FESTIVAL

Coachella

Most recently held: April 14 – 23, 2017

Ratings, reviews, general tips, and safety tips.

What is this?

RollSafe is about drug education and harm reduction. Many people use drugs at festivals. So we collected reviews from people about how safe they felt their experience at Coachella was. Our hope is that the organizers will use this information to make Coachella 2018 safer for attendees.

Overall rating

4.3/5 ★★★★☆ based on 35 attendee reviews

Safety at Coachella

2.4/5 ★★☆☆☆ based on 35 attendee reviews

Reviews of Safety at Coachella

By on May 12, 2017

1/5 ★☆☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

under covers and threat of wristband cutting pushes drug use even further underground and makes people less likely to seek help (emts knew this and assured me they wouldn't report me bc i was obviously scared of being kicked out)

What made Coachella safe for you?

took trip to emt tent bc first time rolling and i had panic attack, they did not care about drugs/LE, just gave me tips on what to expect, safety, and released me to have a fun and safe night

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

More openly available help for people who are tripping or even ODing, make clear they won't be booted unless minors

By on May 12, 2017

5/5 ★★★★★

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Expand water stations - the station by the sahara is most popular and need to be expanded a little

What made Coachella safe for you?

Plenty of staff around and on site

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

-

By on May 12, 2017

2/5 ★★☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Sahara Tent needs to be cut off when it reaches a certain capacity OR they need to ditch the enclosure.

What made Coachella safe for you?

Cheap Water

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

More water refill stations, put a walkway down the middle of Main/Outdoor for EMTs to get in/out like at Ultra, EDC, etc...

By on May 12, 2017

3/5 ★★★☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Water refil stations/ wrongly located on the map

What made Coachella safe for you?

More things with AC (new tent and the antarctic)

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

Drug testing tents (dance safe)

By on May 12, 2017

2/5 ★★☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

"Dont do drugs" instead of "Do them safely, find out more" mindset.

What made Coachella safe for you?

Places to cool down and rest, if wayer stations were crowded they would hand out watter for free (no electrolytes tho)

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

Have a drug testing booth. Save lives. Educate people. Ex: My friend did 480mg MDMA day one and 800mg day 2. He wouln't believe me about harm.

By on May 12, 2017

2/5 ★★☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

VERY FEW AND VERY CROWDED FREE WATER REFILL STATIONS! Highly crowded, not enough shade

What made Coachella safe for you?

Availability of air conditioned tents, $2 water bottles

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

-

By on May 12, 2017

4/5 ★★★★☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Not enough water stations

What made Coachella safe for you?

Lots of paramedics

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

More water, expand the stages

By on May 12, 2017

1/5 ★☆☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Removing the jive joint. Increased hostility from security inside fest and camp areas.

What made Coachella safe for you?

Nothing

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

Stop treating people using drugs as criminals and instead help keep people safe.

By on May 12, 2017

1/5 ★☆☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Water lines were long, vendors were selling out of water everywhere on weekend 1, vendors were selling out of powerade weekend 1, I saw no test kits or dancesafe or anything.

What made Coachella safe for you?

Honestly I didn't see anything. The art provided some shade and the Antarctic and Sonora were air conditioned but they weren't there for harm reduction.

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

Having test kits for sale or test tents would really help prevent overdoses or taking the wrong thing. It really won't do any harm, it's not promoting drug use or anything... Just safety. Similarly to how giving condoms out is not promoting sex, just preventing disease and pregnancy. It will help everyone.

By on May 12, 2017

2/5 ★★☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

CHILDREN SHOULDNT BE ALLOWED IN COACHELLA.

What made Coachella safe for you?

The EMT tents were amazing and super fast getting people out of crowds that were overheating and or tripping too hard

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

-

By on May 12, 2017

3/5 ★★★☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Some areas were extremely crowded

What made Coachella safe for you?

A number of shaded areas, free water stations, low water bottle prices

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

Maybe host a small tent where people can come together and relax for however long they need

By on May 12, 2017

1/5 ★☆☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

No drug testing. No acknowledgement of the high likelihood of attendee' consumption of drugs.

What made Coachella safe for you?

I saw many medical personnel walking the grounds. Med stations were easily visible.

