phone attached to your hands the entire time makes it all worthwhile. Listening to my favorite DJs with my closest friends helped me enjoy my weekend away from home; it’s almost as if attending was my ESCAPE from reality (haha, sorry!).

Overall, I don’t regret attending Escape Psycho Circus because it has prepared me for future music festivals. I understand a majority of festivals can become pricey overtime or have specific artists you may be interested in, but if you are ever given the opportunity to attend one, do it! Though, if you are experiencing FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) & impulsively purchase a ticket, just be cautious of your schedule. Watch out with becoming addicted to music festivals, it’s a hard addiction to beat; I should know!

Written by: Sofia Gomez

How I Survived Hurricane Impala, and Other Tales from Desert Daze 2018

Long waits, storms, and tears – the magic of Desert Daze transcends any and all bad vibes

I am not a seasoned festival-goer. I’ve never been to Coachella, I’ve never been to been to Lollapalooza, I’ve never even been to Warped Tour (RIP). The idea of sleeping in a tent for three days, drunk, hungover, sweaty, and dirty does not appeal to me, even if it does mean I get to see countless bands and forget about my schoolwork for a weekend. Give me a dark dive bar in a seedy neighborhood or a house show I found out about on Instagram over a multi-day, outdoor behemoth attended by thousands. I guess I’m more of an indoor kinda girl.

So when I received two weekend passes to the Desert Daze music festival in Lake Perris courtesy of KCR, I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy myself. I figured I should at least go for the experience of a music festival, and I really did want to see King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard live. After securing a festival companion (let’s call him Patrick, because that’s his name and I can’t think of a funny codename), procrastinating about buying the required camping passes, and planning out all of my outfits, I was all set for my first foray into festival life. In the end, my experience at Desert Daze ended up being perhaps one of my favorite memories ever. Here’s a summary of highlights (even though some may seem like lowlights – they can be both, don’t be so binary) from the weekend:

The Lineup

So close, yet still so far…

Patrick and I turned onto Moreno Beach Drive around 12:00, just as we’d planned. We figured this would give us ample time to get in, set up our “campsite” (read: the truck parked in the parking lot, sleeping bags arranged into a bed beneath the canopy), and catch either Tropa Magica (my pick) or Sugar Candy Mountain (his) around 2:00. This was not the case. No, we sat in our mobile campsite for three hours, barely moving for the first hour and a half. Morale was at first high, then it was low. Then we each cracked a beer and it was high again. We considered a second but decided against it. Morale became low again. Finally, finally, around 3:00, we made it to our precious VIP Lot 9, which would be our base of operations for the next three days.

The Storm

Seen on Saturday morning.

Despite the long wait to enter the festival, Friday was probably my favorite day of Desert Daze. It was undeniably the most exciting, although some festivalgoers might instead describe it as “hectic” or “wet”. Diehard Tame Impala fans would probably describe it as “absolutely the most terrible day of my life, I want my money back”.

For Patrick and I, Friday meant Hinds -> Pond -> L.A. Witch -> Warpaint. Idles was next on the list, but the first few lightning flashes of what I have now affectionately dubbed “Hurricane Impala” prevented us from entering the tent that the English punk band was playing in. We spent the hour between Warpaint and Tame Impala watching lightning light up the sky, illuminating the mountains that surround Lake Perris. We alternated between sitting on a lifeguard stand and laying in one of the small tents that had been erected on the festival grounds, which I can only describe as “texture tents for people on drugs”. This one was made of heavy cloth and featured woven strings of yarn hanging from the peak. Laying down and pawing at them, you felt simultaneously like a baby and like a cat. A baby cat, perhaps. I remembered that there is a word for that – “kitten”. No, I was not on drugs.

Around 10:00, we entered the crowd that had gathered around the main stage for Tame Impala’s headlining set. Lightning continued. Rain started to fall, at first lightly but then heavier. Tame Impala played through their first two songs, shooting off confetti cannons for their third. Afterwards, a festival official stepped on stage and informed us that we would have to evacuate the festival grounds and seek shelter at our campsites, in our vehicles, or at the medical building. Tame Impala was not cancelled, and they would hopefully resume their set at some point that night. Spoiler: they didn’t.

