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DJ/ Producer SOHMI Shares Her Guide To A Few Days In LA Before You Head To Coachella

Music’s most notable event of the year, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, is finally around the corner after two years off. As the first “Chella” since the pandemic, the weekend is sure to be full of head-banging hits, over-the-top outfits, sweltering desert temperatures, and too many frozen lemonades to count.

While the iconic festival takes place in California’s Coachella Valley each year, most out-of-state Coachella attendees fly in and out of Los Angeles. And if you’re flying from out of town to go to the festival, you might as well arrive early for some Angeleno adventures.

Korean-American DJ, producer, vocalist, and now soon-to-be Coachella performer SOHMI uses LA’s finest attractions to gear up for the festival each year. After all, three straight days of dancing, drinking, and partying in an overcrowded venue requires preparation. To help Coachella goers prepare for the wild weekends ahead, we asked SOHMI to give us her ultimate LA guide.

WHY SOHMI LOVES COACHELLA:

Coachella is always a huge experience, both at the fest and during the lead-up to the festival itself. I went to my first ‘Chella in 2016 and attended every year until 2020 when it got canceled due to the pandemic. If not for that, however, I most likely would have gone then too! It’s one of my favorite festivals for the diversity and caliber of its lineups, for the incredible selection of vendors and places within the grounds to chill out and enjoy a cold draft beer or frozen rosé (I think they call it frosé!), and for the people-watching — as everyone brings their best festival fashion game to Coachella.

With so much to do, see, and experience over the three-day festival — not to mention all the pre and after parties — I think it’s important to make sure you get plenty of exercise, food, and rest leading up to the big weekend so you can tackle it head-on, in tip-top shape. And of course, a little shopping and pampering beforehand never hurt anyone, either.

With that said, here’s my guide to getting ready (and pumped up!) for Coachella, LA edition.

Hike at Griffith

Griffith Park
SOHMI

Start building up that festival stamina with a beautiful hike at Griffith Park. There are tons of easy to moderate trails to choose from, and you’ll get to enjoy some great views of the city of Los Angeles while getting your exercise in as well. Go with a buddy or group of friends, and you can even reward yourselves with a cold one and delicious eats at Spitz nearby after your hike.

Hot Yoga at Modo Yoga

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If hiking isn’t your thing, there are lots of other ways to sweat it out and clear your mind before the festival — like hot yoga. I recommend Modo Yoga, which boasts 55 locations around the world and three in Los Angeles. I’ve taken classes at their La Brea studio, which offers mats and towels for rent if you don’t have your own, and a locker room with showers so you can freshen up after all that sweating!

I always leave feeling super refreshed, clear-headed, and grounded.

Take a Barre Class with Pure Barre

My third and final pre-festival fitness recommendation is to take a barre class with Pure Barre. If you’ve never done barre before, the best way to describe it is a 50-minute full-body workout focusing on small but concentrated movements that result in lean muscle tone. So if you want to pack on some extra toning in your abs, arms, and legs before you hit the festival — this is definitely the workout for you!

I’ve taken classes at the Beverly Hills studio since 2016 and can confidently say that barre has transformed my body and made me stronger.

Shopping & Eats at ROW DTLA

Los Angeles Food
SOHMI

I can’t say enough good things about this incredible destination in DTLA. Imagine 32 acres of LA’s downtown cityscape transformed into a sprawling area that’s home to hip stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and on Sundays, a giant food fair called Smorgasburg LA. So make sure you check out ROW on a Sunday to hit Smorgasburg, where you’ll get a taste of some of the best food that LA has to offer (and preview some of the vendors who will be out at Coachella!), then get your festival shop on at cool spots like Bodega (you enter through an unmarked, bodega-esque storefront which suddenly opens up into a multi-story wonderland of streetwear, eclectic home goods, and coveted kicks for the sneakerheads).

Thrifting on Melrose and Melrose Trading Post

If you don’t find anything at Bodega or the shops at ROW or are looking for some better deals and unique vintage pieces, you’ll definitely want to check out the thrifting on Melrose and Melrose Trading Post (MTP). Another fabulous outdoor marketplace that takes place on Sundays, MTP is focused on artisan goods and vintage fashion.

I’ve found some of my favorite festival pieces and outfits at the Melrose Buffalo Exchange as well as vintage tees at MTP — there’s no way you won’t be able to find something you love at least one of these places!

Get a Massage at Larchmont Sanctuary Spa

After all your pre-festival working out and outfit shopping, I think you deserve a little pampering and R&R. The first stop is Larchmont Sanctuary Spa, which is located in the cute and bustling little neighborhood of Larchmont. There are tons of different services including various facials and massage treatments, and I certainly haven’t been able to try them all yet, but I highly recommend giving the 60-minute Holistic Wellness Massage a go. This one uses light to medium pressure, aromatherapy, hot steamed towels, and a combination of Swedish strokes and targeted acupressure techniques for a relaxing experience that also isn’t too painful.

The spa itself really does feel like a sanctuary — it’s beautiful and peaceful inside.

Mani by Nao

Stop two of pampering and R&R would be a visit to (or requesting a house call from) Nao, to get your nails fresh and festival-ready. I always get my nails done with Nao before my gigs to make sure they’re ready for their closeup, and she always kills it. Check out her work on her Instagram page, and you can also send her a message via DM to try and schedule an appointment with her. I recommend reaching out at least a few days in advance!

Check Out a Show at Sound Nightclub

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By now, you should be worked out, relaxed, pampered, and ready to get your pregame on for the festival. If you’re a house or techno fan and plan on checking out any of the acts at Coachella inside the Yuma Tent, then a visit to Sound Nightclub is a must. Located on Las Palmas in Hollywood, Sound is LA’s premier underground club for house and techno and regularly books world-class acts like Dixon, Honey Dijon, Damian Lazarus, Michael Bibi, and Peggy Gou just to name a few. A night at Sound would be the perfect buildup for what’s to come once you hit the fest and walk into Yuma — one of the main stages at Coachella which transforms a massive tent-like structure into a full-on rave warehouse out in the middle of the desert. That’s where I’ll be playing!

Get a Sweet Treat at SomiSomi

NomiNomi Dessert LA
SOHMI

Last but not least, I had to throw in one of my favorite spots for a sweet treat in all of Los Angeles. After a full night of dancing, I always crave some comfort food the next day and SomiSomi is one of those things that always hits the spot. It’s a Korean dessert spot known for serving up delicious combinations of cold, soft-serve ice cream atop a warm, fish-shaped pastry called “ah-boong” which you can also fill with different sweet fillings like custard, taro, and Nutella. Call me biased, but it doesn’t hurt that the store sounds like it was named after me, too.

Really though, SomiSomi is so, so good. Split one with a friend or treat yourself to your own, and get ready to dance it all off again at the festival.

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