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Thread: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

  1. #1

    Default How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    This is my first Coachella. I enjoy musical performances exponentially more if I'm at or near the front of the crowd. Part of it is because I have lower back issues and can't stand without something to lean on for a long time, and part of it is just wanting to see the artists in all their glory.

    So if I pick one performance per day and say I'm willing to do whatever (see other shows at that stage, stand in line, etc.) to get to the front, is that feasible? Or is it so crowded or wild that no matter what you do you risk getting stuck in the middle or back?

    I'm looking forward to the Coachella experience as a whole but want to see three particular artists, each fortunately slotted for a different day. None is a headliner.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by SameOldSong; 03-28-2012 at 04:54 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    If you want to see a non-headliner up close just catch the set before and try to make your way to the front as people leave in between sets.

    For a headliner, you should go maybe 2 sets before
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  3. #3
    Member vfcali's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Pretty good chance. Just show up at the stage toward the end of the set for the previous artist and wait until their set is over. You should be able to get right up front as everyone is leaving. Chances are better in the Gobi and Mojave tents and earlier in the day.

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    Member Riggins33's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Nah dogg U fucked.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Shouldn't be an issue, except for the biggest acts. Most people are only catching partial sets anyways due to conflicts and the amount of time it takes to traverse the polo fields between sets. If you go to the set before you are virtually guaranteed to be at the bar for the next set. That said you may be missing another great show while you wait for the next act to set up.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    It's very practical to get close to the front for just about anything. If you absolutely need to be against the bar in the very front, I would get there two acts before regardless of which stage it is. People tend to camp out at the bar waiting for their favorites-who can blame them? Camp out with them and make friends.

  7. #7
    old school bluemamba's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vodkagirl View Post
    It's very practical to get close to the front for just about anything. If you absolutely need to be against the bar in the very front, I would get there two acts before regardless of which stage it is. People tend to camp out at the bar waiting for their favorites-who can blame them? Camp out with them and make friends.
    Sometimes the only way to get to the rail is if you camp it there from the beginning. I though i got for Roger Waters decently early and there was two rows already formed waiting for him.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    it also helps if the band before is in a completely different genre, I got rail for ghostface a few years ago without even trying because he was playing after the decemberists

  9. #9

    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Please don't elbow your way up front while the band "you don't want to see" while trying to get to the front is playing. Because more than likely fans of that band will leave and then you can move right up! Think of it as we're saving you a spot!

    Enjoy your first Coachella...it will be special!

  10. #10

    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Yeah I'm not an elbower type at all, that's why I try to plan ahead and do whatever it takes to "earn" the spot.

    I think for the Friday and Sunday acts I'm going to go as early as possible to the particular stage they'll play at. Those two acts (Frank Ocean and Weeknd) are the top two I had on my to-see list this year, so have to make that happen. I'm indifferent (in a good way) towards the other bands so I don't mind just watching a bunch of awesome music while "earning" a spot for my favorite acts.

    I hope Weeknd plays a while before Snoop and Dre on Sunday so I don't get stuck in the back for the OGs.

  11. #11

    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    You shouldn't really have a problem with your attitude! Like everyone above said, just keep moving up in between bands and enjoy the music!

  12. #12
    Member thedevious's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Weeknd will be a motherfucking bitch, it won't be La Roux in 2010 bad but...I just hope to be in the tent for this one lol.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedevious View Post
    Weeknd will be a motherfucking bitch, it won't be La Roux in 2010 bad but...I just hope to be in the tent for this one lol.
    Yeah I'm anticipating this. It's one of the first times he's playing in the States so it's going to be wild. Tickets for his DC show, which wasn't even announced anywhere, sold out in hours and are now reselling at $300+. The hype is absurd.

    If I see Frank Ocean from close on 4/20 near sunset though... bucket list material.

  14. #14
    Coachella Junkie Mugwog's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Tip, enter from the side of tent/stage

  15. #15
    Coachella Junkie Boourns's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Your mileage will vary. It depends on how popular the artist is and who is on at the same time on the other stages or on that stage immediately after. Like Trick said, genre shifts help.

