Coachella: How to Get to California’s Biggest Music Festival

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Photo of the Coachella Music Festival grounds.

When: April 10-12 & 17-19, 2020

Where: Empire Polo Club, Indio, CA

With headliners that include the biggest names in the music industry, you don’t want to miss Coachella 2020. From Frank Ocean to Travis Scott, Rage Against the Machine, Thom Yorke, Calvin Harris, Lana Del Ray and more, this year’s Coachella lineup seriously has something for everyone.

Running two weekends, the festival will span April 10-12 and 17-19. Located at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA (about 130 miles east of Los Angeles), the festival grounds are not exactly easy to get to. Sure, you could drive, but you’d better plan to wait for hours getting out of the parking lot every night. 

If you’re looking for a more efficient way to travel to the Coachella Valley (and you’re not about to rent a helicopter), Wanderu can help you get there for less than the official Coachella shuttle! (The official shuttle costs between $70 and $75, plus fees. 😱)

How to Get to Indio for Cheap

Indio, California, is the closest town to Coachella — about 10 minutes from the Empire Polo Club. Depending on how far away you’re traveling from, you can get to Indio from places like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Palm Springs on a dirt-cheap bus.

Los Angeles to Indio

Thousands of people flock from L.A. to Indio for Coachella, determined to dance, make new friends and, if they’re lucky, see Ariana Grande get hit with a lemon. If you don’t want to miss out on the fun, then you can book bus tickets from Los Angeles to Indio on Wanderu.

Depending on traffic, travel time on this route averages just two to three hours. Buses come and go all day long, so you can arrive whenever you want and head home as soon as you’re ready. In fact, once you’re properly sauced and sweaty, you can make your way back from Indio to Los Angeles on a trusty Greyhound.

Las Vegas to Indio

If you’re heading from Las Vegas to Indio, your trip will require a quick transfer in Los Angeles (about a 4.5-hour ride), before continuing eastward

Traveling is always better when you have friends to keep you company. (Coachella, too, is better when going in with a squad of your own.) Bring your friends along for the bus ride and explore the desert between Vegas and Indio from the comfort of your seat.

Rather than navigating your way through traffic, let the bus driver take care of everything while you chat, watch YouTube videos of your favorite headliners (the bus has free Wi-Fi!), or take a nap to prepare for the long weekend ahead. You won’t have to worry about how to get to Coachella if you’re departing from Las Vegas!

*These fares are for one-way trips to Indio on the weekends of April 10-12 and 17-19, and are subject to availability.

Phoenix to Indio

Although a lot of festival-goers come from California and Nevada, you’ll also find plenty of people from Arizona at Coachella this year. We make it easy to travel from Phoenix to Indio at an affordable price, with bus rides as fast as 3 hours 20 minutes.

Rather than flying from Phoenix to L.A., then taking a shuttle for another two hours to Indio, Wanderu can take you to Indio directly from Arizona’s Urban Heart.

*These fares are for one-way trips to Indio on the weekends of April 10-12 and 17-19, and are subject to availability.

Palm Springs to Indio – Starting from $12*

Palm Springs is the closest big city to Indio, just a 30-minute drive away. Staying in Palm Springs is be a good option if you don’t want to ride all the way back to L.A. after the final show of the evening, or if you want to stay close by for a full weekend of fun. Tickets from Palm Springs to Indio are super cheap, and direct, with three trips per day spaced out pretty evenly.

*These fares are for one-way trips to Indio on the weekends of April 10-12 and 17-19, and are subject to availability.

How to Get From Indio to the Coachella Festival Grounds

Located about 4 miles from Indio down Old California 86 highway, there are a number of easy ways you can get to the Coachella Valley: 

  • Walking | There are four pedestrian access points to Coachella located at the following intersections: Avenue 50 & Madison, Avenue 52 & Madison, Avenue 49 & Monroe, Avenue 52 & Monroe. Yes, a 4-mile walk is pretty long, but all the excitement may just spur you to arrive on foot. 
  • Biking | Bike access to the Coachella grounds can be found at the same four intersection entrances listed above. Each entryway has a set of bike racks.
  • Public Transit | From Indio, you can board the Highway 111 bus at Monroe, and ride Eastbound for 17 minutes (11 stops). Hop off at the Harrison at Ave 50 stop, and walk .8 miles to the Coachella grounds.
  • Rideshare | Both Lyft and Uber operate in Indio. A typical UberX fare to Coachella from Indio costs between $9 and $11, but you can bet surge fares will bump that price way up during festival hours. 

Where to Fly Into for Coachella

There are three airports in the Indio area that make the most sense to fly into for the Coachella music festival:

  • Los Angeles International Airport  | While LAX is the furthest of these three airports from Indio, it’s also the biggest, meaning you’re likely to find better flight deals. From LAX, just jump on a bus and you’ll be there in less than three hours (pending traffic). 
  • Ontario International Airport | Located roughly halfway between L.A. and Indio, this airport in Ontario, California, serves flights from all over the U.S. on major airlines like Southwest, American, Alaska and Delta. From there, hop a bus to Indio for around $23.
  • Palm Springs International Airport | Palm Springs is the closest major airport to Indio. Fares will likely be sky high for the two weekends of Coachella, but it never hurts to look. (And bus tickets from Palm Springs to Indio average just $13.)

When booking flights, don’t limit yourself by going straight to an airline’s website. You can compare super-cheap plane tickets from destinations all over the country on Wanderu.

The Official Coachella Playlist

Debating how to spend your time in transit? We have an idea: Get pumped up about all the epic artists you’re about to enjoy live by following the official Coachella 2020 playlist on Spotify! Stream it to your phone, or download it so you can listen without draining data.

Don't Miss the Party

The truth is, Coachella is going down whether you’re there or not, but this year’s festival is one you are not gonna want to miss. Justify the high ticket prices by scoring cheap transportation to Indio on Wanderu.com, or via the free Wanderu app.

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About the author
Austin Bay

Austin Bay

As a Northern California native, Austin's favorite trips begin and end in the mountains. He's always on an adventure to find new running trails and stay somewhere long enough to get to know people.