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

Provide free confidential drug testing as well as those "safe surrender" containers that Insomniac provides prior to entering their festivals.

By on May 12, 2017

3/5 ★★★☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Didnt see any info relating to drug harm reduction

What made Coachella safe for you?

Water, bathrooms, and the layout of the stages with decent accessibility

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

More drug info and aisle access in case of emergencies

By on May 12, 2017

1/5 ★☆☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

NOT ENOUGH WATER FILL STATIONS! There were SEVERAL on the venue map that did NOT exist! NOT ENOUGH SHADE! Not enough misters for an extra 25000 people! ICE TRUCKS WERE SCARCELY SEEN IN CAMPING LOT 4, NEAREST ICE WAS 3/8s of a Mile Away!!! More shade & cool down areas in the camping lots to allow ppl to cool down without walking 1/2 mile into venue in 100+ degree heat!

What made Coachella safe for you?

Waters are $2. But lines for that are long, due to the obvious lack of both fill stations and purchasable water stands.

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

"Adding 25000 people and only 2-3 more water fill stations is absurd, dangerous, and neglectful. Why risk lawsuits from families of dead young people that underestimated the heat, lack of shade, lack of water, and the lack of appropriately trained HARM REDUCTION PERSONELL that (for example) RollSafe offers! I would personally feel much more comfortable seeing uniformed teams of RollSafe members wandering the Sahara tent, checking in on the people who need it most, and that are fearful of retaliation if they go to the paramedics. IT HAS BEEN 3 YEARS SINCE I HAVE SEEN AN ACT IN THE SAHARA TENT BECAUSE OF THE CONDITIONS CREATED BY THE HOT, CROWDED, AND DANGEROUS ENVIRONMENT THAT GOLDENVOICE HAS COME TO ACCEPT AS PART OF THE RISK OF HAVING THIS STAGE. How many deaths will it take? Will Coachella be the next HARD Summer? Its on GOLDENVOICE at this point."

By on May 12, 2017

3/5 ★★★☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

I think the crowding in Sahara (where there is probably more drug use) is getting dangerous. Perhaps they should have medics right by that tent or ways to easily part that crowd.

What made Coachella safe for you?

I've always appreciated that coachella has mad water free and bottled water super cheap. In a festival that is in the desert this is necessary.

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

-

By on May 12, 2017

1/5 ★☆☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

There were no harm reduction things.

What made Coachella safe for you?

Nothing

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

Cool it with the under cover cops, allow testing kits.

By on May 12, 2017

4/5 ★★★★☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Can't find one really besides heat but that isn't on them

What made Coachella safe for you?

Antarctic, Yuma, Sonora, and in general car camping. Water prices

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

Empahsis med tents as a safe place for people to actually get help. Some people still think they will get busted or kicked out if they go there while tripping or rolling

By on May 12, 2017

1/5 ★☆☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

shade and cool down areas; testing; warning signs

What made Coachella safe for you?

cheap and free water supply; misters

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

there's got to be a way to legally provide test kits.

By on May 12, 2017

1/5 ★☆☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Being in denial that people will do drugs and will bring drugs in

What made Coachella safe for you?

Increased the number of water stations

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

Know your crowds are using. Make it safe for them by allowing testing.

By on May 12, 2017

2/5 ★★☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

No ground patrol to check up on people, unless under covers count

What made Coachella safe for you?

Water stations

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

More water stations, test kits available on sight

By on May 12, 2017

4/5 ★★★★☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

could be better spread throughout the fest i.e. a misting station over near the outdoor stage or something so that you dont have to go across the entire grounds to get to one of these places

What made Coachella safe for you?

Having a lot of air conditioning and misting

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

make med tents a police free safe haven for people to come to get help in feeling better and not dying so they dont worry about getting arreted for being on drugs

By on May 12, 2017

1/5 ★☆☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Not enough shade or cool down areas, no signs for drug prevention or safety at all

What made Coachella safe for you?

-

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

More cool down stations, water stations

By on May 12, 2017

5/5 ★★★★★

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Not very much shade available. During middle of the day it was hard to get out of the sun. Shaded areas were very crowded. drinks with electrolytes are hard to come by inside the festival so I was forced to smuggle pedialyte into Coachella instead of buying it on site.

