The Hype is Real or Don’t Believe the Hype - A comment on the Coachella Festival

The hustle and bustle in Indigo, California, is over, the Instagram madness calms down, the pictures in the feed of the sunset in front of the Ferris wheel become less. The Coachella Festival 2019 is over. There is hardly a festival that is so hyped (maybe also overhyped?!) like the Coachella. I would lie if I said that I didn't feel like it. On the other hand, there seem to be enough reasons that would justify a renunciation of the festival.


The plan for the weekly blog was actually different. Since I wanted to write about the Coachella, but thought it would be cool to have first hand info, I contacted some influencers who were on the Coachella to ask for a post. Since some may have confused a blog post with writing a doctoral thesis and asked for "moon sums" - which is okay, because there are companies that pay for it - I'm trying to write something about the festival as someone who's never been to the Coachella.


Coachella: „Started from the bottom now we’re here“

If you look at the history of Coachella, I think Drake's line "Started from the bottom now we're here" fits.

It all started on a weekend in October 1999 with headliners: The Chemical Brothers and Rage Against The Machine. Ticket price at that time: 50 dollars. Spectators at that time: 25.000.

Next year the festival had to pause due to financial problems (the only time in its history).

In 2001 the festival started again, but it took place in April to counteract the heat in October. Despite headliners like Fat Boy Slim and Paul Oakenfold (until now I had no idea who that was), the future didn't look as rosy as it does today. It wasn't until 2002, when Oasis and the Chemical Brothers were back on stage, that the organizers didn't manage to make any losses. In 2003 the festival achieved worldwide recognition for the first time. Maybe the performances of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beastie Boys played a small role (hehe) and from then on the curve went up steeply:


2004: Coachella was sold out for the first time.  

2006: Madonna as headliner, definitely worse.

2007: Extension of the festival to three days.


Stars, Stars, Stars


In 2012 there was one of THE Coachella moments at all and probably one of those moments that still brings tears to the eyes of Hip Hop fans today. 2Pac lives!! At least for a few minutes. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg brought 2Pac back on stage during their performance as a hologram. It was also the first time that the festival took place on two consecutive weekends. In the following years the festival developed from year to year. The lineups featured numerous annual highlights such as Pharell Williams, Nas, AC/DC, The Weeknd, Drake, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar and 2018 Eminem and Beyonce, who performed one of the heaviest Coachella performances ever.

The last two weekends also provided pure excitement again. Artists such as Childish Gambino, J. Balvin, Kid Cudi, Kanye West, Ariana Grande (including guest appearances by Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj), Pusha T, and many more have performed this year. I would probably have gone crazy on some gigs, like Will Smith's guest gig with his son Jaden or Kanye's Sunday Service.



Festival at what price?

But back again to "Startet from the bottom now we're here". Is the 'normal' festival visitor at all where he wants to be? Unfortunately I can't judge it, because I was neither at the Coachella, nor at any other festival. But the perfect Coachella festival is unmasked by others who were already there. In 2018, for example, the influencer "Luisalion" criticized in a post that most people are not interested in the music at all, but only in the outfits, the cooperations, the parties and the perfect self-production (luisalion was there again this year, but without pushing cooperations). Sophia Thomalla also expressed her displeasure in a post. Beside these criticisms there is also the price, which is surely much higher than the price at other festivals (NOIZZ has listed it here). The organizer Philip Anschutz is also criticized. So he should support the weapon lobby in the USA and be opponent of the LGBTQ community. Cara Delevingne even called for a boycott under #NOchella.

On the other hand, there are numerous positive reports about the Coachella. As I have never been on the Coachella before, I cannot judge what it is like there. You just have to have been there to know if the visit is worthwhile or if you are just annoyed by the whole production. But since I'm not a fan of today's Instagram Fake Madness anyway, I don't know if I'd be in the right place on the Coachella. When I'm at concerts, I fuck myself regularly about the people who follow the whole concert through their mobile phones and/or record everything on Snapchat (of course I also film some songs, but most of them are just watched). As for the music, the Coachella would probably be the perfect festival for me next to the Frauenfeld Festival and just because of that I would like to visit it. Would I want to go there again afterwards? I don't know. Would I be carried away to a staged picture in front of the Ferris wheel? No.