Monday, April 11, 2016

Is Coachella Still Cool?

[ed. See also: From crop tops to Jimmy Choos: How Coachella became a fashion marketing hotbed]

It was the Coachella announcement that generated a million eye-rolls.

“Soar through the desert sky with UberCHOPPER this festival season,” trumpeted the Uber press release. “Reserve your UberCHOPPER powered by BLADE…in Los Angeles and Orange County, and we’ll get in touch to sort out all of your travel details. There’s no traffic 1,000 feet in the air – you and 5 friends will land in style.”

The price for these convenient helicopter rides? $4170.

With a six-person limit, that breaks down to $695 per person.

Attending the desert festival is already a pricey proposition, with general admission weekend passes starting at $375.

Add lodging, food and everything else required for the long weekend, and the price tag is considerable, to say the least.

Over the years, the Coachella music festival in Indio, California, has continually grown and evolved well beyond its humble beginnings back in 1999.

With each passing April, new amenities, upgrades, and peripheral activities have turned the annual event into something far beyond “just” a music festival.

While the festival itself thrives, so has the industry around it.

With a captive audience of hundreds of thousands of people squarely in the heart of the desirable demographic of 18-34 year olds, brands and sponsors ranging from Lacoste to McDonald’s flock to the desert to take advantage.

There are now enough parties, fashion shows, pop-up shops, industry events, and more surrounding Coachella that for some, the festival itself is an afterthought at best.

Instead of looking forward to seeing artists performing at Coachella, there are people who make the desert trek just for the scene it inspires. (...)

While the residual effects of Coachella’s exponential growth and expansion have made it (arguably, of course) America’s premier and most talked-about music festival, it also comes with a downside.

Between the helicopter shuttles, celebrity-packed VIP parties, branded fashion lines, and onslaught of industry initiatives, it’s been argued that the event itself has morphed into a music festival for the one-percent.

The buzz has inspired many critics and disgruntled former fans to all ask the same question: Is Coachella still cool?

by Scott T. Sterling, Smashd |  Read more:
Image: CN Live