15 Things I Learned at Coachella

Ed Carrasco
Coachella ended. What did we learn?

2014 was a year of Coachella firsts for me -- it was my first time camping and not going as a member of the press. It was a series of highs and lows all bundled up into one fun, yet exhausting weekend. I'm still coughing up dust, but I can say this was one of the most fun Coachellas I've attended yet.

I learn something new every year I go to Coachella, so here are my main takeaways from my fourth year at the festival.

1.) Take care of yourself
This is easier said than done, I know. In spite of layers of sunscreen and multiple trips to the water refill station, I got sunburned and dehydrated. The dehydration didn't seem that bad until I developed heat rash, so I spent Sunday more or less looking like a leper. Not cute.

During a visit to a first aid station, an EMT reminded me that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Getting worn out after the festival is all but inevitable, so do what you can to eat right and get some sleep.

2.) Security really doesn't care that much
Saturday morning, I shared a breakfast table with a woman who checked bags at Coachella in previous years. The first question on my mind seemed obvious -- "What do you do if you find drugs?" The answer kind of surprised me -- she told me that the festival's policy is to ask guests to discard of their drugs. Police don't get involved unless someone gets combative or refuses.

There have been reports of people having sex out in the open at the festival. Friends (ladies too), have peed in a corner when the bathroom lines are too long and the porta potties get rank toward the end of the night.

Speaking of drugs -- there's weed everywhere.

3.) Don't dress to impress
Fashion blogs may encourage you to sport your best boho chic or offensive Native American headdress, but those adorable wedges will not fare well at the festival. The Coachella grounds are huge, and even with tennis shoes, my feet get blistered every year. Plus, it's pretty hot, so dress practically.

4.) Bandanas are a lifesaver
Dressing like a train robber is the best way to block dust from getting stuck in your nose. On Saturday, things got pretty dusty, so a bandana was a lifesaver.

Bandanas also work well to cool down -- every time I refilled my water bottle, I soaked my bandana and stuck it to my upper back. It felt amazing.

5.) Take advantage of free stuff
One of my favorite new additions to Coachella this year was the Sephora tent. Beauty guides either did your makeup or walked you through the perfect smoky eye or highlight and contour -- all for free. Better yet, the tent is air conditioned. The Fruttare tent near the main stage offers free popsicles while supplies last.

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Not to mention, donning a headdress at a music is generally an offensive thing.

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