Coachella weekend one has finally come to a close, if your Instagram feed wasn’t already an indication.
For the majority of us who didn’t have the privilege of attending the first weekend of Coachella this year, we enjoyed the festival vicariously through the numerous videos, tweets and Vanessa Hudgens photos that litter our social media feeds around this same time every year. A few of the headliners this year included Beyonce, The Weeknd, Tyler the Creator and Eminem.
Celebrities, Instagram models and essentially anyone able to afford a trip to the notoriously upscale music festival were seen happily parading around Coachella Valley this past weekend. Dressed in ensembles that were meticulously planned months in advance, they triggered envy among those of us who felt what we young people like to call FOMO. Coachella’s size, location and habit of continuously plastering the biggest names on their lineups, provoke the widespread impression that it’s the Holy Grail of music festivals, which it may just be, except for the fact that it usually feels like more of a fashion show and less of a time to jam out to music. But I digress.
You may find yourself thinking, “But even yodeling Walmart boy went to Coachella this year! Where the hell was I?"
Here’s why you shouldn’t be upset about missing out on the stimulant and overpriced beverage-fueled fun in Southern California this year:
1. Philip Anschutz, the co-owner of Coachella, is probably not the person you want to hand your money over to.
Anschutz’s entertainment company, Anschutz Entertainment Group or AEG, owns Goldenvoice, which manages Coachella and other festivals like Firefly, Panorama and Hangout. According to Freedom for All Americans, the Anschutz Foundation donated approximately $200,000 to the Alliance Defending Freedom (a major anti-LGBTQ organization) and the Family Research Council (an organization that describes LGBT lifestyles as “unhealthy and destructive”) between 2010 and 2013. According to "Rolling Stone," Ahshutz shared the following:
“Recent claims published in the media that I am anti-LGBTQ are nothing more than fake news – it is all garbage. Neither I nor the Foundation fund any organization with the purpose or expectation that it would finance anti-LGBTQ initiatives, and when it has come to my attention or the attention of the Anschutz Foundation that certain organizations either the Foundation or I have funded have been supporting such causes, we have immediately ceased all contributions to such groups."
But in the last year, Anschutz went on to donate $2,700 to Representative Scott Tipton who opposes same-sex marriage and abortion rights, $5,400 to Senator Cory Gardner who is one of the most prominent pro-gun advocators in the nation, $5,400 to House member Mike Coffman who opposes abortion rights and $138,000 to the National Republican Senate Committee according to the Fader. While Anschutz may have ceased donating directly to “such causes,” he still inherently supports them by contributing the absurd amounts that he does to conservative politicians. And while Anschutz is merely doing what most billionaires do (ferociously protecting his money and supporting politicians who can help him do that) he, unfortunately, does so with greed and at the expense of civil rights.
2. There are better, cheaper, more musically-oriented festivals to save up for.
A few include:
Okeechobee Music Festival in Okeechobee, Florida
Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee
Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida
Voodoo Music & Arts Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana
Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, Nevada
Governors Ball in New York City, New York
3. Because you didn’t enjoy a lavish vacation in Coachella Valley this past weekend, you’re now hundreds of dollars wealthier than you would have been if you went. So congrats.
For the average price of a Coachella general admission weekend pass ($429) you can now treat yourself to roughly 107 Wendy’s four for four deals. That's awesome. You can also save up for one of the music festivals aforementioned! Moreover, I guess you could consider yourself to be an activist of some sort for skipping out on the festival, or an accidental activist if you just didn’t go for other, non-boycotting related reasons.
As luscious and well-watered as the turf at Coachella may appear to be, the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence. . . even if Destiny's Child is there.
Lead Image Credit: Unsplash