As a Coachella first-timer, I learned A LOT this weekend.
I came out to Indio, CA, with my co-worker Katie to find what all the Coachella fuss was really about( aka, we were assigned to cover the celebration and “were in” straight-up giddy ).
Armed with only a vague general notion of what to expect and a few essentials, we arrived late afternoon on Thursday ready to hit the ground running metaphorically operating that is, because in reality, we reached the ground walking.
I was cautioned about all the walking so I did something I usually dont do and only packed comfortable flat shoes( I truly dont know if Ive ever packed a suitcase without heels up to now, but I wanted to do this right ).
First, heres a little background. I live in New York City and stroll everywhere. I genuinely enjoy walking and typically avoid taking taxis and Ubers in the city unless Im running much farther than a mile. I am THAT person in the group who implores everybody else to keep up.
So I was highly curious what exactly people entail when they said there is a lot of walking at Coachella. How much is a lot?
The answer: 20.9 miles in three days.
I walked an average of nearly seven miles a day by simply attending the festival.
After eating some unbelievable food( and drinking some deliciously refreshing beverages that were not exactly calorie-free ), I figuredI would feel like I needed to immediately jump out of vacation mode and reached the gym when I got back home, but the truth is, I feel like I was on one long desert hike all weekend.
Its also worth noting my steps in NYC typically involve pavement. This was strolling through a little bit of grass and a whole lot of dust through the hot desert sun. I dont believe those miles technically count more than other miles, but they sure felt like they did at the time.
And the numbers dont lie. Based on an online calculator and presuming we strolled between 3 and 4 mph, we burned over 1,700 calories only by strolling which, by the way, is actually the only option.
The path from the drop-off to the festival entrance is reserved strictly for pedestrians( and pedicabs, but thats going to cost you and they dont even take you all the way ).
Now I will note if you have a VIP wristband, you walk a little less. The VIP entrance is much closer to the Uber drop-off and the Black car drop-off is much more convenient than the regular Uber drop-off.( We did not have these wristbands, by the way, and we did not travel by fancy car service .)
This means your median festival-goer must stroll several miles only to get to the stages and back. If you get lost, have an aggressive schedule designed to hear the most music at all the stages or are attending parties with long, gale entrances, your festival weekend might have included even more steps than mine.
All I know is I traveled back to New York on Mondaya little tanner, a lot more tired and at the least Id like to think with some severely toned leg muscles.
So to everyone opposing off the post-festival fatigue this week, dont feeling too bad about missing your workouts. If you went to Coachella and all you did was walk around, you certainly got your steps in. And if you danced the night away, you burned even more calories.
Thats right, people. Im telling you to cancel your gym memberships and merely attend music celebrations. Youre welcome.
Oh, and a little pro tip( yes, Im deeming myself a pro after one weekend ): There are no shortcuts at Coachella. If you leave the celebration through what you think is a back gate that they are able to plop you out closer to where you need to be, you are able to regret it( I learned that the hard way ).