Coachella Safari Tents
Safari Tents at Coachella Offer Backstage Access and Onsite Accommodations
Friday, March 19, 2010
It was a brutal fight against the traffic and I thought there was no way I would make the historic opportunity to see Paul McCartney on Friday night at Coachella last year, but there I was, at half past nine, sipping a cool beverage outside my safari tent, and while I couldn’t actually see the man, I could hear him crooning to me. “Maybe I’m Amazed” is right—the Safari Tent option at Coachella really is the best of three worlds. It’s got the proximity of the camping area, the amenities of a hotel room, and the access and cachet of the backstage artists’ village. So it costs 10 times what a normal ticket does—it’s not for everyone, but it could be for you. Here’s how the Coachella Safari adventure works.
When you arrive and things at the main entrance are massively backed up, you can tell security where you are going, and within minutes you’ll park next to a giant, mostly empty polo field with round-the-clock attendants at every entrance. Inside are two dozen large white safari tents arranged in rows and connected by oversized mylar ducts to several industrial-type air conditioning units. After a quick check-in, at which you will receive a pair of wristbands—one for the Safari Tents, the other for backstage—you walk just a few yards to your tent. Inside you’ll find beds or sofas, depending on which you ordered, and all the modern conveniences of festival life, backstage-style, including electricity, lamps, a mini-fridge, a dresser, tables and chairs, wi-fi, and a mirror, all in a climate-controlled environment that you’ll really learn to appreciate if the temperature outside spikes into triple digits.
Safari Tents are an oasis, and oases are worth a lot anywhere, but believe those who say “location, location, location,” because when the first golf cart arrives outside the convenient hospitality desk, you won’t believe how quickly you and your party will be whisked past security and into the labyrinthine world of Coachella backstage. Mammoth equipment trucks compete with tricked out tour buses, bicycles, and golf carts for room on the busy main drag. Watch out for the guy pedaling a piano!
Within minutes your driver has delivered you to a checkpoint behind the stage you have requested and you’re in through the artists’ entrance to an area that’s at most one-tenth the size of the actual audience. You and your friends will chat with the artists and their friends and family while the set lists get checked over one last time. Be careful you don’t get swept onstage when nearly everyone you are standing with turns out to be in the next act!
Besides the convenience of golf-carting from set to set along the backroad, Safari Tents also offer a convenient place to chill out when you need a break. Ask at the hospitality desk and they will issue you day wristbands so that you can entertain your friends in style and privacy, all the while just minutes from the mainstage in case you want to catch the next act. Several times I was able to head back to the tent, grab a glass of water, check my email, and change my shirt, all in the time it took for one of my favorite bands to break down their drum kit and make way for another. Pretty amazing.