Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has been attracting thousands to Indio, California every year since its origin in 1999. What started as a one-day concert featuring a few popular acts has now grown into a three-day extravaganza spanning two consecutive weekends in April.
With the cost of a three-day general admission ticket coming in at around $400 from the Coachella website, this live music and art experience comes at a hefty price.
Is it worth it?
For business administration sophomore Matt Casadona, the answer is a resounding yes. Casadona explained that it was Coachella’s friendly environment that persuaded him to buy a ticket.
“At Coachella, you meet so many amazing people. Everyone is so happy, nice and welcoming,” Casadona said. “There’s nothing better than dancing to music and to me that’s all Coachella is. It’s my happy place.”
From headliners Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé to lesser known artists like Local Natives, Mura Masa and What So Not, Coachella brings a diverse mix of genres to one festival. Coachella allows attendees to experience their favorite artists and discover new sounds.
Many festival-goers find it easy to rationalize such an expensive purchase. Industrial technology senior Steven Pardo explained that bundling 180 artists into one festival is a steal, when compared to seeing the musicians at their own concerts.
“The ticket price is beyond worth it,” Pardo said. “The amount of artists you can see for the price is insane. To see all the artists venue by venue would be extremely expensive.”
However, the price of a weekend at Coachella includes a lot more than the cost of a ticket. Expenses for transportation, food and accommodations play a large part in the grand total for the event.
Because hotels and Airbnbs in the area book up far in advance of the festival, many attendees choose to camp on the festival’s grounds.
Graphic by Frances Mylod-Vargas
Pardo said that camping at Coachella made it the best festival experience he has ever had. Coachella 2017 will be his second time attending.
“The ability to camp and walk into the festival truly lets you detach for the three days you’re there,” Pardo said. “There is no better way to experience music and friends as camping there.”
Tickets for Coachella 2017 became available on www.coachella.com Jan. 4 and sold out within an hour. Because of this, many people had to scramble to find tickets elsewhere, primarily through third-party sites like Craigslist.
Biomedical engineering junior Natalia DeKock said that after an intense and stressful internet search, she paid $700 for her ticket.
“I would pay upwards of a few hundred dollars just to see one of the artists individually, so I think an expensive ticket is a small price to pay,” DeKock said. “I was also lucky enough to get a car camping pass for $100, so that will cut down the costs and stress of hotel rooms and travel logistics. All in all, I think I’ll have a remarkable weekend and considering the length of the concert in its entirety, my money will be well spent.”
For these Coachella-goers, it seems that the quality of the festival trumps the hefty expense. Though the weekend getaway can end up totaling close to $1,000, it could be worth it for the experience of a lifetime.