Coachella Music Festival is overpriced overrated


Photo by Wikimedia Commons

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival: also known as the music festival in the desert where rich kids listen to artists they’ve never heard of just so they can post pictures on social media.

Every April, people from all over the country spend thousands of dollars to travel to Indio, California, for this three-day festival that runs for two consecutive weekends. Each day headlines a different artist and also features many other up-and-coming performers. Each year, more and more people feed into this phenomenon with more than 250,000 attendees in 2017, grossing over $114.6 million.

First off, this festival is a holy mecca for people who care deeply about enhancing their social media presence. There is no doubt that many of the men and women that go to Coachella go for the sole purpose of taking pictures and posting them on Instagram, making certain that all of their friends know they are there. When the event was happening, it was the ONLY thing I saw on Twitter and Instagram — #Coachella2018, #Beyonce, #Beychella. It is pretty pathetic that in today’s society, an event that started out as a way for people to enjoy and celebrate artists and their music has become an expensive photo-op.

I understand taking pictures and making memories with friends, but why does the whole world have to know what you’re eating, drinking, wearing and doing at every second of the day? Put the phone down for a second and enjoy the music that you spent hundreds of dollars on. Experience it in real time and watch it with your own eyes, not through a camera.

People have gotten so caught up in what others think of them, and events like this just feed into that. Things like this are what put image-conscious girls into states of hopelessness and regret. They will buy expensive clothes, stage pictures and come up with creative captions just to make others envious of their lives. What’s the point?

Now not everyone attends Coachella for the pictures; some actually want to go and listen to music and have fun. However, is the price of the festival really worth it? Just for tickets alone, general admission is $429 and VIP passes are $999 for one weekend, and that’s only the beginning. Including travel, lodging and food/drinks, the average festival-goer will drop around $2,500 for the three-day event. There are cheapskates that will do everything they can to get the full experience while spending the least amount of money possible. On the other end of the spectrum, there are those that will splurge just because they can. Let’s break it down for a frugal attendee:

$429 = General Admission ticket
$300 = Average plane ticket on Southwest from Sacramento
$70 = One-way shuttle pass or Uber from Palm Springs airport to Indio (25 miles)
$125 = 10-by-15 foot grassy spot for tent camping
$80 = Food and drinks

Total = $1,004

Camping and listening to music in the middle of the desert for a thousand dollars. And that’s cheap! Wow. It just becomes such a production and the result seems insignificant to the amount of work that goes into planning it. Buying the tickets six months in advance, planning and buying “boho chic” outfits for each day, the 25-mile drive from the airport to the actual festival location, figuring out meals. It just seems exhausting and excessive. Especially considering the fact that this year, the concerts were live streamed all over the Internet. I could watch the same artists from the comfort of my own home for free.

Music festivals are supposed to be a place where people from all different walks of life can come together to bond and enjoy one thing that they may have in common: their love for music. Social media and societal ideals have taken that away and have turned events like Coachella into a contest of who can look the hottest and post the cutest pictures. We as a society need to get back to our roots, and not focus so much on reassurance from random people we don’t even know, but on reassurance from ourselves. If you decide to go to Coachella, go for the right reasons and just enjoy the music.