Hey dude, how’s it hanging?
This might come as a shock, but Coachella completely, unequivocally, without a single doubt in my goddamn mind, sucks. I know! And you absolutely should stop going. Music festivals, in general, are pretty lame, but let’s get the facts straight—going to Coachella no longer establishes any kind of cool, countercultural clout—and attending is ethically irresponsible, so, the choice seems pretty clear.
Stop. Going. To. Coachella.
First things first: Coachella lineups are super whack and rarely feature women or people of color in prominent spots (they’re trying to change their tune this year, but it’s still too little too late). You’d think after 19 years of existence the organizers responsible would rather book a six-day (that’s three days over the course of two weekends) festival that doesn’t look exactly like what you could see at any other festival in the country, an identical event feasibly closer to the place you call home.
(Do I even need to get into the fact that Coachella is literally in the desert? And not, like, the Joshua Tree, California or Marfa, Texas desert, those dusty/arty enclaves you visit once in your lifetime to drop shrooms and look at stars, but the actual hot-as-hell during the day, cold-as-shit at night, goddamn desert.)
And you can’t smoke weed there! It’s legal in the state of California, but once you’re on Coach-y campus, it’s time to put that sucker out.
That’s not even the worst part. Coachella is owned by a fascist! The head of sports and entertainment group AEG, Philip Anschutz, the guy who literally owns the festival, threw money at conservative politicians last year who are pro-gun, anti-abortion, and/or believe Barack Obama isn’t really American. That was in 2017, which wasn’t even a election year? He just did it to do it? He’s been at this for a while, giving over $1,000,000 to Republican candidates in the 2016 election cycle—money he earned from your bajillion dollar Coachella pass.
Pitchfork obtained a few of Anschutz’s tax filings and on Wednesday, reported that in 2016, Anschutz donated at least $325,000 to anti-LGBTQ organizations: $40,000 to The Navigators, $50,000 to Dare 2 Share Ministries, $185,000 to Young Life, $25,000 to Center for Urban Renewal and Education and $25,000 to Movieguide Awards. According to the Fader, between 2010 and 2013, his organization, the Anschutz Foundation, gave a combined $190,000 to the National Christian Foundation, the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom, the latter of which “has equated being LGBT with committing incest and beastiality.”
So not only does Coachella suck, the person who owns the whole thing might be the devil? It’s certainly unethical to attend, unless you believe that anyone who identifies as anything other than straight is a monster and that the solution to gun violence is more guns. I’m assuming you don’t.
Just stop going to Coachella, man.
Sincerely, your best friend,