While disappointed fans returned to their campsites to call their Ubers and Lyfts, while trying to salvage their rain-soaked tents and belongings, I was happy as a clam in the coziest makeshift truck bed camping setup ever crafted. Patrick and I spent the next couple hours listening to the rain on the roof of the canopy, punctuated by loud bursts of thunder. Other than a slight issue with the heavy rain finding its way into our cozy paradise (did I mention how cozy it was?), everything was perfect.

The Pass Out and Rally

Where I spent a good chunk of my Saturday night.

I think the reason why our wait time to enter the festival was only three hours rather than, say, five, is that at some point, security stopped checking vehicles as they entered the campground. We returned to the festival around 7:00 and caught the end of Ex-Cult at the Theater Stage. Next we headed to the Block Stage for Desert Daze founder Phil Pirrone’s band, JJUUJJUU. Here’s where things get rough. We planned on returning to the truck for provisions, where I then settled in for a quick nap. Yet, despite my internal protests about possibly missing King Gizzard, exhaustion overtook me, and I passed out.

I awoke sometime around 11:30. Patrick had returned from seeing Slowdive. I was feeling completely fine. I chugged half my cold brew (god bless) and we made it back to the festival in time to see most of King Gizzard’s set, which was everything I’d ever dreamed.

The Characters

Unbeknownst to us, that lightning bolt on the pyramid was some major foreshadowing.

There were some truly memorable people I encountered over those few days. From Chandler, Phil, and Ye, who we never saw after Friday afternoon, to Andy and Laura, who came all the way from Costa Rica for Tame Impala. The girl who proclaimed that Desert Daze was the “funniest festival ever,” when she really meant “funnest,” but probably should have said “most fun.” Patrick’s uncle, who we saw driving one of the shuttles while waiting to enter the festival. The man from Denver who was always utilizing the VIP phone charging stations at the same time I was. Shawn, who finally helped us resolve the issue of Andy’s dead car battery. Bill with the jumper cables. The glowing carrot, the inflatable unicorn, the crowd-surfing panda. The people from Jam in the Van who were about as chill as you’d expect. The guards who didn’t question me using the Artist/Staff entrance to the campsite showers. All of the staff, volunteers, attendees – everyone. Everything. I loved it all. Thank you, Desert Daze.

Written By: Andrea Renney

CRSSD: Fall 2017 Preview

Although new to the music festival scene, CRSSD has made a name for itself among SoCal residents and beyond. It is a truly unique festival that comes around every 6 months, having both a fall and spring show every year. Returning for its fall ’17 run on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, CRSSD has a hard-hitting house lineup sure to give true electronic fans what they’ve been waiting for. Coming from the minds of Fngrs Crssd and Golden Voice (the same organization that does Coachella), CRSSD taps into the underground sounds of house, deep house, tech house and other sub-genres to create an electric and vibrant atmosphere right here in good old San Diego.

Located on the bay of downtown San Diego at Riverfront Park, CRSSD offers amazing views of the city and shores of San Diego. And, the park has a quaint grassy area lined by fountains to give festival goers a one of a kind experience.

In the past, the festival has seen many mogul acts: Empire of the Sun, Lane 8, Justin Martin, Odesza, Miike Snow, Zhu, Flume and Claude Vonstroke, to name a few. Unlike most festivals, however, it is not the big acts that draw the crowds, but the more obscure underground artists that fans don’t get to see often. The fall ’17 linup includes Rufus du Sol, Richie Hawtin, Hot Since 82, Hotel Garuda, Chromeo, and many others.

The best part of the festival, though, is THE PRICE. Now-a-days, it seems that people are willing to pay more and more for music festivals. But, why pay more? CRSSD offers 50+ artists in 2 days for $135.00. When tickets to see just one artist can range from $35 to $100+, it’s safe to say this festival is a real steal.

Unfortunately, the festival is 21 and over, so for those of you who are not of age, I apologize. But, be sure to look into the festival when you are of age!

For those 21 and over who’d like to attend, you can buy tickets and see more of the lineup here.

Personally, this will be my fourth time attending CRSSD – and as the price and lineup are hard to beat, I don’t see myself stopping any time soon. For those of you who will also be attending, stay safe, stay hydrated, and see you there!

Featured Image from crssdfest.com.