    Some examples from memory...
    2009: Gobi tent almost completely emptied after Amanda Palmer and rail was available for a few minutes for Tinariwen. Glass Candy had a small crowd, so getting close wasn't an issue and I doubt it would have been for Gang Gang Dance. Mojave was deserted for Throbbing Gristle. I grabbed a somewhat obstructed rail spot initially but surrendered it.
    2010: Slipped through a gap at the side of the Gobi during the end of La Roux, and managed to get a spot near the front for Little Dragon, but rail was NOT happening. I was there for all of Florence & the Machine but could only get 10 rows or so back for Charlotte Gainsbourg after since so many people stayed. Would have had second row for Sly Stone, but he got delayed due to awesomeness. Wanted to get inside the Mojave, so I arrived during Lucero, who had an average crowd, but nearly everyone stayed, so I didn't get too close. People passing out, being carried away, etc. A hot mess. Arrived at Fever Ray 50 minutes before showtime for rail, but that didn't happen. The band before She & Him cancelled (The Cribs), but a lot of people camped during the resulting 100 minutes of downtime between them and Avett Brothers (at least a couple hundred). Easy to get good spots for Faith No More and Orbital, but Atoms for Peace would have been a long time investment, obviously.

    The Weeknd, eh? Definitely a couple bands before if you want a great spot. He's on everyone's list, after all. May not be rail, but it'll be close. Maybe three or four for rail. As for Frank Ocean, maybe whatever act plays before him. I think Ocean will definitely be a popular one, but how much will depend on the scheduling.

    Having an unobstructed, up close and personal view of a favorite artist can't be beat, and since you don't really mind missing the rest of the lineup, go for it.
    Last edited by Boourns; 03-28-2012 at 08:20 PM.
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  16. #16
    old school frizzlefry's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    It really depends on the acts, how big they are and how related they are to each other. GV was fucking awesome to me and had the Specials open for Them Crooked Vultures in 2010. Even though I got pretty close for the beginning of Specials I was still several rows back for Them Crooked Vultures, I could have gotten railing after that but I can't remember what I had to do
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  17. #17
    Member thedevious's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mugwog View Post
    Tip, enter from the side of tent/stage
    Protip, Coachella is left-centric so your best chance is to enter from the far right side of said stage/tent.
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    Coachella Junkie Boourns's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Except the main, attack that from the left.
    9/10 Swans @ Roxy, 9/17 Karen O at Masonic Lodge, 9/19 Tokimonsta @ El Rey, 9/20 Chvrches @ Tower Theatre, 9/30 Cibo Matto @ the Roxy, 10/3-4 Desert Stars, 10/9 Zola Jesus @ El Rey, 10/16 Massive Attack @ Greek Theater, 10/22-25 CMJ, 10/26 Asobi Seksu & Slowdive @ Royale

  19. #19
    Member loopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedevious View Post
    Protip, Coachella is left-centric so your best chance is to enter from the far right side of said stage/tent.
    Yes to both tips... works every time.

  20. #20

    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    I can't tell who's trolling ant not with the left/right thing anymore. There's complex movements going on to confuse people.

    Anywho, since these responses have been so awesome, I am emboldened to ask more questions.

    If it's me and a friend and we decide to camp through three shows, will we be ok taking turns to piss and get food? Or are people assholes about letting you back in? I'm 6'4 so I hope to be super noticeable and familiar looking.

    I'm almost certain the people are cool about it but eh why not see what people have experienced.

  21. #21
    Member Vic Viper's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Quote Originally Posted by SameOldSong View Post
    I can't tell who's trolling ant not with the left/right thing anymore. There's complex movements going on to confuse people.

    Anywho, since these responses have been so awesome, I am emboldened to ask more questions.

    If it's me and a friend and we decide to camp through three shows, will we be ok taking turns to piss and get food? Or are people assholes about letting you back in? I'm 6'4 so I hope to be super noticeable and familiar looking.

    I'm almost certain the people are cool about it but eh why not see what people have experienced.
    do it between sets and not during and people shouldn't be too offended. obviously you or your friend might be late getting back before the next act starts, but just try and move as fast as possible.


