Are VIP Tickets to Coachella Worth It?

Have you ever wondered about doing Coachella in style... VIP style? "Screw this general admission crap. I'm going all out this year." All out, meaning about double the price of general admission(it's actually $799 including fees for 2013 and $150 for VIP parking)? Anyway, I interviewed a Coachella VIP veteran to see what the hell is the difference, and how much better it really is in the VIP area... and this is what he had to say:

*Update: come to find out, my friend actually got Artists passes, so this interview is much more luxurious than it sounds. I attended VIP recently - and my take is at the end of this post.

So what's so good about Coachella VIP?

More shade, much nicer water fountains… They opened up the Fairgrounds' pond so you can chill and get under trees… definitely more relaxing… Although, it is getting over run lately, that's probably why they opened the pond, which was reserved for just owners of the polo field. At night, the trees and area is lit up nicely so it feels Summery and warm.

VIP also has more food choices.

Is the food free?
Nope… but they have sponsored drinks, like free Redbull and Vitamin Water. But every year is different so you don't know before hand what's going to be free.

It's also dusty as hell. You should bring a handkerchief to cover your mouth and nose. If it's not dusty you are covered in mud, because the tires will be splashing mud all over you.

I've heard the bathrooms are much better?
Yes, bathrooms are much better. They have the regular port-a-potties, but also a few have sinks and running water, the more upscale port-a-potties.

I heard there is backstage passes too, what's the difference?
Well, there's a VIP area and then there's an artist VIP area, and that's for the people who are playing, family, groupies. you know.

Press gets them… Photographers too.

How many wristbands do you need to wear?
I think I had four by the end of the night. They hand out special wristbands for the big bands like Daft Punk or whoever the headliner is… These big bands have secret wristbands and no one, not even the band, knows what kind of wristband (like cow printed dots, or dragon something) they are before hand.

Because of security reasons?
Yeah that's what I'm guessing because of security and crowd control; to make it safer. Sometimes they only give you 10 minutes before the bands come on.

Do you get your own personal golf carts? To go from stage to stage?
They are very difficult to come by, and you're constantly giving people rides, like Paris Hilton. If you get one, guard it with your life. It is best if you get a mascot, like from a thrift store and put it on, to claim your cart. There are a lot of carts back there and you can lose yours easily, plus people will steal them, yes... Lock it, take your key with you, because it will definitely be gone for sure.

Is it cool being onstage when someone like Prince is playing?
Its awesome, the only place I'd want to be.

The artists... can you randomly chat them up, or are they pretty much standoffish?
Nah they're cool… bands are just there chillin' out, drinking, wanting to have a good time when they're not playing… They're just like you and me, talking about what other bands what they want to see… I've never seen any band turn a fan down.

You say you've run into Paris Hilton, do you run into a lot of Celebs backstage?
Well, all the bands drive golf carts so you'll see them whiz by you all the time.… Occasionally, when some band members might have to be onstage soon, they'll just jump on your cart for a ride if you're headed that way.

Who was the coolest you've met?
Orbital was cool, they invited us over for beers. If you meet a band and relate to them they sometimes invite you over, definitely a better place to network, more so than the regular field.

Would you ever go to Coachella as general admission now that you've experienced VIP?

Picture above from YoGabbaGabba! Production Blog

Update: Part 2011

VIP Pass does not equal God Pass

So, I attended VIP for Coachella 2011, and it wasn't all that my friend built it up to be... They had the same bathrooms as general admission and the VIP by the Mainstage was pretty damn crowded. However, the getting in and out is great... as the walk to the car isn't that far. And there's a lot more to look at (if you know what i mean). The downside is that there are different levels of VIP (which my friend has), so don't think you can go everywhere you choose, especially backstage... you need a different wristband (Artist pass). However, with that said... once, you go VIP, yeah... like my friend said, I don't know if I can do general admission again (though, they are starting to oversell it).

So Are VIP Passes Worth it?
Well, if you have the money.

Now, Artist Passes... that's a whole other level.


irenex said...

can you clarify the details about the golf carts? I thought only the Safari Tent peeps had access to golf carts...? There is someone on Craig's List who is willing to trade two VIP wristbands for one of my extra camping passes, and I'm wondering if it's worth the exchange... The only part that really interests me is the golf carts, so if you could elaborate, I would really appreciate it! Thanks!

Unknown said...

Yes, unfortunately, the golf carts are strictly for the bands, vendors and employees of Golden Voice and you would need special wrist bands to use them and also different wrist bands for the backstage. There is lots of wristbands that are pretty heavily monitored so although it would be fun it would be a heck of challenge to get a golf cart and keep it for the day. It may be easier to met up and make friends with some band members that would take you around. I've seen that happen.

Unknown said...

I am selling EIGHT (8) VIP wristbands to the SOLD OUT 2011 Coachella Festival for all 3 days!

VIP rocks! Here's why:
FULL BAR! Not only beer and wine!
Separate VIP area near the main stage!
Nice VIP bathrooms with individual stalls
Inevitable celebrity sightings!
Special food vendors!
Comfortable lounge areas with couches and chairs!
Elevated area with a side view of the main stage!
Second VIP area at the Sahara Tent!!



Anonymous said...

Can you give more details on what exactly a press pass gets you? Can you go backstage with a press pass? parking. On stage? press pit right below stage?