It’s almost upon us: our annual trek to the California desert, where we feast on the musical banquet that is the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, headlined this year by Jay-Z, Gorillaz and Muse. You already know who we’re willing to suffer the sweltering heat for. But, as you might suspect, Coachella also enjoys the regular attendance of Hollywood stars, who take the short drive (or, ahem, shorter helicopter flight) from L.A.. We’ve been wondering just what the weekend is like for the stars — so we asked Whitney Port, star of MTV’s The City and now an up-and-coming fashion designer, to walk us through just how she handles Coachella weekend, and what wisdom she has to impart to everyone crossing the desert (VIP-style or not). Heed her advice on mimosa intake, and see her full survival guide below:
Whitney’s Coachella Survival Guide:
As an experienced Coachella-goer, I wanted to share some important survival tips with all of you first-timers.
Tip #1: Load up on the sunscreen, people! I got crazy burnt my first year, and I’ve never worn anything less than SPF 30 every year after. Also, wear a hat or sunglasses, because the sun is really strong until about 7:30pm.
Tip #2: Wear really comfy shoes — sneakers are definitely best. Feet get really sweaty. NO SANDALS! Your feet will be covered in dirt within the first hour.
Tip #3: Setting up meeting places and times with friends is key to Coachella survival. It’s really easy to get lost, and cell phone reception is not great.
Tip #4: A sheet is definitely a good thing to bring, and it’s easy to fit in your backpack. You’ll be doing a lot of walking around so it’s always nice to have something to sit on.
Tip #5: For your favorite acts, make sure to get to the stage super early. The same goes for when you’re seeing shows in the dance tent, because it fills up really quickly.
Tip #6: Don’t wear anything you don’t mind getting really sweaty or spilled on. If you do, chances are you won’t be wearing them again.
Tip #7: If you are hungry, eat spicy pizza. It’s worth the $7.
Tip #8: Pace yourself, don’t start drinking mimosas at 3pm. Also, drink a LOT of water — it’s good to rotate between alcohol and water to stay hydrated.
Tip #9: Bring a lightweight hoodie — it gets cold once the sun goes down.
Tip #10: This year, since there are “ins and outs”, don’t be afraid to get there early, then leave for a pool/food break, and then come back strong for the evening sets.
Hope my Coachella Survival Guide was helpful to all of you. Coachella will be one of the best weekends of your life, so enjoy every minute of it. As a little bonus, Idolator asked me what top five shows I’m looking forward to most. I thought long and hard about it… here goes (in no particular order)!
1. Jay-Z – Jay-Z is king. From his cameos to his albums, he dominates. His lyrics are now catchphrases ingrained into our culture. His shows usually cost $100+, so seeing him at Coachella is a deal not to miss.
2. La Roux – I like La Roux’s style as much as her songs. Can’t wait to hear “Bulletproof” live!
3. Vampire Weekend – These guys kind of called it early. Their look and sound is now driving the current indie movement, as well as Urban Outfitters’ Spring campaign. East Coast beach is in.
4. Miike Snow – Miike Snow (aka Bloodshy & Avant) produced Britney’s “Toxic”. Needless to say, they know how to make things sound epic. Expect nothing less from their danceable sets.
5. MGMT – “Electric Feel” was probably the song of the decade for many of you. Their new album is more beachy but I’m hoping it will really shine through from the Coachella Stage.
For those of you attending Coachella, what artists are you most excited to see?
Whitney will be posting plenty of Coachella pics on her blog, and you can catch her on the tube when the second season of The City premieres April 23. See you in the desert.