After the New Year, music lovers anticipate as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival announces the lineup for its two-weekend dates. Yes, Coachella might be the place to see and be seen in the name of music festivals; however, there are many others that take the cake. Countless other festivals offer a better, more affordable experience than the infamous Coachella.
In all honesty, I do not blame you if you want to go. In fact, I do not blame you if you choose to go; the lineup alone explains why the sold out event is the face of modern music festivals. However, the pitfalls of this event and availability of other festivals worldwide are something that should not be ignored. Here are three reasons why you should save your money for a later festival like Firefly, Pemberton, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, and many other festivals that have surpassed Coachella.
1. The people are horrible
The most important thing about any music festival for me is the experience. Some of the best shows I have seen in my life where small crowds because everyone was enjoying the most important part: the music. Many people get wrapped up in the materialistic parts of festivals and Coachella is a mecca for the rich and famous and a lot of people to avoid. Coachella also has the worst crowds. After going to SnowGlobe this December for one of the coldest outdoor festivals I have been to in my life, deal breaker why I will not go back is because of the crowds. Getting out felt that like a mission and waiting in a line full of people in the middle of Indio, California does not sound like a good time.
2. The Price
A recent post from Jonathan Bernstein, a reporter for The Telegraph, shared a Forbes infographic showing the world’s highest-grossing music festival in 2015. Coachella sat at the top with $84.2 million, just under 60 million more than second place Outside Lands with $24.3 million. General admission 3-day passes set at $399, while a VIP pass costs $799. Coachella is also in the middle of a desert so from camping fees of $85 to safari guest passes at $7,500. Another option is to rent an Airbnb, but will still cost a group around $200 a night. Most people have empty wallets when they arrive at the gates, and that is not how you want to do a festival.
3. The people who put it on
After the 2017 lineup release of Coachella, several stories have resurfaced about Phil Anschutz, owner of Anschutz Entertainment Group or AEG, about his financial support to anti-LGBTQ, climate change denying organizations. The Washington Post wrote that Anschutz helped fund the Alliance Defending Freedom campaign, which The Human Rights Campaign has deemed “the nation’s largest anti-LGBTQ legal group.” They’ve sponsored over 200 anti-LGBTQ bills in 34 states, including 17 bills that specifically target transgender Americans.
However, Anschutz issued a statement to The Fader regarding the allegations:
“Recent claims published in the media that I am anti-LGBTQ are nothing more than fake news – it is all garbage. I unequivocally support the rights of all people without regard to sexual orientation. We are fortunate to employ a wealth of diverse individuals throughout our family of companies, all of whom are important to us – the only criteria on which they are judged is the quality of their job performance; we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.
Both The Anschutz Foundation and I contribute to numerous organizations that pursue a wide range of causes. Neither I nor the Foundation fund any organization with the purpose or expectation that it would finance anti-LGBTQ initiatives, and when it has come to my attention or the attention of The Anschutz Foundation that certain organizations either the Foundation or I have funded have been supporting such causes, we have immediately ceased all contributions to such groups.”
While the statement is damage control, it is important to remember the presence of fake news and check all sources when making a conscience decision about the information we read.
I am someone who believes in the music festival experience because it brings people together and unites them under the same similar interest for a weekend. Coachella will always be one of the leading, recognized music festivals in the world due to its past success; however, many others are paving the road to an experience less focused on materialism and more focused on music.