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Coachella: How To find Your Car

How to Find Your Car in the Parking Lot After Coachella 2007

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Difficulty: Easy
The parking lots at Coachella are vast. Huge. Massive. They take up much more space than the actual festival grounds. And they all look alike! Each night at midnight, tens of thousands of tired and dazed festival-goers are herded out of the festival into the parking lots, and a lot of them have serious trouble finding their car afterwards. In the afternoon when people arrive and park, they're excited about the bands they're gonna see, and often don't take the time to really take notice of exactly where they're parked. Then later that night, when it's dark and their ears are ringing and they're blinded by headlights, these people can be seen wandering through the vast parking lots with no clue where their car is.

The past couple years, Coachella organizers have made it easier by floating a brightly colored, numbered balloon over each parking lot. But the balloons aren't exactly huge or anything, and sometimes aren't lit up as well as they should be.

Don't rely on your memory when trying to find your car. Use the following tips and hints, and you won't end up like Moses, wandering through the desert for 40 years, trying to find your %*&#damn car!

Things You'll Need

  • A pen or pencil
  • GPS unit
  • fluorescent paint


  • STEP 1: WRITE IT DOWN. The parking lots are numbered, and they each have a colored, numbered balloon floating overhead. Don't rely on your memory-- get out a pen and actually write down which lot # you parked in, and the color of the balloon. Write in on your hand, a piece of paper in your wallet or purse, whatever... just write it down.
  • STEP 2: TAKE MENTAL NOTES. As you walk away from your car towards the festival entrance, take note of where your car is in relation to the balloon overhead. As you walk a little further, also take note of where your parking lot is in relation to the other lots and the festival entrance/exit. Envision yourself walking the opposite direction, towards your car, in the dark. Get a sense of the direction you'll need to be going later that night.
  • STEP 3: USE GPS TECHNOLOGY. Sounds like overkill, but I'm actually serious! My first year at Coachella, I happened to have my little handheld GPS in my backpack. I was gonna leave it in the car, then thought, 'what the hell, I'll mark a waypoint here by my car and bring it along just in case.' Wow, was I glad I did that, because later that night as I staggered out into the parking lots, blinded by the headlights and giant sunlamps lighting the lots, I had no idea where to go (and I usually have good sense of direction). Luckily I remembered that my car's location was stored in my GPS, so I dug it out of the bottom of my backpack and let it guide me right to my car.
  • STEP 4: PAINT YOUR CAR FLUORESCENT GREEN. Makes it much easier to spot in a parking lot. Putting a 14 inch lift kit on it doesn't hurt either.