    Quote Originally Posted by thedevious View Post
    Protip, Coachella is left-centric so your best chance is to enter from the far right side of said stage/tent.
    except for main stage, which is decidedly right-centric save for the first few acts.
    Last edited by Vic Viper; 03-28-2012 at 09:02 PM.
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    No. I push you down. Always.

  22. #22

    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mugwog View Post
    Tip, enter from the side of tent/stage
    PROTIP: Enter from the side of the stage opposite from where the majority of the festival is coming from

    Sahara: Rose Garden side.
    Mojave: Sahara tent side.
    Gobi: Mojave tent side.

    Outdoor and Main stage are a wash.

  23. #23
    Coachella Junkie Mugwog's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    "Just the tip" Is what you tell her.

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    ankle biter guedita's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Quote Originally Posted by SameOldSong View Post
    I can't tell who's trolling ant not with the left/right thing anymore. There's complex movements going on to confuse people.

    Anywho, since these responses have been so awesome, I am emboldened to ask more questions.

    If it's me and a friend and we decide to camp through three shows, will we be ok taking turns to piss and get food? Or are people assholes about letting you back in? I'm 6'4 so I hope to be super noticeable and familiar looking.

    I'm almost certain the people are cool about it but eh why not see what people have experienced.
    Yeah. The fact that it's just one person returning shouldn't aggravate people at all. It is annoying when a set has started and all of a sudden an individual asks to get by you to get to his friend, only for you to realize that he's ushering a group of 5+ with him.

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  25. #25

    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    Yeah. The fact that it's just one person returning shouldn't aggravate people at all. It is annoying when a set has started and all of a sudden an individual asks to get by you to get to his friend, only for you to realize that he's ushering a group of 5+ with him.
    Yeah I frankly don't take well to movement once the set has started unless I've seen the person waiting with everyone else. If I put in 2+hours just standing around to get a good spot I'm not going to let people walk through. Again I'm abnormally tall so this isn't usually a problem.

  26. #26

    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Quote Originally Posted by SameOldSong View Post

    If I see Frank Ocean with EARL from close on 4/20 near sunset though... bucket list material.
    Hopefully *

    While on the topic of being really close to the stage, does this make it harder/easier to get caught smoking herb?

  27. #27
    old school Goatchella's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Don't get caught.

    Last year we all split and left the homie rolling a blunt to talk to a plain clothed and a yellow shirt (undercover and staff)
    The dude asked my buddy for the blunt. Asked him what his name and age was. Asked him for his license.
    Then he gave back the blunt and license and told him to have a good day.

    Those cops know your fucked off and try to play super troopers shit

  28. #28
    Member dcbell05's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Also be aware of what type of genre the bands playing before are. Last year I was waiting for Phantogram and Neon Trees in the Sahara. I got the the front before the start of the band before Phantogram thinking "Oh, I'll just enjoy the show before". WRONG! The band before was a speed metal band and it was pretty bad. Luckily I'm taller and was able to brace myself on the bar well (not my first time dealing with pushy fans). Pretty much body checking during that show.

    It actually ended up being amusing to me since I didn't get hurt and the guys near us were so drugged out, they could easily be shoved. However, I saw some other girls thrown around.

  29. #29
    Member JoeCthulhu's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    Just make sure if you elbow your way up, it's for a band you actually want to see. Not much is more annoying than getting elbowed by someone pushing their way forward, only to be elbowed by the same dude 5 minutes later on his way back out of the crowd.
    Even though I look it, I'm not a cop.

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  30. #30
    Coachella Junkie Drinkey McDrinkerstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: How practical is it to get close to the stage for one particular show per day?

    If the bands are scheduled as such that back to back they don't have the same appeal, you're in pretty good shape to not have much problem. I was flabbergasted last year to ber able to get about 6 people from the rail for PJ Harvey despite being waaaaaay out from the stage during Chromeo, but the whole crowd flittered out.

    The nice thing about having so many stages and 30-40 minutes in between sets on each stage is that if you're willing to watch the end of a set and then wait through the set-ups, you can have very little problem being very close to stage, no matter which stage really.

    In 2010, the most crowded/packed year yet, i spent much of my time in the Mojave and had very little problem having rail or being less than 10-15 feet from the rail for almost every set i went to without too much hassle.
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