The Ultimate 2017 Festival Guide
Where do I stay? What do I do? How do I access wristbands?
The words Coachella, as well as Lollapalooza, Ultra and Austin City Limits all scream paradise to a cult of music fans nationwide. However, a weekend free from all worries comes with preparation. That’s why we’re here. One by one, we will break down where to stay, what to eat, and how to get in.
First Up, Coachella.
WHERE TO STAY
Cannot stress enough to reserve early. A year in advance early.
Base Camp. A camp site with luxury tents and a never-ending lakeside party.
Base Camp is returning to Coachella AGAIN. Just 6 miles from the festival grounds, and a private shuttle to get you back and forth, you will have the best of a desert camping experience. Stay in an RV while enjoying hotel-like amenities. Pool, concierge, coffee and a real shower. Not impressed? Base Camp is providing hot air balloon rides…
If you’re looking for the upscale experience at Coachella, then let me introduce, The Parker. The Parker has been the location of some of the most exclusive parties with its expansive space reworked to various lengths. Louis Vuitton hosted their after party for the 2016 resort collection there. With its Jonathan Adler interiors, it provides that elusive rock star luxe that will have you partying until you pass out and brunching there the next morning.
AirBnB also provides multiple possibilities in after-hour antics. The perfect party house should ideally be situated in the Coachella Valley or within Palm Springs proper.
WHAT TO EAT… IF YOU DECIDE TO EAT
Sustained on champagne and snacks only works for so long. Here are some local spots the experts recommend.
Birba. Sleek, open-air bar, gorgeous patio, and pizza that is said to rival anywhere. If you like it, you’ll like Cheeky’s, a breakfast and lunch spot next door owned by the same couple as Birba.
Purple Palm. With Coachella behind you, decompress at the Colony Palm Hotel’s pool-adjacent eatery with striking mountain views, a thankfully peaceful dining room, and sophisticated fare including pan-roasted diver scallops with parsnip cream and duck breast with huckleberry gastrique. The Old Fashioned gets a rosemary infusion and a drink called the Purple Gang mixes vodka, lemon, muddled grapes with a Pinot Noir float.
The Venue. Sushi Bars and Sake Bombs never disappoint. A sleek spot on Palm Desert’s tony El Paseo where Onural, a sake sommelier, has also put together a solid list of sake offerings, too. You can stick with the extensive nigiri menu or take advantage of his experimental rolls like “Fish & Chips” made with white fish tempura and served alongside Asian-spiced fries. During Coachella, festival-goers just have to show their wristband to get 15% off food.
SO HOW DO YOU GET IN?
Where to Stay.
Similar to the food, the hotels are basic chains as well. What you want to do is prepare early and AirBNB or lock up a spot at the campsite. The Le Bon Tents, which offers group camping are available in GA and VIP. You can leave the tent pitching and furnishings to the festival and camp in style.
There are two tents offered to those attending Bonnaroo, the Souvenir Tent or the Comfort Tent.
Souvenir Tent: A Bonnaroo tent decked out with tons of Roo Souvenirs that are yours to keep – INCLUDING your tent!
Comfort Tent: A cot and a place to recharge will sound pretty spectacular after a day of traversing The Farm. The Comfort Tent brings back Tent City hospitality with the brand new addition of electricity to your own tent. Pretty convenient, eh?
What to Eat.
Around Bonnaroo, you’re not going to get much in Manchester, Tennessee. All the best foods are inside the golden gates of the festival.
Last year’s Bonnaroo featured more than 100 vendors from across the country peddling everything from miniature cones of tuna tartar to fried alligator on a stick. This time around, the music fest will see some old favorites returning, as well as new, innovative concepts thrown into the mix; Baconland, Broo’ers Festival, Planet Roof Cafe and Poutine Your Mouth.
Baconland celebrates all things pork with Benton’s bacon sandwiches, bacon flights, and a 4,000 pound steel installation that allows the pork to roast. This year, Baconland will introduce the BaconBun, a cinnamon roll with a bacon swirl topped with a maple glaze in collaboration with next door neighbor, Amish Baking Company.
