The warm weather that showed up recently is a sure sign that summer is right around the corner. Summer is a time when you can relax, grab an iced coffee and drive down the freeway with music blasting with your friends like you’re all part of a Lana Del Rey music video.
And speaking of music, summer brings with it a plethora of music festivals around the state. Coachella, one of the biggest names in music festivals, among others, is the one that is highest on people’s list. If you aren’t familiar, Coachella is one of the biggest music festivals that takes place each year and is held in Indio, California.
This year, the lineup will feature headlines AC/DC, Jack White and Drake, along with other popular artists like Florence + the Machine, St. Vincent and Jenny Lewis. This year’s lineup features a musical act for almost every taste, whether it be alternative, rock or electronic. Even though Coachella never really disappoints with its acts each year, it seems that the festival is becoming less and less about the music and more about the experience.
Although I’m not a huge fan of the festival experience, there are a lot of positive aspects of Coachella, like the many bands at one venue, the cool food vendors, as well as the barren desert experience. However, it seems that the negatives outweigh the positives: the extreme heat and obscure location of Indio, California as well as the pricey cost of a three-day pass ticket are both exorbitant in their own right.
Seeing a concert definitely has a valuable experiential element, but the festival atmosphere has become a ground for hyped-up, attention-fueled social media posts, instead of the enjoyment of the true art that is there: the music. It seems Coachella is catching on with the social media-fueled atmosphere, and it banned “selfie sticks and narcissism,” according to Coachella’s FAQ’s, as said by the Los Angeles Times. Coachella wants stay how it was meant to be — about the music.
I hear more people excited to go to Coachella to hang out with their friends than to listen to the music, which is the main part of the festival.
This year, the lineup does not thrill me all that much, and I have seen the couple of acts that I’m interested in multiple times at small venues, but instead of going just to say I did, I’m saving my money and my Instagram shots for a concert and act that I’m really passionate about. It is really important to me to keep the power of music alive in our current media-oriented day and age. I want to enjoy the music for what it is, and not have to worry about the hype surrounding the event. And, if others would start to remember that the music is what festivals like Coachella are truly about, the festival experience would be even better than it is now.
Follow Emily on Twitter: @emilytgoldberg