Take Your Baby: Music Festivals
Last year, after doing a bunch of fun stuff with our son that many people discouraged us from doing, I decided to start a series called “Take Your Baby” that debunks commonly held misconceptions about what activities parents shouldn't do and places parents shouldn’t go with their babies. I firmly believe that parents shouldn't feel forced to relinquish their interests and passions when we have babies, because giving up parts of your identity can only lead to resentment. Instead, parents should try to find ways to introduce their baby to their world as much as possible.
My last article, Take Your Baby: European Dining, focused on Michelin-starred restaurants, afternoon tea in London and the Parisian Grand Tasting. This time, I want to talk about music festivals, like Coachella and Bottlerock Napa.
With many of these music festivals rescheduled for the fall, there is still time for parents with tickets to decide whether or not to take their little ones.
Can I Take my Baby to Coachella?
Yes! Humans of all ages are welcome at Coachella. Kids under 5 are free and they even have pumping stations for mom.
In April 2019, my husband and I took our then-14-month-old son to Coachella during the day to see a few bands, eat delicious food, high-five strangers, go on the giant ferris wheel and enjoy some of the art exhibits. Parents who had left their babies at home were pleasantly surprised to see our son there and excited to bring their own kids back with them the following year. For nighttime festivities, we rented a big Airbnb house with my parents and a couple of friends so our son stayed home when we went to Coachella at night.
Can I Take my Baby to Bottlerock Napa?
Yes! While we personally haven’t taken either of our kids to Bottlerock, we saw plenty of youngsters dancing to the music on the lawn when we went in May 2017. Even though we didn’t have children at the time, we thought it was so great and vowed to return with our own babies someday.
At Bottlerock Napa, a ticketed adult can bring up to 2 children under 6 for free. All guests 7 and over must have a ticket/wristband. They also have a cool Little Rockers program and Family Zone open from 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Family Zone activities include face painting, punk hairdos for kids with wash away color and temporary tattoos from The Parlor Hair Design. There will be beautiful watercolor crafts by Connolly Ranch and make your own rings station by ACE. Plus, Le Petit Elephant is hosting a nursing, pumping and baby changing station.
Can I Take my Baby to Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo or StageCoach Music Festivals?
I can’t speak from personal experience on any festival other than Coachella and Bottlerock Napa, but according to the websites for Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Stagecoach, kids under 10 years old are free at all three of these music festivals as well.
When in doubt, call the venue or festival organizers beforehand to ask what their baby policy is. Or maybe scope it out with just the adults for your first visit and head back with your baby next year if you deem it appropriate.
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Christina is a Los Angeles-based writer, photographer and marketing maven.