How to get into Coachella with $200

A true story by our #GirlBoss,
Emily Bargeron 


We’ve all seen the pics - boho babes in sheer maxi skirts and bikini tops, with the perfect amount of side boob. We watch instagram stories of them frolicking across the lush green fields at Coachella with about 14 of their "besties" who somehow also have the perfect amount of side boob.

Sounds like a dream, right? All your favorite artists, good looking people, beautiful weather, drinks, VIP parties, celebs, ugh so let's book.... 
skkkreeeeeech (insert one of those sitcom noises that are cheesy but perfectly describe how you feel when you see the price tag). 

So my true bestie gal, Jessica (@ilovebreadsticks) and I decided that we weren’t going to let a little green paper keep us from experiencing the magical desert dreamland.

Our mischievous sides got the best of us and we schemed up a plan to (drumroll please)

sneak into freaking Coachella.


We booked some cheapo flights from GA to LA on everyone's favorite low budget airline, Frontier.

Once we landed, we were rolling towards Coachellaworld in our 30ft Cruise America mobile home we rented for about $30 a day. At 30 bucks for transportation and a place to stay, you really can’t beat it. Once we got to Indio, we pulled up to the local Walmart because duh, free camping. 


Since we didn’t have a guaranteed ticket to the festival, we wanted to make sure we'd still have plenty to do once we got there. Months before the festival, we started reaching out to PR agencies who were hosting events, even sent emails and filled out forms for official invites to some of the parties to "be at."

We got a ton of invites for parties locked in from our extensive efforts in the weeks prior but there was ONE party that we didn’t get invited to - the infamous Bootsie Bellows VIP Party co-hosted by McDonalds.

So, we obviously were going to find a way to go.

We rummaged through our “suitcase” (aka a Fedex box full of clothes we shipped out a week earlier) to find the perfect Mamie Ruth digs to score us a front row seat at the most exclusive party of the weekend.

An uber picked us up from our campground, the local Walmart, and whisked us away to the Boostie Bellows entrance. 

There were tons of hopefuls lined up waiting to convince the bouncers why they needed to get in, along with dozens of rich kids selling their wristbands to the party for obscene prices. After a bit of prior Instagram stalking and failed shameful DMing we literally googled “Bootsy Bellows owner" - simple yet effective.

What’s the worst that could happen? Our hearts pounding, we walked to the front of the line and the bouncer asked the make or break question, “Are you on the list?”

With nothing but confidence, Jess said, “We're friends with Brian”.


Just like that, the bouncer escorted us to the wristband chick and told her to “take care of us”.  It’s a miracle our grins didn’t give us away, because we were stoked, actually shocked, that it worked.

It wasn’t long before we were front row at G-Easy’s private concert and eating french fries from golden platters (I’m not even exaggerating).


After a day poolside with Ronald McDonald and gang, we decided it was time to take our scamming skills to the next level.

We were going to attempt to achieve the impossible:
we were going to sneak into Coachella.

In our experience in vending at music festivals, we decided that vendors entrance is the area with the easiest point of attack. With a solid buzz on and some cheap catering supplies from Walmart lead us to a new story: we're delivering hotdogs to our employer, Sumo Dog. 

Walking up to the gate with nothing but confidence and empty hot dog buns (which were really holding our belongings) we explained to security that we were just making a delivery for Sumo Dog.

We were denied off the bat, so we made some fake phone calls to our “boss”. 

Major fail. 

Nevertheless, after all failed attempts convincing them we were legit, we did what all good scammers do - paid the guy off with a crisp $50. Sorry to disappoint everyone. This part was lackluster, but we're still well under budget compared to the full Coachella ticket price.

Day 1 of Coachella was a cheap success. 


We still had one major problem: we didn’t have wristbands for Coachella. This meant we wouldn’t have re-entry to the festival for the rest of the weekend.

No bueno. 

It was time to be resourceful and our thinking caps were ON. Turns out all it took was a little profile update on Tinder:

“Two Georgia peaches came all the way to the West Coast for Coachella to find out we bought fake tickets. Can anyone please help us out?!”

Yes, it was a lie but you can bet your ass it worked.

The next morning, a kind hearted stranger started chatting and it turned out he worked for the festival. He generously offered us two passes and said they’d be at 'Will Call' for us to pick up (best part: w
e didn’t even have to meet the guy).

We were a bit skeptical but with all we had accomplished - what was the worst that could happen? A few hours later, we picked up two official wristbands.

Victory, sweet victory. 

We had officially scored 'Artist' passes to Coachella and more importantly, we in fact found love in a hopeless place, thank you Tinder


Head out west this spring with creativity, no shame, little chunk of change, a big ole' bag of confidence and mainly luck - you too can end up at Coachella with a helluva story.