The valley: ARS students and staff debate Coachella’s worth


Coachella in 2012, weekend two. Photo from Creative Commons.

Heat rushed through everyone’s body. Tension held in the air as everyone pushed each other, running to get to their next location. What was a mile seemed like an endless road to many, with thousands of dollars on the edge. Though known as one of the biggest music festivals worldwide with attendants from across the world, Coachella’s reputation remains unpleasing to many students at Ann Richards.

“Coachella is one big dance party,” Karla Rodriguez (10) said. “It’s quite debatable because people just stand around bobbing their heads listening to music. It is a place to show off people’s new outfits. I would not go because it’s a waste of money. I don’t think it’s a place where I would have fun.”

The 2016 festival sold 198,000 tickets and made $94.2 million dollars, with VIP passes starting at $899 for each weekend and general admission at $399.

“It’s sad to see what’s supposed to be an enjoyable music festival turn into a primarily white – dominated event, with literally the richest of the richest attending,” Doron Pedahzur (10) said.

First held in 1999, Coachella’s popularity has only increased since. Although primarily music dominated, with genres that include rock, hip-hop, indie and electronic, it also holds sculptures and various kinds of art installations, located in the Inland Empire’s Coachella Valley, in the Colorado Desert.

“I think Coachella is definitely worth it,” Story Dornsife (10) said. “Not only do you get to go to a different city and state, but you listen and discover different bands and genres along with meeting people from the entire world. You get to discover more about yourself and just have fun along the way.”

The 2017 line up consisted of Banks, Future Hendrix, DJ Snake, DJ Khaled and much more, with both weekends having different performers. Guests included Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Travis Scott, Meredith Mickelson, Paris Hilton, Selena Gomez and other known and rising celebrities.

“It’s all a publicity stunt.,” Sierra Green (10) said. “Why go to Coachella when you have ACL? I rather go to a music festival that’s local than spend thousands of dollars to go somewhere else and possibly not enjoy myself.”

Maintaining herself as the fashion queen of Coachella, as seen all over social media, Vanessa Hudgens is an example of the fashion trends known of the music festival. Often, the various styles  narrow down to heavy make-up along with henna tattoos and exposing clothing.

“Everyone goes to Coachella with different trendy outfits,” Thalia Gomez (10) said. “I think some outfits people wear are very cute, but it’s something one wouldn’t wear everyday..”

Although  no known student in the ARS body has attended, the reputation of Coachella varies from student to student, with many seeing it more than just a music festival.

“I have never been [Coachella],” Anni Lindenberg (ELA 9th grade teacher) said. “I hear it’s wonderful and hosts amazing musicians. It’s super expensive unless you’re fairly wealthy, it’s a time commitment. There’s a ton of celebrities that go and I don’t know if it adds to someone’s experience or removes it. I wouldn’t pay for it.”