If you’re not sure what to bring to the Stagecoach Festival this weekend April 27-30 in the Coachella Valley of California, here is a list to get you started as you pack whether you’re coming from LA or Australia.
- Wristband. Your Stagecoach wristband is the gateway to everything. Remember, there are no paper tickets. Lost wristbands will not be replaced. The festival is sold out and it’s unlikely you will be able to buy a replacement.
- Cash. If you want to be able to eat, drink, and be merry at the festival, you must have cash as not all of the food stands will be able to accept credit cards. There will be ATMs on the festival grounds, but why stand in line at the festival when you an be enjoying the music.
- Sunscreen. In order to make it through 3 days of walking from band to band in the sun, you must wear sunscreen. SPF 30 or higher is recommended. Don’t forget to reapply throughout the day. It’s also a great way to meet people. Offer some red-faced cutie sunscreen while waiting for the next band to start; even better, offer to put it on for them.
- Hat. It wouldn’t be Stagecoach without a hat. Men often don’t like to wear sunscreen, but wearing a hat, now that’s a point of pride whether it’s a cowboy hat or a baseball cap. For girls, hats are fun and fashionable accessories.
- Water bottle. Yes, many items are restricted. You can’t bring a water bottle in from outside, but once you buy one inside the venue, hang on to it so you can refill it. There are “hydration stations” where you can refill that water bottle. Staying hydrated is an important part of being able to make it through three grueling days of the festival – whether it’s hot or not.
- Small beach towel. If you are wearing shorts and have a large bag you plan to carry around, be sure to throw in the towel. It will make sitting on grass a bit more comfortable.
- Long pants. Take some sage advice. It’s far easier to roll pants up during the day to be cooler and roll them down at night to be warmer than it is to wear shorts and freeze at night, though wearing boots does help a little in terms of staying warm in short shorts or short dresses.
- Jacket. Temperatures will be cooler this year according to reports on Weather.com. Even though the 50s don’t sound very cold, it becomes colded after several hours of standing in it.
- Umbrella. Don’t want to get hat head? Throw a collapsible umbrella in your bag to get some shade anywhere you can.
- Sunglasses. The desert is bright and shiny. Wear shades.
- Lighter and cigarettes. As if the grass weren’t enough to make one sneeze and wheeze, cigarettes are allowed. Lighters are also welcome, and sometimes you want to lift one high. You might just use a cell phone app lighter.
- Camera. As long as it doesn’t have a removable lens, you can bring it to post your memories. Honestly, with cell phones all having cameras nowadays, it’s almost better to leave the camera at home, but some people are old fashioned and are planning to bring film cameras.
- Comfortable boots. You’ll be standing on your poor dogs all day. Think old, comfy, and broken-in shoes. Anything cute will get totally dirty, so if they’re cute make sure they’re polishable. You don’t have to wear boots, but, why not wear boots at Stagecoach?
- Earplugs. Particularly for the larger stages where you might end up in front of a pile of speakers, you need hearing protection. As the day progresses, the music gets louder. You can’t tell because your hearing adjusts to protect itself some, but you still need some extra help.
- Medications. Don’t forget your meds, whatever they may be. Pay special attention to your hydration level if you are taking any kind of diuretic medication, such as some blood pressure medications.
The desert weather can be unpredictable. The first weekend of the Coachella Festival, April 13-15 dropped to cooler temperatures than predicted. And the second weekend of the festival was blazing hot with temperatures in the triple digits, though initial reports in early April were cooler.
The Stagecoach Festival promises to be somewhere in between these two extremes. Check out the full weekend weather report here.
Stay tuned to the LA Rock Music Examiner for coverage of the Stagecoach Festival from Indio, CA in pursuit of the country roots of rock ‘n’ roll. Rock ‘n’ rollers Chris Isaak and Sheryl Crow have gone a bit country and will be performing at the 2012 Stagecoach Festival this weekend.