Coachella Is Not Worth The Price

10 Reasons Coachella Isn't Worth The Price Of Admission, Much Less, Your Time

I mean, do people even go for the music anymore?

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Imagine this: all of your favorite artists & social media celebrities in the same place at the same time, movin' and groovin' all night long in the Californian desert. Gorgeous large scale art installations, delicious food stalls, arts & crafts tents, games, camping, and instagrammable moments at every turn — it's a Millennial's dream come true.

After watching these past two weekends of the festival unfold on social & news media, I think my desire to attend these three days of fun have begun to fade. Instead, I've started to look past the picture-perfect moments of flower crowns and bikini tops into something a little less superficial and a little more realistic — however, I'll let you be the judge of that. Is Coachella really an event worth attending?

1. Firstly, it's owned by Philip Anschutz, a Colorado billionaire accused of supporting numerous anti-LGBTQ+, pro-gun, and anti-weed foundations

Coachella (and other music festivals for that matter) have always been considered inclusive and extremely welcoming to people of all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, and ages. The fact that the fourth largest music festival in the world has its origins based in an anti-LGBTQ+ founder has turned a lot of music-lovers away. As a whole, his Conservative values have not sat well with Coachella's predominantly Liberal audience.

2. This is NOT an affordable experience for most young adults

Let's do a little math here: if you're planning to take the "cheapskate" route, or spend the least amount of money on your Coachella experience as possible, this will be your financial breakdown.

+$380 for average plane ticket

+$50 for airport shuttle

+$99 for camping pass

+$40 for food at festival (PB&J anyone?)

+$38 for drinks and supplies (no $12 festival beers for you)
__________
Total
$1,006


And if you're willing to splurge, your weekend could add up to $5,332. Yikes.

*Side note: this does not account for any new/trendy outfits you need to purchase beforehand — that sh*t can clear out your bank account, too!

3. It's all one huge advertising campaign

Olivia Petter of the UK's Independent wrote, "Coachella is not a festival for people, but for Instagram." Though social media makes it seem so candid as if there are A-list celebrities at every turn & your favorite artists are just 5 feet away on stage, I'm here to tell you that that's not the case. Many celebrities/influencers are PAID to attend Coachella, wear certain brands and hold certain beverages simply because they were endorsed to. Seriously — even if you think you saw Kylie Jenner post a Snapchat by the tent you were just seated near, she's already back at the Lacoste pool party she was paid to be seen at. You may not be aware of it at first, but you even being there is nothing other than a number for these big businesses.

4. Celebrities and recurring attendees are claiming "it's really not as fun as it looks"

Yes, musical festival's aren't exactly the most comfortable & clean places on Earth, but adding that extra element of the scorching Indio DESERT doesn't make the situation any better (plus, sandstorms are a real thing & they don't just pause for some hundred thousand people). Social media influencer Emma Chamberlain claimed that after a full day at Coachella in 2018, her feet "looked like [she] stuck them in a blender for an hour and a half" with swollen ankles and blisters. And, with week two reaching near triple digits, "spectators [were] at risk for heat stroke or heat exhaustion" without proper hydration. YouTube star Niki DiMartino even made an entire 12-minute video titled "Why People Hate Coachella but Still Go," with uncomfortability + extreme temperatures being at the top of her list.

5. For many, it's an excuse for cultural appropriation

I will never understand why people, still to this day, think it's okay to dress in Native American headdresses, henna tattoos, designer hijabs, and bindis all in the name of *fashion.* It's one thing if your intention is to appreciate and honor another's culture, but when you decide to opt into fashion & opt out of the struggles someone else has faced, it becomes a problem.

6. The Uber situation at the end of the night is just a cluster f*ck

So it's the end of the night, you're sweaty, your feet are bleeding, and you just want to get back to your hotel room. Well thanks to Uber, that's gonna be an additional hour of waiting, running around the campgrounds trying to find your driver, + additional fees for such a busy region. Good luck. Niki DiMartino claimed that she waited "over an hour" for a ride home.

7. Not only are the alcoholic drinks super expensive, they're also super watered down

$12.00 for an eight ounce, light mixed drink? No thanks, I'd rather pre-game.

