Welcome to Part 2 of this Vibes Life Essential Guide to Coachella, the line up got announced this week, and the final release of General tickets go on sale this Friday, the 5th January 2018. Securing tickets online for any festival is stressful at best, and there is no real “tutorial” that can be given for this essential part of the process. We know people who really struggle to get tickets when it comes to this method, and for whatever reason they miss out year after year. All we can do is pass on our own little nuggets of advice in the hope that you to will be successful. Be prepared, trying to explain this in person and trying to write about it here are two completely different entities so at times you will find me ranting on like a deranged psychopath using words like “Data” and “Traffic”. Stay with me, read through it a couple of times, make notes if you want and come Friday 19.00 GMT (thats 11.00 PDT) it will all fall into place. My ramblings will turn into fact and you will keep your Kool in an international wide state of ticket buying panic. Lets do this.
Let’s face it without your tickets/wristbands you’re not getting in (unless you’re a pro at digging tunnels), so it probably isn’t wise making any sort of itinerary before you have them in the bag. If you’ve been to any major music event you’ll be familiar with Coachella’s online ticket purchase system which involves waiting in a “virtual” queue for what seems like an eternity. This comes after logging on to an initial holding page prior to the sale going live, cue endless tweeting of your frustration and prayers that you’re one of the lucky ones.
Your position in the queue is “apparently” chosen randomly and no amount of “refreshing” is gonna speed up the process or bump your position to the front of the queue. Instead patience pays, and the best advice I can give here is to be ready with your payment card and delivery address details for when you finally get through to that magical purchase page. You know it will happen when you least expect it, probably when you’re making a cup of tea! and frantically searching for your credit card is only gonna cost you valuable time. Procrastination is your enemy here and I’ve found the longer spent on this page, the greater the chance of missing out on tickets all-together. This is because the high volume of “traffic” on Coachella’s website during the sales often causes web pages to “time-out”, leaving you no other choice but to return to the holding page and re-join the queue. Even more frustrating is entering incorrect details and upon clicking the “buy tickets” button you find your purchase couldn’t be completed and you have to restart the process. I’ve even heard heartbreaking story’s of people with tickets in their basket only to be greeted with a page telling them all tickets are sold out, after they have pressed the button to confirm their purchase, this thankfully has never happened to us.
Registration itself has changed since 2012. If you have been to previous Coachella’s (you’re probably not reading this) and already have an account you are all set and you can use that to log in when you get through to the buying page. If this is your first year you cannot pre register and can only set up an account at the time of buying your tickets. Although this is a relatively quick process it does cost valuable time for any “Coachella Virgin” and time is precious in the world of online ticket sales.
Ok, so if your not what some may call “computer literate” the next few sections might end up confusing the hell out of you. If it does GREAT! it confuses us too. Try to keep up as best you can and remember this is just our personal experience and you could well find a better more successful way of bagging those tickets!
The only real advantage we have here in the UK is the time difference. Coachella tickets go on sale at 11am PDT which is 7pm GMT, so when a large quantity of Americans are working, us Brits have probably just finished a roast dinner followed by……a cup of tea of course. Have your devices charged and ready, yes I said devices! Log them all on to the holding page about 5 minutes before the sale time and prepare for the long game. How many devices? How many you got? We have our 2 smartphones, tablet and laptop, actually we had 1 extra smart phone this year because my sister wanted to come so she got involved in the ticket sale frenzy too. So l’d say 4-5 is fine but I feel it’s worth mentioning something here, our broadband is awful, if like us yours is too, you’ll find the network slows down when multiple devices are used and a slow internet connection is the last thing you need when your trying to beat 150,000 Stone Roses fans to the purchase page. So to avoid this we leave the ones that are dependant on wi-fi (tablet, laptop) connected and switch smartphones to mobile data. The truth is we still don’t even know if this makes a shred of difference and previous years provide no clarity as to which is better, sometimes a wi-fi connected device has been the fastest through to the checkout and sometimes its the 3G/4G connected device that brings home the bacon, and some never get off the holding page which is why we never chance it and always have multiple devices. Not sure if i’m actually being any help to anyone here, never the less I’ll continue with the guide!
Unless you’re really unlucky at least one of your devices should get through to the queue after a few minutes on the holding page, the others should follow in time which only echo’s the fact that queue placement is entirely random. Obviously the first device that gets through is the one to watch. Guard this device with your life if you have to, keep pets, baby’s and drinks away from it and for the love of god don’t let the screen lock or fade, you want to be able to see the page at all times. Still with me? No? I don’t blame you, my head is spinning.
