All the Crazy Stuff You Can't Bring to Coachella


Behold! The great unleashing of hipsterdom is just days upon us—the Coachella music festival kicks off this weekend. To make sure you’re prepared, we have the definitive list of “Dos” and Donts” as handed down by your music festival overlords.

I’m actually jealous of whoever goes to this thing. I haven’t been to a music festival since the days when MC Hammer was still a culturally relevant musical icon. While I’d like to get out of the house and check out some live music, every time I even think about going to a big outdoor festival all that goes through my head is OMG look at that goddamn mess out there—where the hell are you supposed to park? You probably have to walk five miles from your car just to get to the damn gate. And I bet they charge you and arm and leg to park way the hell out there, too. Parking agony has literally sucked all the joy out of my life. At least the Internet has all those cat videos.

Coachella is a celebration of the avant-garde/Indie style of music you can still pretend is underground in the record industry. It’s also a really great way for celebrities to make tons of money to do drugs and stand around and occasionally pretend like they’re really into the music show their support for Indie rock. Judging by current prices, you will probably have to max out your Discover card to get tickets for you and your roommate (who promises to pay you back when she gets paid next month). So before you leave, it’s important that you fully understand all the rules you must heed before partying with a bunch of drunks in the middle of a California desert:

  • No Instruments (especially drums!!!)
  • No Knives / Weapons Etc.
  • No Chains / Chain Wallets
  • No Fireworks / Explosives
  • No Blankets
  • No Outside Food & Beverages
  • No Bota Bags
  • No Tents
  • No Flags
  • No Tailgating in Parking Lots
  • No Refunds/Exchanges/Cancellations
  • No Chairs
  • No Video Cameras
  • No Audio Recording Devices
  • No Professional Cameras
  • No Stuffed Animals
  • No Sharpies / Markers
  • No Pets
  • No Drugs & Drug Paraphernalia
  • No Laser Pointers

First of all, yes—fuck drums. This is less about those of you attending Coachella this year and more about my 47-year-old neighbor who, at 2 a.m. every Wednesday, seems to revisit his dreams of becoming the next Tommy Lee. Give it up, dude. You have a great job at Guitar Center that offers you good benefits and the chance to pick up chicks who are trying to “get into music and stuff.” Tommy Lee never had it so good.

But what is this business about no stuffed animals? Are you telling me I can’t passively rock out to the sounds of Lana Del Rey without my beloved Spongebob Squarepants doll? Are you mad, Coachella organizers? He has been with me through every major life event! I told him we were going this weekend. He downloaded like 50 Muse songs in anticipation. Why would you do this to us, dream killers?

“No flags” seriously puts a damper on my plan to unfurl Old Glory when Neutral Milk Hotel busts out their version of Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to Be an American.” I guess Coachella hates everything our forefathers bled and died for.

No Drugs & Drug Paraphernalia.” I appreciate that you’re offering the appearance of effort here, Coachella. That’s adorable.

In case you are starting to get worried, here’s the list of Coachella-approved crap you can bring into the festival:

  • Yes Backpacks (medium)
  • Yes All Ages Welcome
  • Yes Ins & Outs
  • Yes Hats
  • Yes Sun Block
  • Yes Lighters
  • Yes Cell Phones
  • Yes Sunglasses
  • Yes Camelpacks (EMPTY)
  • Yes Dancing Shoes
  • Yes Cigarettes
  • Yes Small Beach Towel
  • Yes Ages 5 & Under Free
  • Yes Fanny Packs
  • Yes Digital Cameras (Non-Pro)
  • Yes Film Cameras (Non-Pro)
  • Yes GoPros (no poles or extenders)

FANNY PACKS? You can’t ban goddamn fanny packs? Here’s a suggestion, Coachella. I offer you a trade—stuffed animals for fanny packs. Think about this for next year. I’m 100 percent convinced this will make for an all-around happier festival going experience for all those involved.

Also, remember if you’re heading out to experience the best in Indie music—don’t try and bring a “professional camera.” Unless it’s a ridiculously expensive GoPro camera which is totally, 100 percent fine.

So take heed music lovers and beware the evil gate trolls who will confiscate your blankets and lawn chairs. Have fun this weekend, but please—try and do it without using a Sharpie. We all know how badly that can turn out.

Image via Getty.

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