Here is a breakdown of the rules at Coachella and the truth behind which rules are strictly enforced and which rules can be bent or broken.
- NO Instruments
Seriously, as good as your cover of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is no one wants to hear it.
NO Knives / Weapons Etc.
It’s a festival, not Fight Club. Leave the switchblades and brass knuckles at home, killer. Typically the first checkpoint is more of a weapons check. If you have anything that would be considered a danger, it will not make past that checkpoint. They are QUITE thorough with the pat downs and bag checks.
NO Chains / Chain Wallets
Chain Wallets? Is this something we really need to address? When was the last time those things were popular? Correct answer: Never.
NO Fireworks / Explosives
Coachella makes sure we are well taken care of as far as light and fireworks shows are concerned. Plus who wants to be the guy that has 160k people mad at him because he burnt down the festival?
No blankets but yes to towels. As long as your “towel” is of modest size no one is going to make a fuss. Also an option: The Snuggie. It’s not a blanket because it has head and arm holes!
NO Outside Food & Beverages
They are hardcore no outside food/drink. You can take your food/drink past the first checkpoint but you will be asked to dispose of/chug it once you reach the second. Even if you have a sealed bottle of water (or are trying to bring in vodka masquerading as water) you will be asked to pour it out. But feel free to bring an empty bottle as there are filling stations all around the festival grounds(for water, not vodka). Typically if you have a sealed pack of gum, that is allowed in as well.
NO Bota Bags
Please do not bring your goatskin to fill with water. Also please refrain from attempting to turn water into wine.
Except in the campgrounds. Feel free to tent your little heart out in the campground.
It SAYS no flags, but without fail, every year I see people with flags. I’m not sure how they do it, but for the most part people don’t wave them around, they just wrap them around their shoulders, so no harm.
NO Tailgating in Parking Lots
Please remember that this is a festival and not a college football game.
I know, it must suck to be stuck going to Coachella, sigh, we will be brave and soldier on for the greater good.
But there is plenty of soft green grass everywhere!
NO Video Cameras
Of course if your phone or camera takes video, that’s OK. Just no camcorder type things. If you end up having too good of a time and find yourself needing a new camera, check outfor the best options.
NO Audio Recording Devices
If you have a dicta-phone, please leave it at home. Talking to your future self because your present self doesn’t have any friends is alarming to those around you.
NO Professional Cameras
No SLR’s or any cameras with a detachable lens. There are a TON of options out for small form factor point and shoot cameras with lots of megapixels and up to 40X optical zoom without a detachable lens, so you can document what a sweaty mess you are in excruciating detail.
NO Stuffed Animals
No to stuffed animals but yes to backpacks – want to bring a stuffed animal? There are ALWAYS people with plush backpacks…and people chasing them around wanting to touch them.
NO Sharpies / Markers
Lets go with “no defacing property”. Don’t make it so we can’t have nice things!
If you can’t live without your cocka-shitz or poodle-doodle for more than 3 days you should try to find a pet friendly hotel or house in Palm Springs and leave it there while you party.
NO Drugs & Drug Paraphernalia
It SAYS no drugs, and I have definitely seen people get busted with substance and paraphernalia while in line. They dispose of your substance and cut off your wristband so its pretty much Game Over on the awesome weekend you had planned. I’m sure that some people are super sneaky and have secret shoe compartments or have a flap of skin that conceals a specially implanted stash bag, but is it really worth getting caught with drugs and missing out on the whole festival?