Prepare to be in that queue anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours. The longer the wait the higher the possibility you’ll be distracted at the vital moment a queuing page becomes a “ticket purchase” page. I’m not kidding when I say you need to be quick once you have reached that stage, remember while you are busy entering you and your friends registration details other people are completing their purchases and leaving a space for the next person in the queue. If you had the last four tickets in your basket these tickets could well be showing in another persons basket and if they complete they’re purchase with their fastest trigger finger before you, the only thing you’re likely to see when you click “buy” is a message politely apologising that all tickets are now sold out! Imagine getting all that way only to be told that, believe me it happens. Just remain calm, (a cup of tea helps) type swiftly but accurately and double check all the details as your entering them. A piece of cake! Right?!
After all this you should be rewarded with the somewhat relieving sight of your booking reference number, screen shot it, but wait! Don’t pop the champagne just yet! There’s one last painful wait for the confirmation e-mail to come through. Stop laughing! I’m serious. Ohhhh you thought it was instant? think again! We’ve waited a good few hours for this to come through and I dunno maybe it’s just us but we can’t relax until that confirmation pops up in our inbox. When it arrives it’s time to celebrate! An alcoholic beverage is completely acceptable, and the real fun can begin, it’s time to book those flights and start planning your outfits…………..but don’t forget to announce it on Facebook first.
Ever since we attended our first Coachella in 2012, we have always purchased our tickets through the Advance Pre Sale for our subsequent festivals. These first release of Advance tickets usually go on sale a month, or in some years even weeks after the previous years festival. Goldenvoice really like to cash in on those old Coachella blues. We favour this method not only because it allows us a lot of planning time, but because Coachella offer a payment plan to spread out the cost of the ticket. Yes, you will be committing to a festival without even the slightest hint of the line-up (standard procedure for the big festivals) so I can see how this is probably a deal breaker for some, but have no fear, there is another general ticket sale which follows the release of the full line-up early in the new year. This Friday is that very ticket sale and it is literally the last chance to get tickets directly from the festival for 2018. Expect your chances of getting a ticket on Friday to be even slimmer (having checked recently many weekend 1 tickets have gone already), with them selling out in a flash and if you do manage to bag them payment is to be made in full at the time of purchase. That’s gonna sting the old pocket when you have 3 months to book flights, and accommodation as well.
The last resort? you guessed it, Ebay! These tickets go up on that “con mans dream” of an auction site a matter of minutes after the Advance sale has begun. Prices will fluctuate following line up announcements and if you’re daredevil enough to leave it till a few weeks before to book your whole trip you may well find a couple of bargain wristbands going on the old Fleabay. Just make sure you check the delivery date, a lot of sellers will be sending from America so allow a week at least for anything to arrive. Whatever you do, don’t do what me and Keeley done during our first Coachella year. We stumbled across the line up way after the festival had sold out and were held at ransom by the fact that the only way we could see Dre, Snoop and Arctic monkeys, all on the same weekend, in the Californian sunshine was……………..yes, our old pal, eBay! We paid top dollar that time round and couldn’t help but feel a bit stung when people at Coachella told us how easy their 6 or 7 monthly payments were or how they had their ticket paid off by December. Smug gits! Not to mention the anxiety in receiving our tickets from New York, 5 days prior to us flying.
We learnt our lesson and thats why I’m doing this guide, to stop people making the same mistakes we did. You can get tickets for the “fair” price in both ticket releases, just have some faith (and devices). You really wanna enjoy this experience and getting ripped off before you’ve even left the tarmac at Heathrow will only leave you absolutely fuming. Counterfeits and fakes are rife on there so why would you want to risk it and end up paying twice or double the price?
I think I need a lie down after typing all this, actually you probably do too! I assure you readers, the process of getting tickets is not as stressful as reading about it, and the reward when you hear those first keys in the warm desert heat can only be described as “Euphoric”. So that’s it, Part Two done, I hope it has been of some help, if it hasn’t I’m sorry, we don’t actually know what we’re doing when tickets go on sale because we’re so jacked up on tea, but we’ve got them 5 years in a row so we must be doing something right!
Click here for Part 3 of our Essential Guide to Coachella – Car Camping Vibes .
Roll on 2018!