Beyond the musical acts, the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, held in April at Empire Polo Club in Indio, has morphed into something of a cultural phenomenon, with fantastic food and high-wattage stars showing up in their best desert boho outfits. Artists also present large works, making the event a feast for the eyes as well as the ears—which is part of the reason why nearly 200,000 have attended the annual festival in recent years.
The musical lineup for the two-weekend event is typically announced in January, when passes also go on sale—and they sell out fast. (One act already penciled in for 2018: Beyoncé, who had to rain-check her 2017 performance due to her pregnancy). Not only can you buy actual tickets for the festival in January, but you can also book on-site camping spots, VIP dinners, or even the plush Safari Tent lodgings; a range of Palm Springs area hotels also do pass-plus-lodging packages.
If you didn’t score tickets but still want in on the festival atmosphere, there are plenty of events throughout the Greater Palm Springs area during both Coachella weekends. Visit Palm Springs has a list of events—ranging from camel rides to architecture exhibits—throughout April for ideas outside of the festival, including the legendary pool parties, like recent ones with DJs, themed brunches, and other activities hosted by the hip, rainbow-colored Saguaro Resort and Spa Palm Springs and the trendy Ace Hotel & Swim Club.