Do Not Spend Your Hard-Earned Money On Coachella
11:30 am, January 29th | by
The Coachella lineup was announced Thursday night, and tickets went on sale today (for those of you who didnʼt buy pre-sale tickets 6 years in advance with no idea who is playing this year). People be TALKINʼ bout Coachella. Or “Chella,” if youʼre a horrible goblin. Iʼm sick of it already, and itʼs not even February. This is not a “youʼre just bitter because youʼre not going” situation. I spit venom about the festival because it’s terrible. Iʼve been twice, so I can speak on it. Let me lay out the many, MANY reasons why your dollars and vacation days are better spent somewhere else.
1.Itʼs RIDICULOUSLY expensive
Do you have at least a thousand dollars that you donʼt want anymore? Great; go buy yourself a Coachella weekend pass. The bare-bones weekend pass (admission + shuttle) alone is
$400, and then you have to factor in travel costs, food costs, vice costs, costume costs, lodging costs, camping gear costs, etc. etc., forever. DONʼT PLAY LIKE COACHELLA ISNʼT A COSTLY ENDEAVOR. (N.B. Coachellaʼs commitment to serving a bunch of Heineken at the festival is hilarious — youʼll never see that many “21”-year-old girls dressed like Pocahantas drinking Heineken in one place ever again.) The cost for one person to go to Coachella is
approximately the same amount for a family of four to go to Disneyland. Also, Coachella doesnʼt have the “World of Color” show, so it canʼt event compete with Disneyland.
2.The Lodging is the Worst
Here are your choices: camping on hard grass. That's it!
Oh wait, never mind! The camping grounds are full! Youʼre going to have to miss out on staying in a tent in the 100 degree Indio, California weather among hundreds of other un-showered concert-goers. Sorry! You can still "car camp!" Havenʼt you always wanted to sleep in your car? It never crossed your mind before, but now you canʼt stop thinking about the luxury of reclining your seat and passing out like youʼre at the dentist.
You could always stay at a hotel. JUST KIDDING! The nearby hotels have been sold out for a year! And even if a room were available, you would be paying a kingʼs ransom to stay at a Motel 6.
Oh, you could always commute from LA or another major city, because driving 2.5 hours after drinking at a festival until 1 AM every night does indeed sound like a dream come true. Iʼve changed my mind, I think Iʼll go this year after all
3.It Has Become a Frat Party
I went to Arizona State University, where frat dudes multiply like hydra heads. But after my most recent Coachella misadventure, I was exposed to so. Many. Frat. Dudes. In. Neon. Sunglasses. And I couldnʼt take it. Like, I expected to close my eyes, open them, be standing on Hayden Lawn (WHAT UP SUN DEVILS!) and see those same guys doing a keg stand.
But...I was at a music festival for "artists" and "hippies." Sure, maybe I felt a pang of elitism when, while watching YACHT, I heard one 6ʼ5” muscular guy in a neon tank top say to his similarly-dressed friend, “What are we watching right now?” while bobbing his head OFF BEAT. I wanted to tell him, "Go high ﬁve one of your bros and then scream sing during Mumford and Sons's set. Youʼve earned it." But I just seethed in silence. And now I will gracefully segue into my next point...
4.Itʼs a Costume Party
I love a hippie in fairy wings and camo-print cargo shorts hula hooping to a song in her mind as much as the next girl. You keep doing you, boo. I do not love a person who looks like he or she ransacked the most culturally-insensitive sections of Urban Outﬁtters to prep for a “Peter Pan”-themed Rush Week party. If you donʼt go to Coachella, but you want to have the True Coachella Experience, go stand in a Free People store and imagine that the $340 poncho and the shoes made out of repurposed squirrel paws are having the following conversation:
“Your outﬁt is SOOOOOO CUTE!”
“Omg, you should wear
those shoes for realsies, not just for Coachellasies!”
“Iʼm super sweaty, but like, it adds to the look, right?”
