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Coachella: How To Keep Track of Your Friends

How to Keep Track of Your Friends at Coachella 2007

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Difficulty: Moderate
I don't think you should read this article. Seriously. Because, quite honestly, I think trying to keep a group of friends together at Coachella is more trouble than it's worth. It's really more difficult that it sounds, especially if there are four or more in your group. There are so many different options at Coachella, there's no way you're all going to want to see the same bands all day long. And every time someone in your group wants to use the bathroom or get something to drink, the whole group gets held up. I say, if you fly solo, or at least keep it to a dynamic duo, you'll be able to get much more out of Coachella. See the bands YOU want to see, eat when YOU want to eat. When you're with friends, you have to be constantly looking around to make sure they're still with you. When you're on your own, you can just GO at your own pace! Just keep it simple and tell your friends you'll meet them at the car at the end of the night.

However, I understand that there's a lot of you who probably don't want to take my advice. You really want to share the Coachella experience with your friends, don't you?

OK then, follow these steps

Things You'll Need

  • Wireless phone
  • FRS radios (walkie-talkies)
  • Coachella map/schedule
  • Matching shirts/hats
  • A watch
  • A pen (you may have to smuggle it in)


  • STEP 1: PLAN AHEAD–IN WRITING. Make sure everyone in your group has a schedule. Take the time to all sit down together and discuss which bands each of you want to see throughout the day. Take a pen and write each of your friends' initials next to the bands they're planning to see on YOUR schedule. This serves two purposes: 1) you'll have an idea where each of your friends will be throughout the day, and 2) you'll be able to recognize if there are certain bands that you ALL want to see. Also, write down what each of your friends is wearing from the waist up (i.e. "Gary - gray t-shirt, red bandana") It's much easier to find your friends in a crowd if you know what they're wearing, and your cheat sheet will come in handy.
  • STEP 2: PICK A LOCATION. If you all want to meet up, like before a band you all want to see together, pick a time and place to meet. Be as specific as possible. "Let's meet at the main stage around 9-ish" will NOT work! You gotta say something like, "Let's all meet directly under THAT Heineken banner at exactly 9:10 PM." Write it down in your schedule/cheat sheet in case you forget.
  • STEP 3: DON'T RELY ON WIRELESS PHONES. A lot of people assume that they'll be able to simply stay in touch with friends via cell phones and text messaging. Don't make this mistake! When you have 50,000 people with cell phones all in one spot, the local cell towers can't handle all the traffic, and you'll probably get "system busy" error messages all night long. If you're able to get through on a cell phone, consider yourself lucky... DON'T rely on it!
  • STEP 4: USE WALKIE-TALKIES. Some people use FRS (or GMRS) 2-way radios to stay in touch with each other. These are like little walkie-talkies smaller than the palm of your hand. They're easy to use. Almost all the FRS radios made in recent years have 14 channels and 38 "privacy codes" to filter out all the other people using the same channel. You can get a 2-pack of radios for less than $35 if you shop around.
  • STEP 5: CLOTHING COORDINATION. Have you ever been in a big city and seen a group of tourists all wearing matching, brightly colored t-shirts? They do that to make it easier to keep track of their group. You could do the same at Coachella... like a team uniform! Team Coachella! Go Team!!! Too cheesy? Well, maybe just do matching hats or matching bandanas. It really does make it easier to spot each other in a crowd.