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Dust off your fringe leather vest and water your flower crown because it’s that time of year again: Coachella 2016 is officially here. The festival, a two-weekend extravaganza of people who know a lot about music mingling with people who only pretend to know, has invaded the Coachella Valley of Indio, CA since 1999. But whether you’re planning to hop in your vintage VW camper and road trip to ‘Chella or YouTube the lineup straight from your living room couch, here are six ways to get inspired by the festival’s music-in-the-desert vibes: 

  1. Image via

    Image via

    Update your summer wardrobe. Yes, some of the outfits are ridiculous and may only be appropriate for a pool party in Japan—where else can you really wear the string bikini with a Kimono combination?—but style is style and even if Coachella-ites are sweating from their armpits to their earlobes because they’ve been dancing for twelve consecutive hours in a sweltering desert, their looks are undeniably cool.
  2. Brush up on your Ferris wheel knowledge. That humongous Ferris wheel you see in the backdrop of Coachella photos, glinting in the fading sunlight as thousands dance before it actually has a name (Le Grande Wheel) and is the second-largest Ferris wheel in the world. Tied for first place? The London Eye and Paris’ Le Grande Roue in Paris.
  3. Dance like no one is watching (because you’re at home and that would be creepy). As I said, you might be reading this from the inside of your retro van while sitting in traffic on the freeway to Coachella Valley. Or, you might just decide to live vicariously through photos and Snapchats, skipping the trip to Indio this year. If you’ve chosen the latter, no worries, I’ve got you covered. Step 1) Go here. Step 2) Choose an obscure-sounding band name you’ve never heard of before. Step 3) Click the YouTube icon. Step 4) Rock.
  4. Channel your inner Warhol. It’s not talked about too much but Coachella is also a festival for emerging and established artists around the world. Check out the 2016 Coachella art installations here.
  5. Know the facts. Last year, Coachella topped the list of most profitable music festivals, cashing in more than $84 million from almost 200,000 attendees. The next-highest grossing festival was San Francisco’s Outside Lands (profit: $24.3 million), which didn’t even come close to meeting Coachella’s impressive numbers. Bottom line? This festival is kind of a big deal.
  6. Be there no matter what. How? Oh, just this little thing called technology. Thank me later folks, I’ve got flower crowns to make.  coachella-poster

[MELISSA MARNI is a Southern California-based writer and the founder of little word studio. You can follow her musings on Instagram here.]

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