As a California resident, talk of Coachella never seizes. When festival-goers get back from Coachella, they plop right down at their computers and eagerly wait for pre-pre-sale tickets for next year’s festival to come out. The talk of the town is only ever Coachella, but I never caught the Indio bug. While I recognize the beauty and serenity of the Coachella experience- I do go to Stagecoach every year and enjoy the same venue- there is also a lot to be said about whether the price tag on the Coachella experience is worth what you’re getting. Do the ends justify the means? In my opinion, they don’t.
Coachella’s ticket sales are up 59% from last year’s. According to ticket marketplace StubHub, Coachella is the #1 musical festival this year based on sales and purchases. But a more in-depth look at festival trends reveals something rather disturbing about what Coachella-goers are actually paying for. Coachella’s headliners- OutKast, Muse, Lorde, Foster the People, etc.- will all be playing at other festivals later this year, all of which have a much lower price tag than Coachella. Hangout Music Fest in Gulf Shores, Alabama, for instance, dons OutKast as a headliner (along with most other festivals this year), as well as big names such as Jack Johnson, The Black Keys, The Killers, Queens of the Stone Age, The Flaming Lips, and more. For 3 days, Hangout only costs $229 at face value, and tickets are still available on the website. What’s more, lodging in Alabama is going to cost you a lot less than it is in Coachella Land, California.
Hangout isn’t even the only festival that’s more worth the money than Coachella is. Recently, San Francisco-based Outside Lands released their killer line-up (pun intended- one of the headliners is also Las Vegas natives The Killers), and tickets are only $275 for three days. This year, Outside Lands will feature headliners such as Kanye West, Arctic Monkeys, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and tbt artist Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Death Cab for Cutie will also be returning to the tour circuit this year, and one of their stops is good ol’ Outside Lands in San Francisco.
On Craig’s List, Coachella tickets, both Weekend 1 and Weekend 2, were going for as high as $2,000 as the event got closer and closer. As an avid festival lover, I am disgusted that this is what festivals have become- a sinister attempt to rob twenty-something hipsters of their money.