Coachella or Bust

Tips and trends from two Aussies gals on the ground!

Coachella had been on our bucket list for the last few years; something that always seemed untouchable and reserved for the LA celebs and ‘instafamous.’ However, when ‘The Adventures of Georgie and Jess’ (former co-travel writers for News Limited’s Escape column and friends for god knows how long) made a pact at 29 to gift each other a ticket for our 30th birthdays, it was on. No. Backing. Out. After all, we had followed through on our previous pact to backpack around Europe and America together for nine months in our early 20s, so this was a walk in the park by comparison.

The mission was made that much easier for Jess, who has been living in LA (just a 2 hour drive west from the Coachella Valley) for the last 3 years, however, for Georgie it was going to require a more significant commitment – a 15-hour flight across the Pacific, a short break from her work in Melbourne at TRIBE (a newly founded influencer app headed by radio & TV personality Jules Lund), and an exchange rate not in favour of the Aussie dollar. But hey, bucket list items will do that to you.

Following a slew of Viber calls, What’s App messages, and “ok gal, are we actually doing this?” texts, tickets were booked to weekend 2 of Coachella, just a month out from the event via StubHub – the best option for any last minute ticket purchases like ours.

Here’s a look at what was trending from the ground at #Coachella2016:

Coachella 1

Dutch Braids 

We can thank Khloe Kardashian and her tribe of famous sisters for Coachella’s overriding hair trend of 2016. A ratio of 3:1 ladies were sporting the fierce double braid look, with a handful of dudes getting in on it too. The seriously hip and artsy Ace Hotel Palm Springs even offered an in-house braiding service over the festival weekends.

Coachella 2


More ‘desert survival’ apparel than a hot trend, bandanas to cover your nose and mouth are an essential accessory for all desert festivalgoers. Note: there is no chic way to wear or style a bandana for your face. Wild sandstorms do rip through the desert plains occasionally, so you’ll want to protect yourself from inhaling a cup of dust from the desert floor as best you can. You can take it one step further by bringing goggles to shield your eyes too.

Golden Tans and Gold Tattoos 

The forecast in the Cali desert is pretty much blue skies and good times everyday, so a (temporary!) gold tatt on the shoulder blade, upper arm or wrist is the perfect complement to sun kissed skin. While on the topic of weather, desert nights are chilly so bring a light jacket or jumper for sundown.

Instagram & Selfies

Coachella 3

You may have noticed the onslaught of #Coachella2016 Instagram posts breaking the Internet during weekend 1 of Coachella. Duck faces, peace signs and desert queens looking fabulous posing with the photo-ready art installations… Weekend 1 is studded with A-list celebrities hitting the festival scene in their best fringe, frayed demin and flower crowns (Alessandra Ambrosio, Whitney Port, Zoe Kravitz, Brooklyn Beckham, Kendall Jenner & Orlando Bloom), the wildest fashion, socialites and influencers documenting their every move, and the best musical cameos (for example: RiRi joined Calvin Harris for his Sunday night closing set on weekend 1, while TayTay cheerleader-ed them on from the front row of the mosh pit).

We attended the less intense weekend 2, and while there is still attention given to the fashion, the famous and the fuss, this follow-up weekend is predominately known as ‘the locals’ weekend for the real music goers. However, no matter how many Instagram posts you soaked up over the past few weeks, nothing can compare to experiencing this incredible festival yourself! Note: you can be neither too old nor too young for Coachella – all ages are embraced and kids under five can attend for free.

Golden Hour 

The 7pm-ish hour in the desert listening to tunes is quite a magical and memorable moment. Our favourite performers included: Sia, Monsters of Men, Chvrches, Ellie Goulding, old classic Guns & Roses and fireworks with the Calvin Harris finale.

Coachella 4

5 Tops Tips for Coachella Success

There are so many ways to ‘do’ Coachella. House vs. hotel. Palms Springs vs. La Quinta. Drive or Shuttle Bus. VIP tickets vs. General Admission. Camping vs. no, just don’t camp. Here are our top 5 tips for Coachella:


Affordable: The Riviera Palm Springs, A Tribute Portfolio Resort

Hip: Ace Hotel Palm Springs (**awesome brekky and pool parties to start off the AM)

Fabulous: Parker Palm Springs. If you don’t stay here, be sure to do brunch at Norma’s within the art deco hotel lobby.

A Marilyn lookalike lounges poolside at Ace Hotel.

A Marilyn lookalike lounges poolside at Ace Hotel.


Organise a shuttle bus to drive you in and out of the event via the official Coachella website.


Cheeky’s café is a Palm Springs institution. The perfect brekky to enjoy before heading into Coachella for the day. Menu changes weekly. 622 North Palm Canyon. 760.327.7595


Each year Coachella releases an official app, which is your one-stop shop for the line up schedule, maps, eat and drink options, wristband activation, shuttle bus schedule and live updates.  Coachella is a truly well oiled and well-run event so you can let the good times roll!


After three days of desert dancing, you’re probably craving a change of scenery. Take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which is the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world, 806m up Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Great way to reset after a big weekend!

Coachella 6

In a world where we are bounded by deadlines, stress and constant contact, music festivals are one of the best places to let go, be free and be a unicorn. No one is judging. We hope you get to experience #Coachella2017!

More information on or feel free to get in touch with Georgie (@georgiecavanagh) & Jess (jfo100)!

Leave a Comment