What made Coachella safe for you?

Water was easily accessible throughout the festival and lots of vendors gave out ice to put in camebaks. Would prefer for electrolyte enhanced drink options though.

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

make supplements available (either free or sell them) inside the festival so that MDMA use can be enjoyed more safely. Education on how important supplementation can be would also be useful.

By on May 12, 2017

3/5 ★★★☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Not sure

What made Coachella safe for you?

Not sure

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

Please give face masks away to reduce getting upper respiratory infection like how I got

By on May 12, 2017

1/5 ★☆☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Providing water.

What made Coachella safe for you?

Providing shuttles.

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

-

By on May 12, 2017

2/5 ★★☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Was not aware of supplements offered, trip sitters, testing, or educational signs (though it's not all their fault - the US government doesn't make this stuff easy...)

What made Coachella safe for you?

Places to cool down and chill out

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

Use that money and make some changes in this world. Let's test drugs, have more trip sitters, and post signs with educational information on them about popular drugs (mdma, LSD, etc).

By on May 12, 2017

4/5 ★★★★☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Not enough water stations or labeling of them. Some on the map did not exist or were hard to find. Some had incredibly long lines. More accurate signage and placement throughout the festival.

What made Coachella safe for you?

Cheap/free water and easy access areas to cool down in - AC tents and misting areas. Good description of Med Tent resources.

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

Advertise med tents, increase water stations to match capacity, allow people to bring in sealed food packages under a certain size (fits in a clear ziploc). This is great at other festivals because it allows people to bring in Emergen-C, Zip Fizz, Gatorade Chews, and other ways to stay hydrated and safe :)

By on May 12, 2017

2/5 ★★☆☆☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

no testing

What made Coachella safe for you?

affordable water, shade structures

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

please offer testing kits

By on May 12, 2017

4/5 ★★★★☆

What made Coachella unsafe for you?

Lack of drug test kits. Water refill was super slow. Minimal access to electrolyte beverages.

What made Coachella safe for you?

No questions asked med tents. Cheap water in addition to refill stations.

Advice to organizers to increase the safety of people who attend Coachella 2018

-

Reviews of Coachella Overall

By on May 12, 2017

4/5 ★★★★☆

What was good?

amazing artists, great vibes, meeting new people

What was bad?

cost, and overcrowding as of late

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Increase sahara tent, most drugs done there and it's far too hot and crowded for the size it has grown to

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

dust is killer.

By on May 12, 2017

5/5 ★★★★★

What was good?

Everything

What was bad?

The sahara needs to be bigger

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Expand the sahara or make two...

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

-

By on May 12, 2017

5/5 ★★★★★

What was good?

Amazing artists, fantastic production

What was bad?

Crowded

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Stop putting EDM acts that are some of the biggest draws of anyone at the festival in the Sahara, put them on the outdoor

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

Bring more dust masks.

By on May 12, 2017

4/5 ★★★★☆

What was good?

Bout as good as always if you avoid well known problem areas

What was bad?

Sahara

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

More water stations and the quad unrial mens bathroom things to move bathroom lines faster

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

-

By on May 12, 2017

4/5 ★★★★☆

What was good?

Stage setups, weather, choice or performers, mindset od people attending, logistica

What was bad?

Price, location, day festival instead or night

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Even tho i test my own drugs, people literally find a bag on the floor and go for it instead of testing first. There MUST know what they are talking and Coachella should take that responsibility (its against RAVE act but acts can change).

Stages should be more thematic so you know what to expect where

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

Size of your group matters if you camp, if youre not camping, everyting is pretty far from the festival

By on May 12, 2017

5/5 ★★★★★

What was good?

Music, weather, people, layout

What was bad?

Bros, shitty EDM

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Bigger EDM stage, less sketch security

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

Don't roll three days in a row

By on May 12, 2017

4/5 ★★★★☆

What was good?

The music

What was bad?

Csc services. LGBT discrimination and harassment from staff. Increased space and ticket sales, but no increase in shade, water stations, or art. The art has become lazy, scarce, and without personality.

