The Coachella Debacle

By Ali Bush

When I was a in high school, I dreamed of attending Coachella, a place where celebrities mingled with rockstars in the dry desert heat. Now, every year when the lineup is announced, I feel less and less compelled to go and more and more bitter as I watch it all happen in real time on social media. Despite my growing cynicism, I can’t help but gape at the leading festival and cultural phenomena that Coachella has become in the past few years. From 100 miles away, I’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons of this controversial, exclusive festival.  


-Beychella:  – Even if you live under a rock, you know Beyoncé’s performance apparently spectacular, as she invited her sister and the other members of Destiny’s child on stage. More importantly, she is the first woman of color to headline Coachella. AND it was all live tweeted by Roxanne Gay.

-Coachella yearly stimulates local economy in the poorer part of the Coachella Valley. A report from the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership said the 2017 festival season brought in $400 million to the Coachella Valley.

-Coachella gives fantastic opportunities for upcoming visual artists who specialize in monumental, zany public art, that undoubtedly become backdrops for Instagram stories throughout the weekend.

-It’s a great gig for your favorite upcoming artists. More people become more acquainted with new bands!


Digital Art News reported that Coachella is the second most expensive festival in the world behind Secret Solstice Festival in Reykjavik, Iceland. Cheapest tickets this year were $429, which doesn’t include housing, parking, food, or transportation.

-Philip Anschutz: Remember when we all found out last year that the CEO of AEG, Coachella’s parent company, gave huge sums of money to anti-LGBTQ groups? He’s still at it, except now Variety reports that he’s using festival goers’ money to fund efforts to illegalize marijuana!

-The yodeling Walmart boy made an appearance?  Take that for what you will….

Culturally appropriative fashion is still happening in 2018.

-You probably won’t actually see your favorite performer on stage. When Coachella expanded its capacity from from 99,000 to 125,000 in 2017, all hopes of intimacy are lost. If it isn’t obvious already, if you’re looking for a deeply musical experience, it seems like Coachella is not the place you’ll find it.

Image Credit to Getty Images

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