ANAHEIM, Calif. — While the lineup for the 2023 Coachella Music & Arts Festival dropped a week ago, passes for the second weekend still have not sold out.
Which is a bit odd, given how swiftly Coachella has sold out both weekends in years past. But it also offers an opportunity for foot-draggers and procrastinators to make the scene. Fans can still purchase tickets starting at $549 for three-day general admission passes and $1,069 for three-day VIP passes at AXS.com.
And here’s the thing: Weekend Two of Coachella can often be more fun and enjoyable than Weekend One.
This year the festival features Bad Bunny, Blackpink and Frank Ocean as its headliners, with a strong undercard that includes such acts as Björk, Gorillaz, Rosalia and many, many more.
The music will be great both weekends. The festival experience? Allow us to break it down for you.
You aren’t going to escape the crowds either weekend, unless this year something truly weird happens and Weekend Two never does sell out. Unlikely. But the crowds are typically different.
Weekend One all the annoying influencers infest the festival grounds, paying more attention to clicks on Tik-Toks than the music on stage, which, you know, is why you’re actually supposed to go there.
Weekend Two the crowds are more about the music scene than being seen.
Influencers, like canaries in coal mines, do serve a purpose. That tsunami of social media that pours out of the desert during Weekend One can actually make your Weekend Two experience better.
Want to know where to find the best bites and freshest food? Or conversely, which booths are busts? There’ll be posts aplenty to guide you.
The same kind of Weekend One intel can also guide you Second Chancers to the best, or cheapest drinks, the branded activations you should definitely not miss, and much more.
A year ago, we have no doubt that plenty of Weekend One peeps missed out on the free manicures at Harry Styles Pleasing nail polish activation. Weekend Two? Oh, you knew for sure where to go to get your pinkies and pointers and the other three digits painted shades with names like Sprouting, Tender Bud and Vine Ripe.
When in 1597 the Elizabethan-era influencer Sir Francis Bacon wrote, “Knowledge itself is power,” he might as well have talking about Coachella some four centuries in the future. In other words, if you arrive for Weekend Two armed with info on the best merch to snap up while it’s available, you’ve definitely got power.
It’s not uncommon to see young families on the field, pushing strollers loaded with Capri Suns and Teddy Grahams for the soundproof earmuff-wearing toddler inside. It’s much more common to see them Weekend Two when the fast and furious Weekend One has wrapped.
Everyone loves a surprise, and yes, Weekend One has plenty that might leave Weekend Twosomes with FOMO. But the surprises often get remixed from weekend to weekend, which leaves the second wave of Coachella-goers with their own special memories.
In 2022, headliner Harry Styles brought out country pop star Shania Twain his special guest on Weekend One. He followed that on Weekend Two with Lizzo. Same with headliner Billie Eilish. The first weekend she brought out Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz, the second Hayley Williams of Paramore.
Weekend One had a special performance by Arcade Fire, which did not repeat Weekend Two. But the second go-round did feature a Baby Keem show that saw his cousin Kendrick Lamar come out and play, which did not happen the weekend earlier.
Who got the better weekend? Hard to say! (We’d go for Lizzo, Damon Albarn and Arcade Fire … which would require going both weekends. Your results may vary.)
Sometimes it’s the little stuff that can make or break your Coachella experience. We’ve been broken badly by the maddening mess of the Coachella parking lots at the end of a long, long day.
And here as well, Weekend Two is your friend. All manner of kinks are worked out from the first to second weekends. Parking problems are resolved and you can get to Del Taco for your post-festival vanilla milkshake and chicken soft taco more swiftly. Water stations that might have been out of order or mired in long lines seemed to open up.
The infrastructure of the festival gets better and what’s not to like about that?