Coachella. A time for running around the Polo Grounds, seeing all your favorite artists, making memories, collapsing exhausted in your tent at the end of the night, doing it all over again the next day. That’s what it’s all about, right?
A select group of individuals are there to make your festival experience worse by stealing your shit. A thread on reddit titled PSA: Pickpocketing describes how pickpockets have become plentiful at the festival this year, and the comments levy incredible support to this allegation.
User atraxlife writes, “Guys be very careful and aware of pickpocketers, weekend 1 there was A LOT of them, and it was going on at almost every set I saw. I started to notice them a lot more after I caught one trying to steal my phone out of my pocket. I even got a pack of cigarettes stolen from my pocket.”
The comments were even more expressive, noting accounts of losing phones, creepers in the crowd, people wearing bandanas and fake security shirts, etc.
If possible, you should not let this affect your festival experience. It would be a terrible thing to look over your shoulder constantly and be worried for your belongings, rather than having fun and experiencing the music.
So here are a few tips compiled from various sources in the thread:
- Be careful in very cramped areas / the side entrances to Sahara when the big performers go on get very packed with a lot of people going in and out / Also at the waiting area for the yellow line to get on the shuttles at the end of the night (I saw like four or five of them there at the end of day three) / the silent disco place is another one / the outside stages at night because it’s such a big area and it’s so dark it’s easy for them. Pretty much if you’re in a crowded area be careful. (/u/atraxlife)
- Report it. “The only way they’re going to take this seriously enough if they have actual reports from actual victims. Even if nothing’s going to help you get your stuff, it’s important that GV knows that there’s been a significant upswing in crimes targeting the crowd.” (/u/Pretty_Good_At_IRL)
- Be wary of “security” that have wandered too far into the crowd, especially if they’re wearing a bandana obscuring their face. “I was watching the Sahara live stream last night. I think it was during either Thomas Jack or Baauer but there was someone who looked like security standing towards the front of the crowd. Looked like he had the event pro staff shirt on. He had bandana over his face. I kept wondering why security would be standing that far into the crowd, I’ve never seen that a festival before. Now wondering if this could have been one of the pick pocketers you described?” (/u/slicecrispy)
- Fanny packs are not always 100% safe. Neither are camelbaks.
Everyone going to weekend 2, be safe and watch out for each other!