Lonely Planet Writer

Coachella Arts and Music Festival makes the desert bloom this weekend

Coachella, one of the USA’s most popular festivals, starts this weekend in the desert just outside Palm Springs, California. So good they repeat it the following weekend, Coachella has been drawing artists, musicians and, of course, fans from around the world to the Empire Polo Club to enjoy live music and art installations since 1999.

Coachella music festival.
Coachella music festival. Image by Malcolm Murdoch / CC BY-SA 2.0

This year’s headliners include the reunited LCD Sound System and, equally reunited, Guns N’ Roses. Also on the bill are DJ Calvin Harris and pop singer Ellie Goulding. Taking a selfie by some of the amazing sculptures is obligatory.

Away from the music and art, beer gardens keep the party atmosphere going (though you can’t take your drinks outside the beer gardens) while top chefs from LA and beyond, plus plenty of food stalls, set up shop so festival-goers can tuck into top grub to boost flagging energy levels.

Onsite camping is available for those who want to stay close to the action, but many choose to sleep in Palm Springs with its retro-cool vibe and classy hotels and bars, taking the shuttle to and from the festival each day.

General admission tickets are sold out but VIP ones for the second weekend and some all-inclusive travel packages (hotel plus festival plus shuttle) are still available.