I got a free, last-minute ticket to Coachella and it's still going to cost $2,000 to go. Here's exactly what I'm spending for a weekend at the notoriously expensive festival.
- The Coachella Music & Arts Festival takes place over two weekends in April at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.
- Coachella tickets cost $429 for general admission, but how much Coachella costs depends on what you want.
- I decided to go to Coachella for the first time this year.
- I thought the festival wouldn't cost that much when I was given press passes to the festival, but costs for airfare, a rental car, transportation, lodging, and food and drink still added up to over $2,000.
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I'll be honest - I never really thought I'd go to the Coachella Music & Arts Festival. Living in New York, I never thought it made much sense to ship out to Indio, California for one of Coachella's two weekends of music and fun.
This year, New York's homegrown festival, Governor's Ball, had a disappointing lineup and Coachella's East Coast edition, Panorama Festival, was not happening.So when Business Insider asked me to cover the festival, I checked out the lineup: this year's edition features Childish Gambino, Anderson .Paak, Janelle Monae, and Tame Impala, some of my favorite artists.
After I scored some last minute press passes, I was all-in. Then I started calculating out the budget.
Coachella is notorious for costing festival-goers an arm and a leg. Tickets cost $429 for general admission for the weekend, and that's just the beginning of it. Because Coachella is located at the Empire Polo Club two hours outside of Los Angeles, you have factor in transportation, parking, lodging, and more into your budget. Money's Megan Leonhardt estimated the typical cost to be $2,347 in 2018.
I figured that was all hype. I'm a very frugal traveler and I pride myself on saving as much as I can, but my budget for Coachella 2019 is already over $2,000 and I didn't even pay for a ticket.
Here's how that breaks down.