Don’t Cry For Coachella People
Best not to mention Coachella to Bianca Cornale, if you know what’s good for you:
Since last weekend my social networking has been crowded by people bemoaning their distance from Coachella. Even worse are the people who are actually at Coachella, also spamming my goddamn feed RE: “the most fun ever”. From my unquenchable anger are two things to gently remind myself:
1) Step away from the internet, Bianca. Get a real job.
2) You hate music festivals.
It’s true people, let us think about this rationally. There are thick rose-tinted glasses on, and we all need to be reminded why music festivals are so awful they only come around once a year. And if you still want to be at Coachella by this article’s close I apologise that my attempt at condolence has been bereft of comfort. But Nick Cave is a more thorough pro-factor than anything I have to say.
Beyond the obvious (toilet facility horrors, dumb people, crowds, expense, etc) festivals have many downfalls which escape our memories. Additionally this topic has been done to death, I know, but as long as people keep buying tickets they continue to give me fuel to laugh at them. And so it begins…
Has anyone at Big Day Out ever noticed that they bought their ticket at General Pants? That maybe this is part of a large-scale marketing scheme? That maybe they are being targeted as a demographic and they aren’t as original as they thought? I even got an email from one online shop promising “make-up tips and tricks for Coachella.” WHAT? FUCK OFF.
Furthermore there are clinical studies which prove high excitement make patrons more open to branding messages, thus why Coachella is sold off to the big-bidders like Red Bull, Heineken and Playstation. Research commissioned by Target Media found 44% of patrons said that attending a festival was one of the most exciting things they’d ever done (Who? Who are these people?). Corporate sponsorship is just turning this into revenue. Yeah – advertisers are probably glad you are pinging off your tits at a festival because it makes you more excited and thus more susceptible to their branding. Think about that as you rebel against your parents.
They have thousands of people working on how to manipulate us. We are not delicate and unique snowflakes. We are wallets to be emptied. No matter how puritanical festivals are, and how much they’re “all about the music maaaaan” this is what happens so they can function.
In theory, yes, being in a scenario with Thee Oh Sees, New Order, Wu-Tang Clan, The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, The Stone Roses, Johnny Marr, Grinderman AND The Bad Seeds seems like some kind of heart-melting mecca of impossibility. And right now I’m trying not to lose my train of thought and delve into self-pity. However, there are some great gaping holes involved with seeing bands at festivals. The first problem is the inevitable timetable clash between Favourite Band A and Favourite Band B. And sometimes Favourite Bands C, D and E. Usually only avoidable by legging-it halfway across a fucking farm to see the last five minutes of Favourite Band B as they play the closing bars to your favourite song. Additionally, once you do migrate over to Favourite Band B, you’re so far away you see and hear nothing. See nothing except the sweaty back of the Neanderthal in front and hear nothing except his stirring rendition of a song that you used to like. Great.
Also, when you’re weeping yourself to sleep because you didn’t see Grizzly Bear, Yeasayer and Portugal The Man at once, think about the fact that Fedde Le Grande was playing that same time slot. Yeouch.
THIS IS NOT HOW MUSIC IS MEANT TO BE SEEN. GO TO A SIDESHOW YOU LAZY FUCK.
Every day I deal with a constant hatred of enthusiastic people (see: misanthropy), but I am highly dismissive of the apparent 44% of people who claim a music festival is the most fun they’ve ever had (what the study didn’t tell you was that 44% of people were on pills for the first time). We’re lead to believe in this phantasmagorical festival experience which does not exist. A road-trip to a country town, sun shining, people smiling, bathing in rivers, dancing in fields, kissing by the campfire, running wild through the woods, with appropriate levels of noise and no plastic-cup carpets – all the while feeling completely happy for a few days of bliss.
THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN. You get snippy at your friends, you have regrettable sex, you run out of dry socks, you get stuck in traffic, you get your car searched, you get vomitty, you get sunburnt, you get bored, and you want to go home. Ideally you’d get a nice balance of both, but it’s definitely not all sunshine and rainbows.
In this vein of festival stereotypes, there are those people who are so enthusiastic about the festival they embody every cliché they can. Yes; those who start dressing like they just walked out of Woodstock even though they just walked out of Topshop. Those that bathe in the mud (don’t you dare squash yourself next to me in the pit later, asshole) and interpretative dance (interpretative dancing is awesome, but when you’re wearing a floral wreath and a maxi-skirt you start to fit the part a little too well) and drop acid (a terrible idea. What happened to a safe place with safe people, huh?)
These are the people that just want to be at big party with thirty thousand guests. And like a big party they want to get drunk, do a bit of dancing, find someone to shag, and maybe listen to some music. Maybe.
So hopefully you’re feeling a little less bummed about missing Coachella. And if all else fails, remember Lindsay Lohan and Katy Perry are there so you’d probably want to avoid the vicinity anyway.
Words by Bianca Cornale.