Year after year I see people on the official Coachella Facebook page raging about the fact that they couldn’t get tickets to Coachella. The goal of this article is to make sure you won’t be one of those people by ensuring you are able to snag some tickets during the general sale. I have gone to Coachella three straight years and have always gotten tickets through Coachella.com and avoided the third party sites such as StubHub. This isn’t to say getting tickets is easy, but if you follow these simple steps you should have no problem getting tickets. I also want to note that I'm not going to address the Coachella Presale too much here - for that we have a full guide that you can read if you are interested in the Coachella presale. Before I get into my advice I will go over some ticket basics.
If you are new to Coachella and the process of snagging tickets we've made a short video highlighting all the important info to get you going. It's a good overview before digging into the article, which has more detailed information.
This varies a little bit each year. There are two different times tickets go on sale: presale, which occurs in May to June timeframe (June lately), and the general sale, which occurs in January. For Coachella 2017 the official general sale was on January 3rd. So there is no confusion on presale vs. general sale I will define each term.
Coachella Presale Tickets – These go on sale shortly after the festival each year, typically the first week of June. The advantage to getting tickets during presale is they are a little easier to get (although it does still sellout quickly), you can utilize the payment plan (which divides your costs into a down payment of roughly 20% and then six equal payments) and if you don’t get tickets during presale you still have a chance during the general sale in January. The disadvantage to buying presale tickets is that the lineup hasn’t been announced yet so you are buying tickets blind, generally with no information on who will be at Coachella.
Coachella General Sale – This is when the rest of the tickets go on sale. This is your last chance to get tickets officially through Coachella and it usually occurs the first week of January. The specific date can vary year to year, but lately Coachella has been doing it in early January. Coachella will announce the lineup on a Tuesday or Wednesday and then the general sale will occur a coule of days later.
There are a few ways to find out about the Coachella presale. If you are active on social media I suggest you follow Coachella on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. Coachella will announce the official presale on there so you won't miss it. You can also register on Event Track, add Coachella to your profiles events, and we will email you any big Coachella news including presale announcements.
As with all music festivals there are a range of ticket options, each with a different price. The standard general admission ticket is $429. If you are staying further away from Indio in places like Palm Dessert, Palm Springs, or other areas there is a pass that comes with bus transportation for $504. If you want all the details on the Coachella shuttle check out this link. VIP tickets for Coachella will cost you $999. If you buy presale you have the option to do the payment plan which requires about 20% of the ticket cost down and then divides the remaining costs across 6 months of payments. Your final payment will be in December. There is no payment plan option if you buy during the general sale.
Coachella tickets are sold at Coachella’s official website at http://www.coachella.com. I suggest you register an account beforehand just to make the checkout process quickly.
This varies a bit year to year and depends on the Coachella pass you are interested in. Weekend One GA passes will usually sell out in about an hour. Weekend Two GA passes for Coachella usually sell out in 2-3 hours. This is pretty incredibly given Coachella now holds well north of 100,000 people, which is more than any other music festival I know of.
VIP passes are generally slower to sell out. I believe they still sell out the day passes go on sale (W2 may vary year to year), but it's definitely not as competitive as GA passes to Coachella. If you are planning to go to Coachella VIP next year you probably don't need to stress as much about securing tickets, but you should still be punctual.
Alright, alright – here are my main tips for making sure you are jamming out at the Polo fields in April.
#1 – Create a Coachella Account Ahead of Time
Having this setup beforehand will allow your checkout to go through much faster as you can already have your payment and shipping information setup. Once you are allowed to buy tickets you only have 10 minutes to complete your purchase before your tickets are released. Don't let this happen to you.
#2 – Be More Than Punctual
Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. PST. You need to be online on Coachella.com by 9:45 and refreshing your browser trying to enter the waiting room. In years past I have been able to get into the waiting room a few minutes early, which could make all the difference. The earlier you make it into the waiting room the better your chances. Basically once you are in the waiting room you wait to be randomly chosen to buy tickets. Last year weekend one tickets sold out in 40 minutes so being even a few minutes late could cost you.
#3 – Have Multiple Browsers / Computers Online
Utilize a Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer browser open and ready to go. I use all of these to enter the waiting room. The more opportunities to get through for tickets the better. I also use multiple devices so I will go online with my iPad, Laptop, iPhone and anything else that connects to the Internet. It looks like I am going to ticket war.
#4 – Know What Tickets You Want Beforehand
Weekend one? Weekend two? Weekend two with shuttle pass? Know which tickets you are going for before you get to purchase tickets. Again, you only have 10 minutes to purchase tickets once you get the chance, don’t use this time trying to figure out what to buy.
#4b – Have A Rough Idea on Accommodations Beforehand
You can’t really judge fully which ticket you want to get until you know where you are staying. For example, if you stay in Palm Springs, CA you definitely want to buy the shuttle pass as well. So it’s good to know where you want to stay before you buy your Coachella tickets.
#5 – Friends Can Help You Out
They only allow a couple of tickets per credit card but if your friends get through and buy their tickets they can re-enter the waiting room and buy you tickets with a different credit card if they get through. It may seem unlikely to you that someone could get in, buy their tickets, re-enter the waiting room and get through again before you get to buy tickets for yourself but I assure you this regularly happens. My fiancée has gotten through several times before I got through once in years past. The more people you have trying to get tickets the better your chances.
This question amuses me because I feel like every year we start getting nervous about not receiving our wristbands in time for Coachella. Passes will begin shipping in early March, and the shipping process continues for weeks after that. I generally have gotten my Coachella wristband at the beginning of April, so don't fret if you see people reporting they have got theirs and you haven't received yours yet.
I understand people being stressed about Coachella passes, so if you have a question that I haven't answered yet feel free to email me. I respond to every email and will likely add your question to our guide to improve it for future users. That said, if you follow these steps you should be fine getting tickets; they aren't easy to get, but they also aren't impossible either. Just be prepared and punctual and you will be fine.