Thoughts On Coachella: It’s Not A Music Festival Anymore

Ah, finally, it’s Coachella season! I’m sure everyone’s already seen the lackluster lineup, the overpriced tickets and all your favorite celebrities and Instagram “influencers” cheap looking outfits in front of the Ferris wheel. It’s the best time of the year!

In most cases, it really is the best time of the year. The weather is getting warmer and so many summer concerts are being announced along with most people anxiously waiting other festivals. And with most outdoor concerts and festivals comes the overdressed, overdone, and over exaggerated group of people who don’t actually attend these shows for the music, rather for a picture to post onto the internet. Now with that being said, there’s nothing actually wrong with that; besides the fact that it costs a ridiculous amount of money to enter the grounds and the main point of the festival is to camp out and jam out to your favorite artists. Among all of these festivals, which are becoming more of a lifestyle than a music scene, Coachella sticks out to me as the worst offender.

Coachella is essentially one giant marketing scheme. Let’s start with the fact that Coachella is now a multi weekend festival, expanding from one originally, to two, and now in 2019 to three weekends. This obviously shows growth in popularity and maybe quality considering most other festivals are still only one weekend in duration. Unconventional as it may be, it seems like Coachella is well off. However, due to this, Coachella has discontinued single day passes which initially cost around $50 to $150 for one day or the entire weekend respectively, and now cost somewhere around $500 for ONE weekend only. The current price on their website states the cheapest package is $429. Let’s also not forget the cost of transportation, food, housing, souvenirs, and maybe a new ensemble. This amounts to well over $1000. For the average person who’s dedicated to attending, this would just require some money management and saving. It’s easy enough if you have some self control. On the contrary, though, the average person also probably doesn’t care about 90% of the lineup and it would be more efficient to see these artists individually. It would cost less, you’d probably be more comfortable and the set would be longer. But that doesn’t give you the opportunity to say you went to a well known festival and you don’t get a cool Instagram photo out of it, so what’s the point? Wow, being an average person is hard. Celebrities on the other hand, actually get paid to go to Coachella, whether they care to go or not. They’re essentially given loads of money to go there to promote certain brands by posting about it or wearing certain clothing and the such. Is this a hoax? Yes. Is this a well done marketing ploy? Also yes.

Coachella seems like it’s built upon this idea where the festival is nowadays presented as “I want to be like that” rather than “I want to see these musical artists live”. The pictures that most attendees post online are never of them enjoying a certain artist but are almost always awkwardly posed pictures of them wearing something “indie”. And I’m sure that there are plenty of people who go because they genuinely want to and because they enjoy the atmosphere of camping out and being at a festival. However, this type of person is pushed into the corner by the ones who post way too many Instagram photos of their “boho” outfit that they probably spent way too much money on at Urban Outfitters. Coachella has become a very unauthentic, commercial mess where it seems like the majority of people who go are only there to say they went.

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