In Our Feelings: Coachella, Overrated or Underrated?

Morgan Bluma

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Everyone by now knows and has continuously heard about Coachella. Right off the bat, in my opinion, it is very much overrated. I have my favorite festival back home, Summerfest, which does not get enough rep. It is far cheaper and, to me, have way better bands and artists (for my music taste). Coachella has become a staple for overly priced tickets and hippie/ boho outfit galore. The music festival has typically a lot of big names performing, as well as, attendees. I do give the organizers credit though, especially after having watched the crash and burn of the Frye Festival (if you do not know what that is, go look it up and watch the documentary), because I recognize the intense planning that goes into this festival, like any other. Picking set times is a challenge, especially when you have so many big names attending. These organizers have to pick times and artists that can overlap each other without interfering with similar fan bases but also being able to make sure that not all the attendees go to the same stage. They too do well at matching related artists to play before the leading artists at the end of the night. So, I do respect the time and effort that goes into organizing this event, but this music festival, in particular, has become so over-praised for just being like another music festival.

Many forget that Coachella is also an arts festival, which is one element I do really love about Coachella. This is what makes it different, to me, from other music festivals. The artwork that is displayed tends to set the aesthetic of Coachella and offers a massive achievement for artists and designers. Having their artwork posted at Coachella offers unlimited promotion of artwork in a way. Many choose to take pictures where these art installations are in the background or just the artwork in general and then is spread all over social media. It is also awe-inspiring to see the massive structures of artwork.

Music artists also use this over-praise to their advantage. Many artists now use Coachella as a way to make statements with their performances. It also gives lesser-known artists a larger audience to perform to and hopefully gain some new fans. One of my favorite artists got to play there this year, Alice Merton. I saw her a few years ago when she was just starting out and was an opening performer for another small artist. She just released her first album at the beginning of this year. I chose the song “Funny Business” because it has a poppy-edgy taste to it while also being kind of strange. This has become my favorite song out of all her music, and it’s more on the fun side of music, which I thought reflected well of what music festivals are like.

So, even though, I view Coachella as overrated, there are still essential elements to it, and as long as everyone is enjoying themselves, having a good time, and respecting each other and the artists, I can’t complain too much. I do genuinely love music festivals because they offer great experiences and, most of the time, is a fun-loving environment. You get to meet people who share the same music tastes as you, and it’s an extraordinary kind of connection to make. So, let the music festival season begin!