[Opinion] Coachella is not as glamorizing as it seems


MCT Campus

Festival goers react as Rebecca Black performs on the Do Lab stage during Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 16, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Madison Friedman, Writer

With Coachella making a return for 2022, after being canceled because of COVID-19 the past two years, people have quickly seen every social media platform turn to strictly festival content. Coachella is an annual music and arts festival held in Indio, CA. The festival lasts from April 15 to the 25, hosting two weekends that allow many to escape reality into the world of music. Many influencers, celebrities and concert goers gather in the desert to watch their favorite musicians perform. This year’s headliners includedHarry Styles, Billie Eilish, Swedish House Mafia and The Weeknd.

Coachella, which many seem to call a publicity stunt, brings in hundreds of thousands of people at a cost starting at $500. This is why many influencers end up getting invited by a brand to attend. Some brands like Revolve, American Express, BMW, NYX makeup, Liquid IV and more sponsor the event, offering small morning and afternoon events by invite only. At these events, they have top musicians and free products for the select group to have, but the downside is that one must be invited in order to enjoy the amenities.

Although Coachella may look extremely glamorous from an influencer or celebrity’s point of view, the festival from a regular person’s view is something entirely different.

The transportation at the festival has been a continuous problem for many people.
Due to high transportation costs, miles of walking in the heat is the only reasonably priced option for many.

Additionally, since Coachella is such a popular event, many hotels around raise the prices and many Air Bnbs sell out fast, leaving attendees with the least luxurious option: camping.

Camping at Coachella has become common over the years with people who are looking for an inexpensive sleeping arrangement while they spend the weekend at the festival. Camping there is displayed as “fun” because people are able to camp right on the festival grounds. The reality of it does not seem fun at all. The festival is in the desert, and with the hot sun beating down on the field all day and wind at night, the sand is a massive turn away. Many previous Coachella attendees advise to bring something to cover your face because of the sand’s harsh storms.

Also, the people who decide to camp at Coachella have the burden of having to use the site’s public restrooms, more so portapotties, and showers for when they are getting ready. These public areas contain long lines because of the vast amount of people camping. These aspects take away from the actual event because of how uncomfortable and unsanitary they are.

It is hard to stay hydrated all day with the extreme temperatures and the mass of people causing treacherous lines for things as simple as a cup of water. Attendees of the event complain that they do not even have enough water stations and the prices of the food are very high. Some say prices for things such as a bowl ranged from 20-25 dollars.

Because of the large number of people, many individuals unfortunately have had their personal items, such as phones, credit cards and other valuables, stolen. This makes it difficult to prolong the Coachella weekend because something like a credit/ debit card is something you would need the rest of the time at the festival.

Not only is the Coachella experience not glamorous for regular people, but there are other aspects of the influencer experience that make the weekend at the festival not enjoyable. During the first weekend of the 2022 Coachella season the brand Revolve which is an online shopping company, hosted a smaller festival for influencers with an invite only list. Many complained that the event was overcrowded. Some compared it to the Hunger Games because of how chaotic it was. There was little water given out and many of the people invited were stuck in the parking lot for hours on end.

Overall, the internet has seemed to over glamorize the Coachella event for many years now. The festival obviously has its good aspects like being able to dress up and listen to one’s favorite musicians, but also has its bad aspects which many of them are just not talked about enough.