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Treat the festival goers like people instead of numbers. The last two years have been dehumanizing as a trans person.

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

-

By on May 12, 2017

5/5 ★★★★★

What was good?

Diversity of music, camping was very organized, good food (both new and old), water prices haven't increased, new art installations each year, lots of medical tents, not as crowded as the last couple of years, new bathrooms, craft beer barn/beer gardens make a nice "adult" area, some vegetarian and vegan food options, yoga and activities tents, merch is awesome, everything in the boutique, pretty much the best weekend of my life every year.

What was bad?

Sahara overcrowding is dangerous, pickpocketers, most vegan food is VIP, inconsistency with vendors accepting apple pay, inconsistent and unprofessional security (although I've never had an issue), car camping showers having issues with pumps, lots of audio issues this year.

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Sahara is way too small for the acts that are in there. Making it more open would probably make it safer - I love the music in there but I'm actually afraid to see the sets from inside the tent because I don't want to be trapped or crushed. Also, double check sound check. Radiohead and Marshmello's sound issues were like what I'd expect from HARD Summer or something, not Goldenvoice.

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

Canopy weights are sometimes necessary, freeze water bottles before putting them in your cooler, and dust storm advice.

By on May 12, 2017

2/5 ★★☆☆☆

What was good?

-

What was bad?

Dangerously crowded, not enough water refill stations

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Do not increase amount of people

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

-

By on May 12, 2017

4/5 ★★★★☆

What was good?

Lineups, food, the security at the fronts of all stages were really good in passing out free water

What was bad?

TOO MANY PEOPLE. Not enough shaded areas, MORE WATER REFIL STATION that don't lose pressure so quickly, shaded areas while waiting in line for security check, more misters available, get rid of security that just SCAM Coachella goers

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Your security teams/volunteers need to not go through people's tents unauthorized, shaded areas for waiting in long lines such as security and food, etc, the food is too expensive with what we already pay for Coachella tickets and getting there, make parking bigger or sell less tickets

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

That they wouldn't allow umbrellas!! I had to throw mine away

By on May 12, 2017

5/5 ★★★★★

What was good?

Great atmosphere and artists

What was bad?

Heat and too many people

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

If you are going to increase the amount of people, please make the tents bigger so more people can fit comfortably

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

-

By on May 12, 2017

4/5 ★★★★☆

What was good?

A very well run festival that provides a great opportunity to see many bands in one place.

The environment is unique to any festival I have attended in that it is much more relaxed (in comparison to, say, EDC)

What was bad?

Crowds, Costs

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Stage redesign in order to SAFELY accommodate more people (IE: SAHARA TENT)

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

-

By on May 12, 2017

5/5 ★★★★★

What was good?

Great music, art, stages, people, foos, layour, camping, vibe

What was bad?

Overcrowded

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Fix the crowding- you guys make enough moola I bet, Shave off a few thousand tickets

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

How fast our food would run out

By on May 12, 2017

3/5 ★★★☆☆

What was good?

Free water; green grass not asphault;

What was bad?

Security that shakes down patrons for their drugs and alcohol, in order to sell/use in their own time. Waiting times for car camping security search. Massive and dangerous crowd crammed into small areas around shaded and non shaded areas that causes higher ambient temperatures in large crowds and the threat of trampling/crushing patrons in front sections of the crowd.

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

MORE SHADE! BEWTEEN STAGES, IN ALL CAMPING LOTS! NEAR PORTOPOTTYS AND WATER FILL STATIONS! SHADE FOR PEOPLE WHERE LINES FORM! MORE RESTROOMS IN CAMPING AREAS! MORE ICE TRUCKS FOR CAMPING LOTS! Goldenvoice should just create their own security company because outsourcing to smaller companies (CSC) brings an overall lower quality of customer satisfaction after interacting with security personnel. LESS UNDERCOVER COPS TRYING TO SELL "REALLY GOOD COCAINE" to the 19 year olds that camped next to me.

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

How prepared for the intensity of the desert sun that each person needs to be. Goldenvoice has gotten much better at informing festival patrons since my first experience in 2013, however, no one can easily/cheaply adapt to the blistering heat with the plethora restricted items that festival goers can bring in. Bring a camel bak, so you can wait in 105 degree heat without shade for 20 minutes, miss the beginning of the show you wanted to see, because the length of the water lines reflects the lack of water fill stations.