8. Additionally, you can only drink under designated tents

Where most UK musical festivals allow you to sip in your cocktail while you watch your favorite artists, Coachella forces attendees to sit underneath crowded tents or roped-off lawns in order to enjoy their drink. So when The Weeknd's up on stage performing "Drinks On Us," you can raise your glass from the confines of the beverage tent...

9. Fast-fashion thrives at Coachella

Let's be honest — are you really gonna wear that leather bikini bottom any other time than the 10 hours you're at the festival? Didn't think so. Instead, you've probably paid way too much for your overpriced outfits, will dispose of them soon after, will continue supporting big corporations that exploit oversees workers, and contribute to environmental decline all for your ~cute boho look~.

10. Now, as soon as you attend once, you're expected to attend every year after

Get ready for the "You're not going this year? You'll regret it!" response after you tell your friends/followers you're skipping out. People just assume that once you've gone, you've turned into that Coachella girl who plans her outfits months ahead, brings her professional camera for pictures, and writes blog posts or makes videos on her experience. It's never a one-time thing, there will always be FOMO the year you decide to opt out of attending.

With all of these things in mind, would you still go?

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25 Helpful Tips To Survive Any General Admission Concert

The smaller the show, the better. Trust me.
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Live music is something we should all experience in our lifetimes, however, general admission shows can admittedly be a bit daunting. Whether you're a seasoned concert goer or a first timer, I'm sure some of these tips could help make your experience more enjoyable, or frankly, survivable. Let's face it, it gets a little scary in the pit sometimes....


Before the show (day of):


1. If you plan on being front row for your favorite band at a GA show, show up a few hours early to sit outside the venue.

This tactic is so much easier than having to wiggle your way to the front in a very territorial crowd. If you want front row, you're going to have to earn it, and that means sitting down on a cold patch of concrete for hours at a time. You will even meet some cool fans who are just as dedicated as you, and who knows, you may make a friend or two.


2. Always bring a printed copy of your ticket, just in case.

Most venues will accept electronic tickets from your phone, but some venues do not. It's always good to print out a copy of your ticket or check with the venue beforehand to ensure your e-ticket will suffice. Many venues have Twitter pages and will answer quickly if you wish to ask.


3. Never assume you can buy tickets at the door.

You may be able to get away with last minute ticket shopping for smaller shows, but for the most part, it's best to buy ahead as to minimize your panic on the day of the show.


4. Buy your tickets as far in advance as possible.

Most general admission shows are super cheap if you buy tickets as soon as they are released. However, if you put it off, a $20 show can easily become a $100 show. Keep up with your favorite band's tour dates and set reminders to buy tickets as soon as they go on sale to save some money. Beware of ticket resellers, as they will rip you off with zero shame and mercy.


5. Do not be afraid to attend a show by yourself if you are unable to find someone to come with you.

It's happened to all of us. Our concert buddy has to work on the day of a highly anticipated show and despite asking everyone we know, no one can tag along, so we stay home and drown our sorrows in cookie dough ice cream instead. But that is no longer okay. Attending a show by ourselves may seem daunting, unexciting, and let's face it, we don't want to be dubbed a loser. But I'm here to tell you, none of that will happen. Odds are, you're not going to be the only one riding solo at the show and no one will know if you're alone or with a pack of friends anyway. This may even be an opportunity to make new friends and branch out.


6. Make sure to pack a few water bottles for after the show, and if it's a summer show, bring a cooler.

Trust me, as soon as you leave the show, you're going to be dying for a bottle of ice cold water so make sure you have a bottle or two in the car. It will be your savior.


7. Eat a complete meal before the show.

Shows can be expend a lot of energy, so it's always a good idea to come to a show on a relatively full stomach. The last thing you want to happen is pass out a show because you didn't eat or drink beforehand.


8. Dress comfortably and forget about being cute.

Indoor general admissions shows can get a little sweaty, especially if you find yourself squished between a bunch of people. You're going to regret wearing your heeled booties after two hours of standing (trust me, i've been there, done that). You may leave the house looking cute, but odds are, you're going to look every bit of a sweaty disaster post-show.


9. If you're going to wear make-up, make sure it's waterproof.

During the show, you will have water poured on your face by security guards, you will sweat more than you ever have in your whole life, and there may even be a tear or two. Unless you want to have crazy mascara streaks and eyeliner on your nose, you should probably wear waterproof make-up. Then again, no one is going to judge you for your post-show appearance, because odds are, they're not going to be looking too hot themselves. Embrace your ugly and rock out.


