Exactly How Much Coachella 2017 Weekend One Cost Me

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Article Summary

  • For Weekend One at Coachella 2017 I decided to document all of our costs for Coachella to estimate how much the trip costs us each year
  • Costs include hotel passes with shuttle, hotel, food, alcohol, gas to drive there, and more
  • The final cost of our Coachella weekend was a whopping $2,618. Well worth it!

Every year one of the most common questions about Coachella is how much it will cost you. I’m here to fully document how much Coachella 2017 Weekend One cost us. I say us because my fiancée and I travel to Coachella together annually. Thus I will list the total cost for both us, and will split it per person at the end. Obviously these costs will b specific to how we do Coachella, but I thought it be interesting to show how much the festival costs us annually. Obviously you can adjust these costs to your specific situation, so hopefully you find them useful in estimating your costs for Coachella next year.

How We Do Coachella

First, its important to note how we do Coachella, so you can see if these are applicable to you. If not, adjust appropriately;

  • We do NOT camp for Coachella; we stay in Palm Springs at a hotel every year
  • We stay from Thursday to Monday
  • Because we stay in Palm Springs, we buy the passes with the shuttle option
  • We don’t do any drugs so we sneak in plenty of alcohol as our form of party enhancers
  • We try to save money and be frugal, but aren’t overly cheap

So that’s my fiancée and me in a nutshell and how we do Coachella. Now I will go over every category of expense we had for Coachella, and how much it cost us.

Coachella Passes - $948

Not that this effects price, but we always buy our Coachella passes during the Coachella presale in June. This allows us to use the payment plan, so it makes our Coachella passes feel more inexpensive than they actually are. Anyways, Coachella passes are $399 and the shuttle passes are an additional $75. This brings each pass to $474, or a total of $948.

Coachella Hotel W1 2017

Accommodations - $1,144

We stayed at Palm Mountain Resort and Spa in Palm Springs for the first weekend of Coachella this year. It’s OK – nothing fantastic, nothing terrible, but it was a decent rate for downtown Palm Springs and a short walk to the Coachella shuttle that picks up at the Hilton Palm Springs. The total cost for the hotel came to $1,144 including all the taxes and fees.

Obviously this is the biggest area where your costs can vary for Coachella. If you camp, you are going to save a ton of money at Coachella. If you want a more luxurious hotel for Coachella, you are going to pay a lot more. Adjust the prices appropriately for how you plan to do Coachella. If you are looking for a full breakdown of the pros and cons of the different accommodation options you should check out our article here on the issue.

Gas Driving to Coachella - $60

So we live in downtown San Diego, so it’s about a 2.5 hour drive to Palm Springs for Coachella for us. This is essentially two tanks of gas, which is roughly $30 a tank for us. I assume this will be fairly similar for many of the Los Angeles and Southern California people who attend Coachella annually.

Pre-Coachella Supplies - $92.25

So every year we stay in Palm Springs we go to the grocery store for supplies the night before Coachella. Palm Springs has no late night food for when you get back from Coachella, so we stock up on some late night snacks. Nothing sets you up for a hangry night and a hangover the next day like being wasted at Coachella and having no food at night to absorb it all. We also purchase of plenty of alcohol to bring with us to Coachella and for pregaming before heading out. The total bill for this was $77.25 at the Ralphs in downtown Palm Springs.

The other $15 for this total was from the plastic bag flasks I posted above. These are a Coachella lifesaver and I could not recommend them enough. Let me be honest for a moment: I am a Coachella apologist. I love the festival and will defend it do my dying day. That said, Coachella absolutely fucking sucks for getting drinks and enjoying shows. You can only drink in the designated beer garden areas: alcohol can NOT be brought out of these areas. Most of these areas have pretty mediocre views of the stages, so if you want to enjoy an adult beverage and watch a show you are SOL. Enter plastic bag flasks to save the day! These little guys let you bring in your adult beverages no problem: just purchase an overpriced soda or mixer of choice and now you can enjoy alcohol at all your favorite Coachella stages.

Food & Beverage Outside of Coachella - $119

So this is the money we spent in Palm Springs before the festival or after. Honestly it’s not much as that’s why we have the aforementioned costs. Our strategy is to purchase food so we have stuff for breakfast and late night when we get home. Breakfast in the room is nice as you can get ready and go to Coachella fast, late night snacks are nice as everything in Palm Springs closes well before we get back from Coachella. These costs are from going out to dinner Thursday night ($47), Pinocchio’s in the Desert brunch (a must, $45) on Sunday morning, and Starbucks ($27).

Coachella Food

Expenses at Coachella – $255

Inevitably there are plenty of expenses at Coachella: you can purchase merchandise, alcoholic beverages, food, records, and a lot more. This section will add up by category how much we spent while physically at Coachella.  Note that our alcohol costs would have been a lot higher, but like good Samaritans we sneak in a fair amount of vodka each day. Maybe if Coachella didn’t suck and let us drink by the stages we wouldn’t have to do this. Anyways, our alcohol costs would have been way higher if we didn’t have this so either plan for that to be higher or snag these guys.

  • Alcohol – $132
    Alcohol at Coachella will run up quickly if you’re buying a lot of it. Regular beer (Heineken) is $10 a pop, craft beer is $12, well drinks are $12 and specialty cocktails were $14 a piece. I will say I think cocktails are the way to go at Coachella, they have surprisingly heavy pours and our drinks were always really stiff.
  • Food – $65
    If you want to see a full description of Coachella food, what we tried, and our food reviews you should check out this article. I will say we spent way more money on food at W2 than W1 (we did both this year). We made more of an effort to try food at W2, whereas W1 we were really busy at shows so there wasn’t much time to eat. In general we eat a lot before going to Coachella and have food for at night, so we snack during the day.
  • Random Supplies – $58
    Here I am counting things like water, chapstick, Tylenol, sodas, etc. It adds up mostly because we buy $5 sodas to mix our aforementioned snuck in booze with. Prices I remember include water at $2, Powerade at $5, Sodas at $5, Lemonade (generic) $5, Lemonade (hand squeezed) an absurd $10 and cold brew coffee at $8. As you can see prices for non-alcoholic drinks are fairly expensive but needed in the blistering Coachella heat.

So we don’t buy any merchandise like T-shirts or posters, but plenty of people do. If you think you’d like this the stuff is generally fairly reasonably priced, but you will need to account for this. Just note a lot of the merchandise and posters will sell out fairly quickly at Coachella so don’t wait until Sunday night to try to go on a shopping spree.

Total Coachella Expenses – $2,618

The table below summarizes the total amount we spent on Coachella 2017 Weekend one:


Cost ($)

Coachella Passes






Pre-Coachella Supplies


Food & Beverage In Town


Purchases at Coachella




Oof – definitely steep. I would say this is pretty typically of our spending every year at Coachella, so if you think you will travel similarly to us this is probably a good estimate for you. The biggest area of variance will be the accommodations – if you camp it’s going to cost you a lot less as camping passes are just over $100. Of course then you need to bring more supplies, but it should still end up being cheaper. Despite this large figure it was 100% worth it and I look forward to spending this same amount next year at Coachella!

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