Having gone to Coachella for 7 years now, I've finally figured out the science on how to travel to the festival, attend the festival, and get the most out of being at the festival, in the desert.
There are so many different ways to do Coachella, a popular and youthful way being camping. This year they were even more extravagant with the camping then previous years including a roller rink, an organic farmers market, and even an arcade. The campground tickets sell out almost as quickly as the festival tickets do, but those who have been before and mastered it know to buy their tickets fast! This is my son's second year of camping and he tells me that he learned from last year's mistakes, and had an amazing time this year.
Another way to do Coachella is to stay in one of the many hotels, condo complexes or rented houses in Indio, Palm Desert, or Palm Springs, and make the daily commute to the festival. You are forced to travel through traffic and dust, find a free parking spot (the festival provides free parking), and then walk a mile or two before you reach the entrance of the festival.
The way I like to do Coachella is to stay either at La Quinta resort or at a house rented in PGA West. Both are close to the festival, but La Quinta's history, beauty, and 41 swimming pools lend a hand to the Coachella experience. Shuttle Passes are a must. They run very often throughout the entire day and night; making you independent from the rest of your crew if they are holding you back or if they have a different agenda.
I know that it is sacrosanct to arrive as early as possible all 3 days, but I will admit, I do enjoy relaxing poolside during the day or seeing friends at the many parties that are held in the desert over Coachella weekend. Some of the standard parties that are always fun are the Scion, Adidas, and Anthem parties. I try to arrive in the late afternoon, once the weather has cooled down, the breeze is in full effect, and I can enjoy the music and all the running around.
This year I had 7 different acts whom were good friends of mine playing Coachella so it was very special for them... and me -- I truly enjoyed the artist's compound...
My favorite acts this year were Duran Duran, who pulled out all the stops. They played hit after hit and their live set was indistinguishable from the original recorded ones, I love it when a song played live sounds exactly as it supposed to. Duran Duran gave a peak performance almost 30 years after their first gigs.
Kanye harnessed opera and ballet for his opening song using 35 ballet dancers in his intro, and the only word to describe Magnetic Man in their North American debut, is magnetic. The entire audience singing along to their hit single I Need Air.
Caspa and Rod Azlan, the DJ/MC dubstep duo, almost literally blew the crowd away with their set of rhythmic harmonies and heavy bass. And a very worthy mention goes out to Andy C a true drum and bass legend.
This year, the festival was more organized and more beautiful than ever with the expansion of the grounds and the second VIP section. A lot of my friends from the UK, who play festivals all over the world, were wowed by the grandeur, spectacle, attitude and cleanliness of the festival to which I always replied, Glastonbury might be the mother of all festivals, but Coachella is the Rolls Royce.