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Coachella Weekend One vs Weekend Two

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Article Summary

  • Main benefits of weekend one: more surprises, fresh and untrampled grass, more celebrities, and more parties
  • Main benefits of weekend two: more laidback, tickets are easier to get, more about the music, and slightly cheaper
  • You will have fun at either weekend, don’t stress this decision too much

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A common question among Coachella first timers is which weekend is better to attend.  Coachella first expanded in 2012 and since then festivalgoers have had to choose between two weekends.  This article will go over some of the differences between the two weekends, and what the advantages and disadvantages of each are.  The most important point to remember is you are likely stressing over this decision way too much and will have a great time regardless of which you choose.  Still, it’s a big choice to a lot of people so let’s get into it.

Advantages of Coachella Weekend One

Obviously the big advantage of Coachella weekend one is that you get to go first: the grass at the polo fields is in mint condition as it hasn’t been trampled on by a stampede of festivalgoers, you see surprise guests first, you see all the artists first, etc.  If you are really into festivals, music, or even pop culture it’s pretty hard to avoid hearing about what happens at Coachella.  Thus if you are going to weekend two of Coachella you really need to try to avoid the coverage of Coachella weekend one if you want things to still be fresh for you.

If you are looking for a more upbeat vibe you are going to get it at weekend one of Coachella.  This isn’t to say weekend two is a snoozefest: it’s still a lot of fun but there are just more parties, more celebrities, and more going on at Coachella weekend one.  I personally don’t care about any of that but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it as it is a big draw for people.  I actually like it as I find I can get closer to the stages in weekend one as so many people are just there to party and not see the bands.

Advantages of Coachella Weekend Two

In my opinion there are actually a few advantages of going to Coachella weekend two.  Some people call it Chillchella because everything is just a little more calm.  Most of the massive press coverage for Coachella occurs during weekend one and in general less celebrities are there for the second weekend.  This makes things a tad more calm than the opening weekend.  People also claim the crowds are a little more thin, allowing you to get closer to the stage, but Coachella sells out both weekends so this may just be the drugs talking.

Another advantage is the artists performances are sometimes a bit smoother, especially on reunion acts.  Coachella loves to book reunions that first occur at Coachella.  A famous example is Outkast from a few years back who really struggled as a Coachella headliner weekend one as it was their first performance in years, but by all accounts killed it weekend two.  Some artists also have some jitters if it’s their first time playing to a big crowd like Coachella so they may be better prepared on weekend two.

A lot of people also claim Coachella weekend two is more about the music in general.  A lot of people go to Coachella to be seen: the bands are an afterthought and it’s more about going to Coachella parties, seeing a celebrity, or getting wasted with your friends.  People who go to Coachella weekend two more go for the music and to enjoy the artists.  If this is your type of thing then you should consider Coachella weekend two.

Accommodations are also cheaper for weekend two.  Obviously if you camp the price is the same but if you book a hotel or a house the price are generally cheaper for Coachella weekend two.  It’s still expensive, but at least it’s not as expensive.  The chart below shows the average price of hotels for Coachella (which we track daily for you!) for both Coachella weekend one and weekend two.  As you can see Coachella weekend two is consistently cheaper.

Coachella W1 vs. W2

A final benefit is the tickets are just easier to get for Coachella weekend two.  Every year the first weekend sells out much quicker than weekend two.  If you are planning to go to weekend two from the outset I assure you that you will have absolutely no problem getting tickets if you go online went they go on sale.  Plenty of people go on to purchase tickets for weekend one and don’t get them, but as long as you are punctual you will be able to snag tickets for Coachella weekend two.  Also note this applies to both the presale that occurs in June and the mass sale of Coachella tickets that occurs in January with the lineup announcement.

The Verdict

I want to reiterate: if you can go to Coachella you are already ahead of most people in life.  Lots of people would kill to go to either weekend, and you will enjoy yourself at either weekend of Coachella.  If you want fresh grass to party on, more surprises, and a more upbeat vibe go to weekend one of Coachella.  If you are down with a more laid back experience and want to save a bit of money go to weekend two of Coachella. 

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