7 Things You’ll Only Know If You’ve Been To Coachella

coachella, pictures, ferris wheel, hotel, coachella fashion, street style

by Deanne Oliver-Evans |
Published on

My first ever time to California and I went big – I’m talking a long weekend in the desert for Coachella festival, followed by a more restorative week in Los Angeles to recover from all the merriments that Coachella has become infamous for.

Surprisingly easy to get to (trust me!), I took the new flight path from Gatwick straight to LAX with Norwegian Airlines on their super sleek Dreamliner, pretty plush considering it costs a fraction of the others out there and is designed to help with jet lag… which worked a treat. It meant I could go straight from the airport to the desert and play a 1am set at the Hard Rock Hotel - a pretty rock and roll start to the weekend, which set the tone for the rest of the trip.

I’d heard so many stories, seen so many pictures and had always wanted to be a part of the coolest sunshine festival - but my trip was a pretty last minute affair and I wish I’d done a few more squats before I hit the desert.

coachella, pictures, ferris wheel, hotel, coachella fashion, street style
©Deanne Oliver-Evans, getty

The glamour, oh the glamour – the butt cheeks, the side boobs, the tans, the overwhelming wealth of this seemingly very young crowd - the cars they drove and the conversations overheard were a far cry from the crowds at Glastonbury fighting their way through the mud in the rain to watch the next band. In fact, it’s not really all about the music at Coachella (but in case you were wondering, Sia and her dancers were incredible). Here's what you need to know...

coachella, pictures, ferris wheel, hotel, coachella fashion, street style
©Deanne Oliver-Evans, getty

No ID, No Entry

The festival isn’t an easy one to get into. You’ll be in queues, for a lot of the time and you need to take identification with you everywhere, and even though it’s flattering to be asked for ID every five minutes at the age of 33, it does get kind of annoying after a while.

Drinking Rules

There is no walking around with a cider in each hand, it’s all very civilized in the desert - you drink your drinks in a designated area, a bit like sheep. Oh, and you are only allowed to order two at a time, none of this buying rounds and grabbing shots for your new festival family, oh no.


The celeb spotting is one of the highlights at Coachella but then of course you know this – Jesse Pinkman (does anyone call him by his real name anymore?), Kylie Jenner, Jared Leto, Karlie Kloss (who looked amazing by the way) and so many more were roaming the VIP areas of the festival – the main area to be. A word of advice is to go the extra mile and get these passes; the toilets are nicer, the outfits are better, and it’s one of the places you can actually watch an act or DJ with a drink in hand!

After Parties = Uber

You have the pool parties, the private villa parties and the after parties – there’s just so much going on in this vast expanse of desert, it’s hard to keep up. From Poppy Delevingne’s pool party which celebrated the Solid & Striped collection, to Revolve hosting a weekend of celeb snapping in a private estate, Joe Jonas playing a set in someone’s garden for Universal and the epic Neon Carnival which draws the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Rhianna until the wee hours.

coachella, pictures, ferris wheel, hotel, coachella fashion, street style
©Deanne Oliver-Evans, getty

Want in? Then be prepared. You must be on the guest list to these sought after affairs and doing the groundwork before heading out definitely pays off. I spent half of my time (and money) in an Uber - the easiest and most popular way to get around, but never underestimate the size of the desert. It is SO vast and getting from one party to the other can be a bit of a vibe killer.

The Fashion

Naturally I took too many clothes, because you know, Coachella. But I didn’t have time to complete the three or four outfit changes that most of the girls seemed to do, but fringed waistcoats, frayed denim, a good hat, shorter than short shorts and biker boots are a must. If you do want to be at the centre of your own fashion show, there are lockers on site the size of a small wardrobe, so knock yourself out!

coachella, pictures, ferris wheel, hotel, coachella fashion, street style
©Deanne Oliver-Evans, getty

My hat was the Brixton wide brim straw fedora from ASOS, £55 and I literally lived in it. The rest of my suitcase consisted of a fringed waistcoat, H&M Loves Coachella range, tie dye dress, ASOS, leather jacket (it gets cold in the evenings when the sun goes down), Levi's, biker boots, Topsop, slogan tees (it’s health health health in California and these are fab), House of Violet, pool party swimsuit, Laurie Nouchkaand jewellery from Apples & Figs.

The Beauty Saviour

The desert sun gets hotter than hot – I stocked up on a big bag of Clarins products, with every factor going. My skin savors were their brand new range of Boosters which are great for reviving the skin after a long flight, repairing after a day in the sun and detoxing after a night of partying. Plus staying hydrated is key and my go to for this was Jax Coco.

Post-Festival Detox

Taking time post-festival is definitely recommended and I headed back to the cool Farmer's Daughter Hotel, which is the perfect chilled haven after the hedonism of the festival… and I wasn’t alone in my thinking, as Alex Turner was here too after performing with the Last Shadow Puppets at the festival.

coachella, pictures, ferris wheel, hotel, coachella fashion, street style
©Deanne Oliver-Evans, getty

Get in the Coachella spirit whether you're flying out to the desert, or stuck in Blighty with my Coachella SoundCloud:

Follow Deanne on Twitter @1blondeambition, Instagram @deanneoliverevans


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