“I saw another girl wearing my crocheted vest, but like, she looked ridiculous because she was wearing a shirt underneath it.”
“I took molly for the ﬁrst time, do you think people can tell?”
“SLEIGH BELLS IS SO LOUD IN REAL LIFE, CAN WE LEAVE? PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO MOSH AND IʼM WORRIED ABOUT MY
FEATHERS.” (Note: I actually heard that last statement in real life, with my own ears.)
5.The Parking Lot is a Labyrinth
The festival takes place on polo ﬁelds, and the camping, car camping, and parking lot are all on the surrounding dirt/dead grass ﬁelds. And you know what you have to look forward to if, say, you want to leave the festival grounds after the last act to go back to your hotel/cave/glitter cloud, or if you want to go get something from your vehicle? Walking for an hour through poorly lit dirt ﬁeld after poorly lit dirt ﬁeld. Stumbling through campsites. More dirt. And then a
David Bowie Owl snatching up your baby brother. And then some more dirt. And because there arenʼt many points of reference, youʼre trusting your own sense of direction. I hope you can ﬁnd your car after all that. And your baby brother.
6.You Can No Longer Buy a 1 Day Pass/It Is 2 Identical Weekends
In the olden days, you could buy a 1-day Coachella pass if you so desired. And if you understandably couldnʼt afford the 3-day pass, you could still go for a single day of your choosing. But now
Goldenvoice has taken a brave stand against plebeians in order to create a safe space for trust fund kids, celebrities, and industry people. Again, not to sound like an crank, but the crowd was signiﬁcantly different the ﬁrst time I went (1-DAY PASSES = MORE REAL HIPPIES) from when I went recently went (3-DAY PASSES = MORE “COACHELLA MUST HAVES” LIST HIPPIES). And as if the festival wasnʼt commercial enough, the demand for this 3-day hellhole was so high that they turned it into 2 back-to-back weekends. Goldenvoice is basically taking a dump on the concept of “authenticity” while laughing all the way to the bank.
7.Everyone Thinks It Is THE BEST
People are entitled to their opinions. But why the incessant need to preach the Coachella gospel to anyone and everyone who will listen? "Coachella people" are evangelical extremists. Stop trying to convince all of your friends that you have lived a more enriched life because you made friends with some strangers and shared a couple of Keystones while sort of listening to The Jesus and Mary Chain (in the distance). Everyone else did it already at summer camp, get up out of my face about it. I mean, I like
Keeping Up With the Kardashians more than anything in the world, but I donʼt tell people theyʼre going to die unfulﬁlled if they donʼt watch the show. Going to Coachella is as much of a “once in a lifetime experience” as watching the Kardashians episode when Kris accidently puts Viagra in Robʼs coffee.
Music is what this thing is all about, right? Well, they canʼt even get that right. The lineup is all over the place. The more “mainstream” the festival gets, the more inconsistent the festivalʼs identity (or brand, I guess) becomes. Gotta please everybody! The headliners are either A) Kings of Leon, B) the Red Hot Chili Peppers, or C) the Red Kings Hot Leon
Peppers Chili featuring Roger Waters. And then you have hip hop artists, DJs, indie rock bands, top 40 acts, EDM, reunited alternative bands of yore, electronica artists, one-hit wonder indie pop solo acts, guys with bongos who scream poetry at the crowd, and then, of course, reunited rock legends. The line-up is Electric Daisy Carnival mashed into Lollapalooza mashed into iHeartRadio, so itʼs a regular musical War of the Worlds. I know people have wide-ranging musical tastes, but even the most well-rounded music fan will enjoy only 30% of the acts they watch over the course of three days. Because no one actually likes everything (except for the Red Kings Hot Leon Peppers Chili featuring Roger Waters). Yup, definitely sounds like a grand well spent.
Flickr, SF Weekly, Disney Dreaming, Preston Stahley, My Coachella, Trend 911, Flickr, Toledo Blade]