10. Wear your hair up.

During the show your hair will likely be pulled, grabbed, and touched by the people in front of you. It's also super annoying to get a face-full of hair at a show, so to make everyone happy, it's a good idea to throw your hair into a high pony and call it a day.


11. Don't, I repeat, DON'T wear a a hoodie or jacket to a show.

Most venues are poorly air-conditioned, and when you throw a million lights and a room full of people into the mix, shows can get pretty hot. The hoodie may have seemed like a good idea going into the show, but five minutes in, you're going to be resenting that hoodie and every life decision you've ever made up to that point. Some venues will have coat-check, but they can get pretty expensive and why risk precious time checking in your coat when you can be rushing to the stage instead? I always try to dress as cooly as I can, despite the weather outside. You can always bring a flannel or light sweater to wrap around your waist when you get warm.


12. Bring in as little as you can to a show and leave the valuables in the car, if at possible.

If you absolutely need to bring things into the venue (phone, medication, merch/beer money, keys, etc.), it's a good idea to bring a small purse or fanny-pack (which are so in style right now) to the show. Don't haul your entire purse to the show because I guarantee you're going to regret lugging it around real quick. And to minimize lost or damaged items, it's best to keep your most beloved items locked safely in the car. Crowds can get pretty rowdy and it's not uncommon to have something broken.


13. To my fellow glasses-wearers: if at all possible, either ditch the glasses for the night or wear contacts.

It's going to rough, but if you can do it, you will not regret it. As mentioned above, crowds get super rowdy, and when you throw in all the crowd surfers who will inevitably kick you or fall on you, there are plenty of chances for your glasses to fall off or be broken. Trust me, I've had two separate pairs of prescription glasses broken beyond repair at shows, and i've seen it happen plenty of other times as well. One semi-blurry night is far better than having to pay for glasses repairs or replacements in the future. Trust me on this one, guys.


During the show:


14. Stay hydrated. Stay hydrated. Stay hydrated.

This is an important one. Whether it's an outdoor concert in the middle of summer or an indoor general admission show, it's going to get hot, you're going to sweat, and you will become dehydrated pretty quickly if you don't make an effort to stay hydrated. If you're close to the stage/barricade, you may get likely and have guards pouring water into your mouth between songs. If not, you may have to cough up five bucks for a bottle. You don't want to pass out or be the one puking into a bucket by the entrance, so drink plenty of water during any show-- especially if you plan on consuming alcohol.


15. Don't over do it and know your limit.

Being front row for a show is an incredible experience. Not only can you hear the music better, but you'll be able to see every sweat droplet on your favorite band member's forehead. However, it can take a lot out of a person. If you feel like things are getting too out of control and you need out, don't be afraid to retreat to side stage or further back where its safer. Enjoying the show is ultimately far better than being front row in the grand scheme of things.


16. If you enjoy mosh-pits, crowd-surfing and the constant push and pull of the crowd, front center stage is your friend.

This part of the show can be really exciting, but it definitely is not for everyone. Between people charging at you, arms and fists flailing, and crowd surfers slammed onto your head as they make their way to the stage, front center stage can get pretty scary and it isn't recommended for first time concert-goers. Of course, this differs from show-to-show and genre-to-genre, but generally speaking, only stand center stage if you're prepared for mass chaos. Also, the middle of the crowd can be pretty dangerous too, as you will find yourself both pushed forward by the people in front of you, and simultaneously pushed backward by the people in front of you.


17. But if you prefer simply enjoying the show in a calm and peaceful manner, side stage or farther back is for you.

Side stage is always a good bet, since you will still have a pretty good view, will be close to the stage, and will almost certainly avoid the chaos and crowd-surfers.


18. Look out for crowd-surfers and protect your head from stray kicks or drops.

While crowd surfers certainly make things a bit more energetic, they come at a price. Always pay attention to what is going on around you, or simply look at the guard's reactions to avoid a kick to the head or neck. Pass along the surfer when you can, or if it's too late, protect your head by ducking and covering it. Concussions are common at music festivals and general admission shows so try to prevent one at all costs. Again, majority of your crowd-surfer interactions will be center stage, so if the prospect of holding up a sweaty human does not sound very appealing to you, side stage is for you. Side note: if you're wearing heeled shows, please do your fellow concert-goers a favor and don't crowd surf. There is nothing worse than being stabbed in the head by someone's heel.