Broo’ers Festival will include 25 different microbreweries in one tent, Planet Roo is a rarity in comparison to the plentiful food trucks. This sit-down restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan dinners. Poutine Your Mouth is a Salt Lake City based foot truck that travels the country and will also be making a stop at Coachella. In their Tennessee debut, they will have offers such as the “Get Loaded” which is the owner’s take on a loaded baked potato, or the Cincinatti which is a bed of fries and cheese curds, piled high with Skyline Chili, the signature dish of Cincinatti, Ohio!
How do I get in?
Where to stay.
It’s Chicago, so there’s no shortage of hotels anywhere and there’s plenty of parking for this festival which makes it pretty convenient in comparison to some of the others on this list. However, here is my suggestions for a few hotels in the area around Millenium Park!
- The James Chicago
- Hyatt Regency McCormick Place
- Hard Rock Hotel Chicago
- Loews Chicago Hotel
- Hilton Garden Inn Chicago
What to eat.
The Gage. Located directly across the street with incredible fried foods, daily sausage specials and a bar if you get slightly thirsty. One of the most frequently recommended restaurants in Chicago, give it a try.
Tortas Frontera. A Rick Bayless project that has perfected the art of Mexican Sandwiches.
Al’s #1 Italian Beef. The Italian beef at this local chain is an excellent introduction to the sandwich. Hot giardiniera is a must. Actually, the natural casing hot dog is also awesome, making this a great one-stop shop if you’re looking to experience some classic Chicago street food.
How do I get in?
Austin City Limits.
Where do I stay?
Stay in AirBNB’s surrounding the Zilker Park Area. Or as Austinites call it, the 04. This swanky part of town gives you all the trendy Austin feels and lets you walk to Coachella. There is no parking at Zilker and if you attempt to, it will be a nightmare. There is a free shuttle that begins at 10AM every day. It will take you there from 4th & Guadalupe which is the center of all downtown activities, like Sixth Street.
What do I eat?
Within walking distance of Zilker is a decadent food trailer park. If you’re hot, cool down with Holla Mode, everyone’s favorite Thai ice cream. If you’d like to get authentic while in Austin, the original Chuys is just as close. Austin Java will provide you your new favorite breakfast stop in Austin and is easily available to walk. Barton Springs Road (where Zilker park resides) is packed with other great spots as well.
How do I get in?
Wristbands Available Here. We’re an Austin based company so we will be on-site to help with any of your needs!
Last but certainly not least, Ultra.
Where to Stay.
South Beach at The Delano. If you’re on an A-list celebrity hunt. This is where you stay. Besides the incredible scene the hotel guests may be, the stunning Philippe Starck style, all-white guest rooms, and huge infinity pool with poolside DJs have earned the hotel its bragging rights as well. The hotel promises to be packed with festival goers after hours and price tags are certainly not cheap, but it’s arguably still the Miami place to see and be seen.
Intercontinental Miami. If you’re the type who feels uneasy venturing far from your luggage, the Intercontinental Miami is your best bet. Located on the southwest corner of Bayfront Park, it’s hotel that’s physically closest to all of the festival’s action.
Dream South Beach. Anyone looking to take the party back to their hotel should consider the Dream South Beach, which caters to the young, hip party crowd. Besides sleek design, rooms sport 32-inch flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and sexy see-through bathrooms. And since you didn’t come to ULTRA to stay in your room, chances are you’ll be hitting up the hotel’s insane rooftop pool and bar late into the night.
What to Eat.
Naoe. A tiny gem of a spot tucked away on Brickell Key Drive, could arguably be the hardest place to get a reservation in Miami. But, if you prepare early, you can enjoy it. If you want real Japanese food, this is the only game in the town.
Nobu. Without looking at the menu, immediately order the yellowtail jalapeño, salmon new-style sashimi, tiradito, red snapper with dried red miso, black cod with miso, some anticucho skewers, and a bottle of the YK35 Hokusetsu sake.
How do I get in?