Remember when Coachella was known for creating memorable and unscripted music magic? Like when Prince called Coachella “the coolest place on Earth right now” and performed a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” in 2008? Or when Daft Punk played one of the most memorable music sets of all music festivals in 2006? Well, wake up from the dream of Coachella of the past and enter the expensive, kind of douchey and commercialized reality that exists today.
I get the novelty of wanting to go to one of the largest and most profitable music festivals in the world. Ok, that’s a lie, I don’t completely get it. If Coachella is so expensive that it offers a layaway plan for general admission tickets, then I gotta question — Is Coachella really worth it?
Let’s take a look.
Coachella At A Glance:
I spoke to several current and past Coachella attendees and they all have the same story, the cost to go to Coachella keeps rising. To get an idea of what it cost to go, let’s look at what Coty Daniels has already spent, who will be attending Coachella this year for the first time. After paying for one general admission ticket, a RV rental split with friends and her flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles, Coty has already spent $1,000. And those were just the hardcore basic costs!
Add in the cost for food, drinks, supplies, gas and clothes, as remember this is still a place to be seen, the weekend will easily cost her $1,600. And then if you are like some other concert goers who like to smuggle in a few “party-favors” or want to forego camping and rent a house, that just increases your costs even more.
At these costs, I could be on a beach in the Greek Islands or Hawaii with some hottie and not waiting in line for a nasty port-a-potty.
So it’s not that I don’t like Drake, but that being said, unless he has dramatically revamped his show, music, and his entire persona, there is no way he’s a worthy headliner. As for the other headliners, I love Jack White and would follow him almost anywhere and AC/DC would be interesting to see, but not for $1600 in potentially 100+ degree weather.
Moving past the main headliners, there are some notably acts like Yelle, Porter Robinson, FKA Twigs, St. Vincent, Tame Impala and the Alabama Shakes to name a few. But let’s be real, most of the Coachella acts are coming later this year to a music festival near you. So again, why go to Coachella to struggle to maybe get a glimpse of one of your favorite acts in a sea of 90,000 people? Is it for those rare music history moments like the Tupac hologram or reunions like Rage Against the Machine or Outkast? If so, I wasn’t at either of those shows, but like everyone else, I saw the viral videos on YouTube for free and from the comfort of my home with no one standing in my way. Which goes back to my first point, why pay that much when anything major will be on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter within 24 hours?
A huge part of Coachella is about the fashion and there are many there to be seen and are not there for the music. This adds to what I call the “douchey experience” and huge reason why I hella don’t want to go to Coachella. This is particularly true the second week when all the celebrities and the Kim K’s of the world show up. I love fashion and would fully support this side of Coachella if there was something fashionable or unique being presented. Unfortunately, year after year we have seen the same music festival
fashion uniform, which makes me seriously want to break the internet. Ok, maybe breaking the internet is above my skill set, but I wouldn’t mind finding a way to block posts on social media celebrating the Coachella fashion.
What I don’t get is how can you celebrate someone’s fashion sense when everyone looks the same? To make matters worse, now we have H&M creating a Coachella inspired collection, which only reemphasizes how commercialized Coachella has truly become. Should I now want to buy the same floral dress, fringed sweater, floppy hat and booties we’ve seen since the 90’s because H&M has put it’s rubber stamp of approval on the same bad fashion that has plagued music festivals for years? I honestly would rather see everyone in a furry costume, but that’s me.
If none these points have convinced you to save your money, then I say have fun at Coachella as sometimes people need to experience things on their own. If I have convinced you spend your money otherwise, here are a few music festivals coming up that I think are worthy contenders for your cash, unique sense of fashion and listening pleasures.
Beale Street Music Festival – May 1-3 (Memphis, TN)
Shaky Knees Music Festival – May 8-10 (Atlanta, GA)
The Roots Picnic – May 30 (Philadelphia, PA)
Governors Ball – June 5-7, 2015 (New York City)
Essence Festival – July 3-5 (New Orleans, LA)
Outside Lands – August 7-9 (San Francisco, CA)
AfroPunk Fest – August 22-23 (Atlanta, GA)
Trillectro – August (Washington, DC)
TomorrowWorld – September 25-27 (Atlanta, GA)
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass – October 2-4 (San Francisco, CA)
South By Southwest* – March 17-22, 2015 (Austin, TX)
*I realized this has passed but it is still one of the top music festivals