Dust-filled air, desert temperatures and crowded campsites aplenty – that is the glory of music festivals like Coachella or Stagecoach.
Glory to some, probably. But for me, it’s a hard pass.
The thought of all the artists that I love being in one place has appeal. But not at the cost of $400 and my dignity. The picture of me after a weekend at Coachella or any other festival of the like remains consistent – sunburnt, broke and unsatisfied.
Sure, Coachella or Grizzly Fest have the upper hand with local art exhibitions or gimmicks like giant Ferris wheels, but to me, it seems like another opportunity to watch crowded concerts from half a mile away and eat from a slightly mediocre and overpriced food truck buffet.
Additionally, the $400 refers only to a general admission ticket – not the cost of staying on site or at a hotel a few miles away from the venue.
So why invest the time and money into music festivals? The lineups seem picturesque and the Instagram post alone might be worth it, but is it really worth the long hours waiting for performers only to watch shorter sets? Especially when you could pay a fraction of the price for a set twice the length with a quarter of the audience.
At this point, the celebrity factor is what keeps music festivals relevant. Followers clamor the feeds of Kendall or Kylie Jenner to see what they’re wearing, who they’re seeing and what their Snapchat filters of choice will be. Media outlets gain more from advertising who wore what than writing about what actually happened.
Beyonce, who was slated to perform at Coachella, didn’t even show up. Granted, she’s pregnant with twins who will eventually be co-presidents of the United States, but still – Queen Bey didn’t want in.
There is nothing appealing about hanging out with a bunch of strangers on assorted drugs waiting around for artists who are going to play short sets. There is also nothing appealing about rushing from stage to stage hoping to catch the next set in time.
Paying so much money to maybe see favorite artists just doesn’t seem worth it. Why not just wait until they go on tour near you and pay a sliver of the price to see a longer set from them and only them?
The thought of a festival like Coachella is anxiety-inducing to me – not only because the thought of my body being covered in dirt wigs me out on another level, or because the ticket is almost a month’s rent, but because it seems overwhelming in the worst way.
I’m sure people thrive in the festival atmosphere. Adventurous extroverts everywhere rejoice at the chance to meet new people and see all of the acts they’ve always wanted to watch in one place. But aside from flower crowns and boho fringe, what makes it so different from seeing a regular concert?
The opportunity to camp under the stars while being lulled to sleep by Lady Gaga seems enticing, but nothing in me believes I would survive at any music festival. I love sleep, air conditioning and Kraft mac and cheese too much.
Though I am a concert junkie and will seize any opportunity to venture elsewhere and see my favorite bands or artists, I doubt I will ever give Coachella a chance. I’d have to sell one of my kidneys to even afford a ticket to attend, not including the campsite, food or emotional suffering.
Coachella diehards can keep the ironic vintage metal tees, fringe jackets and thigh-high moccasins. I’ll be sitting in the comfort of my own home, lounging on my couch and waiting for reasonably priced tickets to go on sale for the next show that will take place in an air-conditioned venue with a quarter of the people than I would find in Indio Valley.