Prochella: My Coachella 2017 Schedule and Guide

Headed out to the desert and want to make sure you get the most out of your gajillion dollar ticket, hotel, shuttle, food, H&M scenester clothes, etc. etc. etc.?!?! You’ve come to the right place. I see hundreds of artists each year and have been to my share of festivals, including Coachella (twice).

So here I present you with first-timer tips and my whole schedule (using weekend 1 times). I won’t be there, but through you maybe I can be there in spirit. Have fun and stay safe!

First-Timer Tips

See less. The FOMO is real, but hear me out. Coachella sets are shorter than your typical concert, with most clocking in at under an hour. You’ll get a lot more out of your weekend if you figure out what you really want to see, relax, and forget the rest. Open yourself to possibility and exploration, and don’t be afraid to change your plans if you find something that feels right. But don’t run around from stage to stage trying to catch just a few minutes of every artist. You’ll remember nothing and feel stressed constantly.

Put your phone away. Forget meeting up with friends — unless you picked a time and specific (very specific!) place in advance, it’s not happening. Stop caring about making sure your followers know how great it is that you’re at Coachella. Research shows you remember less when you take pictures and videos than when you don’t. Just enjoy yourself and live in the moment. Seriously.

Don’t be this guy.

Bring a bandana. You can enjoy its portable shade and, most importantly, use it to protect your lungs from dust. Newbies usually don’t realize how dusty Coachella can get and spend weeks coughing up black crap afterward.

Vv protected

Drink water. Lots of water.

Bring a Camelbak (or some other large, easily carried water container). It may sound inconvenient at first, but the water lines can get pretty long, and you’ll be thirsty in the heat. The fewer trips you take and the more water you drink, the less time you’ll spend away from doing what you want to do.

Bring hand sanitizer. You can find little ones that loop into your belt loop, purse, Camelbak, or anything else and are there when you need them. Don’t count on the portable sinks and soap to stay full for long. There are usually trailer bathrooms with sinks at the very end of the porta potty rows, but they can and do get destroyed by gross humans.

Lifesavers. One or two should last you the whole weekend.

My Schedule

Here it is using weekend 1 times. I put my top choices in *asterisks* for emphasis. I tried to steer clear of conflicts as much as possible and avoided jam-packing it so you would have time for food, bathroom breaks, and water. Obviously you may not share my taste in music, but I believe that all my picks will put on stellar shows. Enjoy!

*Sohn* (3:35–4:20 @ Gobi). Live electronic singer-songwriter with an angelic voice and razor-sharp, inventive songs. He’s on early, but don’t miss him — I suspect he’ll be one of the weekend’s breakouts. Listen.

Big Gigantic (4:35–5:35 @ Sahara). Live sax and drums EDM-ish bangers. Listen.

Oh Wonder (6:40–7:30 @ Outdoor Theatre). Pretty, singer-songwriter acoustic-ish pop. Sorta like Rhye. Listen.

Phantogram (8:00–8:50 @ Outdoor Theatre) OR Richie Hawtin (8:05–9:05 @ Mojave). See Phantogram if you want to chill in the grass for off-center electro-pop or Richie Hawtin if you want to dance to a techno OG. Listen (P); listen (RH).

The XX (8:50–9:50 @ Coachella Stage) OR Haywyre (9:15–10:30 @ Do Lab). See The XX if you want relaxed, inventive indie or Haywyre if you want head-banging live electronic music (he’s a classically trained pianist slash DJ). Listen (XX); listen (H).

Radiohead (10:35-close @ Coachella Stage). We all know them, but I have to say their Outside Lands set last year really exceeded my expectations. Listen.

Zimmer (1:00–2:15 @ Do Lab). Parisian, summery house music. Listen.

Autograf (2:40–3:30 @ Sahara). Dynamic, live electronic with a sometimes tropical, sometimes dark vibe. Consider ditching early to catch Floating Points next (Sahara and Mojave are close to each other). Listen.

*Floating Points* (3:05–3:50 @ Mojave). Live, organic house music with retro synths and full band. Listen.

Thundercat (5:30–6:20 @ Mojave). Behind-the-scenes bassist for Flying Lotus, Erykah Badu, and others. Experimental neo-soul. Listen.

*Tycho* (7:05–7:55 @ Outdoor). Chill yet very precise instrumental jams. Great for getting lost. Listen.

Yotto (9:00–10:15 @ Do Lab). Melodic deep house. Member of the Anjunadeep label run by Above & Beyond. Listen.

FKJ (10:15–11:30 @ Do Lab) OR Breakbot (10:50–11:40 @ Gobi). FKJ is a multi-instrumentalist who assembles (sometimes improvised) funky jams on the spot with digital looping. Breakbot reinvented throwback disco and will play with a full live band. You’ll dance either way. Catch the beginning of FKJ after Yotto and then head to Breakbot halfway through if you really want to do both. Listen (FKJ); listen (B).

Hot Since 82 (11:00-close @ Yuma). Huge name in deep house. Listen.

The Antarctic (9 am-3 am, dome near main entrance). This sounds awesome. Come early Sunday and chill in here, since my picks don’t start until later.

SOFI TUCKER (3:45–4:30 @ Gobi). Trendy East Coast hipster electro-pop that for some reason incorporates Brazilian vibes. Listen.

Nao (4:55–5:40 @ Gobi). Amazing electro-soul singer. Listen.

Kaytranada (5:45–7:00 @ Sahara) OR Jack Garratt (6:05–6:50 @ Gobi). Kaytranada is a hip-hop and electronic music producer with some syncopated, groovy jams. Jack Garatt is a multi-instrumentalist who creates anthem-like rock songs on the fly. Listen (K); listen (JG).

*Porter Robinson & Madeon* (7:00–7:55 @ Coachella Stage). Electronic superduo with insane live set of all-original music for the grown up in you who used to love EDM (or just wishes EDM had a brain). Listen (PR); listen (M).

Sasha (8:30–10:00 @ Yuma) OR Shiba San (9:15–10:45 @ Do Lab). Both are house, though Sasha is a bit deeper and Shiba San is from the Dirtybird crew. Both sets are fairly long so you could easily check out one and bounce to the other if it isn’t your thing. Listen (S); listen (SS).

Kendrick Lamar (10:35-close @ Coachella Stage). We all know him. He rocked Outside Lands a couple years ago with a live band and commanding presence, and I’m betting he’ll do the same again this year. Listen.