By on May 12, 2017

4/5 ★★★★☆

What was good?

Music, good, checking in process

What was bad?

Too crowded this year, fewer water stations

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Don't increase the capacity, get more water stations.

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

Bring a bandana

By on May 12, 2017

4/5 ★★★★☆

What was good?

Easy to obtain water, easy to find air conditioned tents, or water spray down in do lab.

What was bad?

The A/C'd tents were only in one general area making it a trek to get there from day the outdoor or go I tent

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Try to fix the bottleneck that happened in between the Sahara and Gobi tent. At night it was near impossible to walk that way

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

That it's easier to just dish out the $2 per water than wait for the warm water refill stations that had a possibility to get you sick of you had a weak immune system

By on May 12, 2017

5/5 ★★★★★

What was good?

atmosphere; variety and options of music; festival spirit

What was bad?

crowdedness; price; lack of shade

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

please bring back shaded eating/resting areas

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

i can't remember, it's been a decade and a half

By on May 12, 2017

5/5 ★★★★★

What was good?

Great love music

What was bad?

The crowds

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Allow anonymous testing. They're not endorsing drug use, but keeping it safe.

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

To bring a portable toilet at the camp grounds for liquids only

By on May 12, 2017

4/5 ★★★★☆

What was good?

Line up

What was bad?

Over crowded, attitude of the people attending, pretentious people

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Have a better security staff/ ground control

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

How crowded it was

By on May 12, 2017

3/5 ★★★☆☆

What was good?

venue and lineup are always great

What was bad?

the crowds were too big

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

increase the size of the sahara tent before someone dies in there

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

its a marathon not a sprint

By on May 12, 2017

3/5 ★★★☆☆

What was good?

Variety of music, campgrounds are cool

What was bad?

Too hot, closes too early, stages are too small, sound quality not great

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Bigger stages with more screens, expand edm venues, more areas with shade, misters, fans, make Coachella and overnight thing. Or atleast until 3am

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

Hotter then u thought

By on May 12, 2017

5/5 ★★★★★

What was good?

The lineup (especially undercard/supporting acts) is the best in the world. The music and visual displays are the absolute best. Staff was very helpful at info booths and directing pedestrians how to get home properly.

What was bad?

Expensive. Some of the crowd are pretentious, rude, not civil.

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Keep doing what you're doing. If it makes business sense then accept that people do drugs at music festivals and advise them to do the drugs safely.

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

need to bring canopy if camping. Shelter is crucial.

By on May 12, 2017

4/5 ★★★★☆

What was good?

Weekend 2 set times were all accurate.

What was bad?

Too crowded compared to the last years I've been

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

I get that expanding would mean selling more tickets but please don't overcrowd people just for the sake of making more money.

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

-

By on May 12, 2017

5/5 ★★★★★

What was good?

Life changing, beautiful, good crowd control, plenty of bathrooms, amazing lineup, great good, clean, access to water

What was bad?

Dust, could use more shaded area, not enough drug awareness/education, only once a year :(

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Always impressed guys - but let's enter into a new age of drug awareness and acceptance rather than maintaining the "just say no to drugs" mantra. As potentially the best festival in the world you have the opportunity to affect real change in the US regarding the safe use and education of drugs/harm reduction. They aren't going away - be a part of the future, not history.

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

Fluchella is real.

By on May 12, 2017

5/5 ★★★★★

What was good?

Amazing festival and very well organized

What was bad?

Heat (what can you do?) and lack of shade in certain areas.

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Keep up the great work

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

Where/how to get water access and servies of med tent

By on May 12, 2017

5/5 ★★★★★

What was good?

music, atmosphere

What was bad?

CROWD

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

CROWD CONTROL

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

it gets cold at night

By on May 12, 2017

5/5 ★★★★★

What was good?

Concert production

What was bad?

Tents no longer fit increased number of attendees

Advice to organizers for Coachella 2018

Make drug test kits available

What do you wish you'd known before you went the first time?

-

Location

Empire Polo Club

81-800 Avenue 51

Indio, CA 92201