How often have you thought about what attending Coachella would be like? Too many to count, right? Well, what we can count is the amount of money that will take you there, and The Sherp has you covered.
When it comes to music festivals, Coachella is arguably the holy grail – an event that pushes independent, emergent music with established musical royalty and achieves pop culture high with every single edition. Of course, because Coachella is so loved and looked up to, it’s bound to get a tad bit heavy on the pocket, especially if you’re not a resident American citizen. That got us thinking about how much a complete Coachella experience would cost you, should you want to attend the festival all the way from India.
So take notes!
1. If you already have your Coachella 2016 pass, you’re in luck because they run out like free icecream. But if you don’t have a pass, you’ll take the cheapest one available considering you might want to save some money right?
Given the festival’s popularity, Coachella begins the sale of its early-bird passes for its coming edition, as soon as the last edition ends. Now, if you’re someone who would like to check out a lineup before buying a pass, there is no way you’ll land yourself a pass. But if you, instead, choose to place blind faith in Coachella’s ability to churn out performances worth the visit, then it would do you good to grab that early bird pass, priced at $375 that is approximately INR 25, 500. But be warned. The presale passes for the Coachella to be held next year are sold out within minutes of being released in June the preceding year, so all eyes on the clock. Luckily Coachella has a payment plan for its presale tickets that begin with a $90 deposit, and regular $50 payments, making it fiscally a lot less a burden.
If you don’t have a pre-sale pass, the General Admission tickets are released as soon as the lineup is announced. Priced at $399, they usually sell out in a matter of a few hours. Should you be in the mood of splurging, you can indulge in the VIP passes, which are further priced at $899. One way to save on your budget would be to hop onto Coachella’s shuttle service, priced at about $60, making it a rather inexpensive mode of transportation.
Yes, the tickets are expensive. Yes, there is the dollar to inr conversion rate to think about – but it would also be a great way to catch all your favourite acts together apart from discovering new music. So, it might be worth the bargain.
Note : The Coachella 2016 passes have sold out, but if you do not want to wish the much talked about Guns N’ roses and LCD Soundsystem reunion and comeback at the festival, you can still snag a pass at ViaGogo here.
2. Traveling from India to America can seem dauntingly expensive only if you book your tickets the last minute.
Coachella provides shuttle services from Los Angeles International Airport for $50, so if you’re looking to fly to LAX, as the airport is commonly known as, then we would advice you to book your tickets well in advance. If you book your ticket today, for the festival due to happen in April, then you would get yourself a round-trip bargain for INR 70,000, and it would be considerably cheaper should you choose to book it well in advance.
3. Camping at Coachella is actually quite affordable, if compared with the actual ticket that is.
Priced at $99, camping at Coachella is a fairly doable exercise, as you receive a decent camping spot measuring 10×15 from the festival. You will have to carry your own tent for that, which, if you ask us, is an investment worth making.
4. Unless, you hike a camp spot!
Coachella has an abundance of community spirit, so if you manage to find space with campers for a night, that would be a pretty good deal. Sure, you will have to bring good vibes to the table, and offering them the niceness of your generosity and company.
5. To truly cut your expenditure, you can find yourself a benefactor off a couch-surfing website or Airbnb in the Indio region who would be happy to host you for free. Of course, they only do this out of generosity and a will for cultural exchange. Book a couch surfer the soonest you can, and make sure you carry them a souvenir from India. Also, do spend time with them and leave a good impression of your home country.
6. You can always carpool to the festival!
The Coachella carpooling community is famous for its eclectic walk-in parade, and you will find many who wouldn’t mind taking you around. You can then carpool from your temporary base to the location, and find carpoolers off apps such as ZimRide, which will hook you up with fellow travelers.
7. Renting a cycle for Coachella would truly decrease your exhaustion as the festival arena can be a massive ground to pass. So give that a go.
8. Food and Drinks at Coachella can be mighty affordable if you go about it right.
Yes, Coachella is known to stock up on gourmet cuisine, given its propensity for the high life, but there is ample amount of affordable food to be found if you wish to cut down on your expenses. Consuming multiple small meals over the course of the three days will cost you somewhere under $50, if you look right. Sure, should you wish to give the experience your all, then go all out at the food section.
Coachella does have multiple water stations, so you will be allowed to carry in an empty water bottle, that you can fill up. Alcohol at the festival, if searched for, can be affordable. Else, if you’re not a camper, you can pregame a ton of it at the cheaper Walmart.
9. If you’ve gone all the way up to California for a music festival, you would want to satisfy your tourist cravings. As any self-respecting traveler will tell you, seeing a place requires not any money. Grab your Lonely Planet and so you can plan your early morning excursions in the most cost-effective way possible. Be a zealot and hitch rides, and always be nice while doing so.
Should you start saving for your ticket and travel, and manage to build a strong cred over couch surfing websites, Coachella can indeed be accomplished on a budget.
With the air fare and the general admission tickets coming up to $1400 or roughly a lakh rupees, the remaining experience in the festival, including camping would cost you somewhere around $350 or INR 24,000 in total at the very maximum, which could be considerably lessened with couch surfing and your own spuriousness. That would mean, you, The Coachella Fan, must save up close to INR 1,50,000 to realise this experience in its entirety. Of course, if this is your one great musical indulgence, there is always the VIP section.
(All images via : Coachella Facebook)