19. Talk to the people around you. Don't be shy.

Get to know the people around you before the show or between bands. You meet some pretty cool people this way and it's definitely worth engaging in small talk with them, even if it's to help make the time go by faster.


20. Always show up and listen to the opening bands.

I get it, you're here for the headliner, but don't dismiss the opening bands too soon. They're probably pretty similar in musical style to the band or artist you're there for, so the chances that you'll enjoy them are pretty high. I've been introduced to some of my favorite bands through opening acts, and there's even been shows where the opening band was better than the actual headliner. Opening bands deserve your time and attention just as much as the headliner, and just because they don't have an entire tour named after them, doesn't mean their music isn't good.


21. Take as many videos and pictures as you want, who cares what anyone has to say.

If you want to take a few videos or pictures to commemorate the night, by all means, go crazy(ish). Don't apologize for your absurdly long Snapchat story or the million pictures of your favorite band member either. Maybe not record the entire concert, but a few vids here and there are perfectly OK.


22. When a band tells you to jump, move, clap, or sing-along, YOU DO IT.

Shout out your favorite lyrics. Make the floor move beneath your feet. Dance like no is watching. Just go crazy.


23. Do not be embarrassed to let loose.

No one, absolutely no one, is judging your terrible singing or wacky dance moves so don't be afraid to go a little crazy. You're going to have a much better time this way than if you stand there, stiff as a bored, conscious of scrutiny and judgment. Trust me, everyone's focus is on the band so know is going to notice if you break out into the running man mid-song.



After the show:

24. Go crazy at the merch table.

Hopefully you brought the rest of your life savings with you, because you're going to need it. Whether you want to represent your favorite band or show them a little love, the merch table is something you should not avoid, unless you know, you're totally broke.


25. Go home, rehydrate, reminisce over the wonderful night you had and get ready for your next show.

If you're like me, you never give post-concert-depression the time to fester and develop because just as one show has ended, you're preparing for a next.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Concerts Are My Guilty Pleasure And I Am Not Sorry About It

Sometimes my bank account doesn't like me because of it.

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There is something about the flash of the lights, the sound of the band coming out, the other excited people around you, and the intense feeling of seeing someone you like live. Concerts are such a unique medium that bring together the artists and the fans in a pretty close way. I have been going to concerts for most of my life and I have to say I don't know what it is, but there is something so special about concerts in my life.

No matter how many things that I do in life, I do try to be careful with my money and I try not to overspend on things, but concerts are definitely one of my main guilty pleasures. I am also definitely that person who likes to try and get the VIP/ Meet and Greet Experience when I go to shows. The mindset basically comes from if I am already going to spend the money to go to this show and it is for someone that I really like then why would I not want to be able to meet them. The other part of it too is it's someone that you really love and if the opportunity arises for you to meet someone, you never know when or if you will get to meet them again so why are you going to pass up that opportunity.

As I have grown up, I have become that person who goes to most shows/concerts alone and I am completely okay with it because it is so much fun. Yes, it is awesome to go to concerts with friends and enjoy that time, but I also like to go to shows my way and most of the ones I want to go to most people wouldn't want to go to. But none of that matter because concerts are something that I love and if it is someone that I want to see, I am going to go.

Everybody has their own guilty pleasure and mine is concerts. No matter what yours is whether is concerts or hiking or photography, people's opinion about what you like to do should not and does not matter. You should do what you like and it doesn't matter what people think about it. It's your hobby or guilty pleasure and what people think shouldn't matter. I used to worry about what people would think about me going to concerts by myself, but then I realized how stupid it was. First off, I am probably never going to see these people again. Secondly, if it is something I want to do, I am just going to do it and go to the show, no matter what people think about it.

Concerts/ shows are something that are so interesting to go to because not only are you seeing the people that you love and enjoy, you also get a glimpse into who they are. There may be a set designer for these shows, but the show still comes from the person who you are going to see and that's when you get to see a part of who they are. Creating a show is just that creating something that you love and you want the people who follow you to love. That's why I truly love concerts because they are this small moment of a few hours where the artist and the fans truly get to come together for a special moment.

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