Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is world renowned for a reason. People come from all across the globe to hear the biggest, coolest and best artists all the while feasting over top-notch food, experiencing one-of-a-kind activations and art; shopping specialized merch and gathering with a community of people who all love music. But even with all its greatness, Coachella is an endeavor. The desert-set weekend requires quite the preparation beyond putting together festival-ready looks. And we’ve got Olivia Ponton here to help.
Along with being a Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret regular and being an ambassador for Nudestix and American Eagle, Ponton has dominated Coachella and is ready to give you the inside scoop.
“When I was at Coachella last year, I was walking out of the artist lounge, and I was looking down at the ground and looked up and immediately saw Khalid, who I had never met but had loved for a long time and had DMed with previously,” Ponton tells Modern Luxury of her favorite Coachella memory. “I was so excited to see him and to be able to connect in the place he was performing!”
Above all, Ponton’s favorite thing about Coachella is seeing her favorite artists perform (she has yet to ride the infamous ferris wheel). But you won’t catch her sprinting off alone to another stage across the Empire Polo Club grounds. Her top piece of advice is to stay with friends no matter what. She explains: “It can get very stressful trying to contact them and it is always best to be safe!”
For more on fashion, food and survival tips for Coachella, read more from Ponton below.
Hotel or camping?
Hotel - I like having the extra added security and safety.
You’re getting ready to head to the festival. What essential items are in your bag?
Hand sanitizer, face mask, lip balm, sunglasses, gum, hair tie, jacket.
What time do you usually head into the festival grounds or does it depend on the day’s lineup?
It depends on the day's line up. The more I can sleep in, the better!
Is the food even good?
Yes, they have really good hotdogs.
How do you stay fueled and hydrated throughout the day?
I drink liquid IV to make sure I can get all my electrolytes in.
How do you deal with the desert winds?
I brought a face mask in years past. Also, at night make sure to have a jacket to throw on. It gets cold!
Let’s talk fashion. What comes first: the look or comfort?
The look comes first during the day, comfort comes first at night.
Do you have any favorite brands for festival season?
What trends do you think will be popular this festival season?
Snake print and mesh outfits. I'm not exactly sure, but I am excited to see all the different styles!
Do you have a favorite look from a past Coachella?
What shoes do you recommend?
Big boots are definitely the way to go, no open toes!
What are your go-to hairstyles to get through long days and nights in the desert?
French braids are very practical or a long ponytail, anything that is out of your face!
What accessories do you like to bring into play and why?
The more extra you are the better, so I bring a little bit of everything in! I love sunglasses though; I always have them on.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Photography by: Courtesy of Olivia Ponton