Nia Davis

Another year has passed, we’ve seen all over our instagram feeds an influencer brand and networking event with live music in the background. Yes, I’m talking about Coachella. For those of you that don’t know, Coachella is a three day music festival held every year highlighting popular artists in an all day and night party. When it was first created by its founders Paul Tollet and Rick Van Santen the promoters wanted the festival to mirror already popular European festivals, focusing on underground or indie music instead of radio popularity. However over the years those founding ideals have slowly changed,  with the festival growing into one of the most sought after headlining jobs for an artist today. This year’s headliners Blackpink, Bad Bunny, Tyler the Creator, and Metro Boomin, just to name a few, aren’t exactly underground artists in fact turn on any radio and their music is all you hear.


 I believe that the festival’s rapid growth in popularity comes from my generation’s obsession with indie or alternative culture and music compared to older ones that were more into conformity. Celebrities started to filter into these spaces, posting pictures  living out their reimagined Woodstock life for a weekend and this is where I think Coachella started to rely less on its music and more on its businesses and aesthetic appeal. The evolution of the “influencer” also contributed to the changes seen in Coachella today. I credit Emma Chamberlain and her “dote squad” for their trailblazing nature in turning Coachella into a brand deal only affordable event. Brands saw influencers and how their huge followings could benefit the promotion of their products better than any commercial or billboard ever could. Influencer culture has completely changed the way that not only music festivals but almost every aspect of travel or entertainment functions. Establishments are so focused on catering to influencers and wanting to have them in their spaces so badly that they are excluding the average person that doesnt have millions  followers on instagram. Coachella tickets range from $574- 1,069 before fees, then you have to factor in travel, somewhere to stay for 3 days, and food throughout each of the days. After adding all of these costs together half of Coachella’s target audience is unable to afford it. 


Brands pay to fly influencers out and have them stay in these desert mansions giving them all types of amenities, fake tan, nails, clothes, and even cash, in order to make their stay more welcoming and influencers  agree to promote their companies products on their platforms. While the average person has to look months in advance to see if any hotel in the area has availability. While others prepare their cars for camping, the festival does have a campground but waiting in line for up to three hours for a shower everyday isn’t ideal, along with non stop music throughout the nights and strangers around every corner. The festival is meant to be fun and carefree but that only seems to applies to those that have buses to transport them to and from the fairgrounds, endless supplies, or VIP passes.