Being from Los Angeles means a few things; inevitable traffic, the best Mexican food, an allergic reaction to rain, and the annual desert pilgrimage to Coachella. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival takes place in Indio every April, with the past three years seeing an added weekend, making it two back to back weekends (with the same lineup both times) of sun soaked debauchery. In recent years the infamous kick off to the State side festival season has gained increasing world wide recognition, not because of the artists involved but because of #coachellafashion.
While scrolling through my Instagram feed the other day, already annoyed with the sheer amount of emails I’ve received talking about Coachella sales, festival lookbooks, and invites to parties in Palm Springs, I cam across a post that put me over the proverbial tipping point, just like the time I shouldn’t have had that last margarita in the beer garden. Why was this post so particularly cringe worthy compared to all the other posts I’ve seen of sunsets with palm trees and Ferris wheels and of girls in crop tops, feathers, and fringe?
The post in question was a picture of my southern Californian acquaintances who just, like, “#omgcantwait for #coachella cause like omg their favorite things: fashion, friends, and parties! ”
Really? Not even a single mention of music? I will admit their line-up has been on a definite decline in recent years, as more and more high school kids on Molly infiltrate the ticket market. However, the fact that music has become one of the last things people go to music festivals for seems ridiculous. But hey, I guess the $400+ is worth it if it gets you a few more followers and on a street style blog, right?
While I must admit that as a fashion major who regularly attends music festivals complaining about the over-commercialization of my once beloved pilgrimage sounds like a mixologist in Williamsburg complaining about gentrification– hear me out.
I love music, I love fashion, and I certainly love having a good time. Since my initial year going in 2007, I’ve seen the vibe change from music based to #selfie based. The synergy between art, music, and fashion has been stomped on and trampled by Jeffery Campbell boots. I admit that for all seven years I attended the festival as well as the many other music festivals I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy, I may have put more energy than I’d like to admit into what I’m wearing. However my outfit was never a higher priority than seeing live music, and getting into the Jeremy Scott party with all the fashion industry fauxialites was never more crucial than catching the last act (although it was fun doing both).
Get dressed up however you wish (but please can we stop with the flower crowns already?), but don’t forget why you came to a music festival in the first place. To have fun, get weird, and most importantly: enjoy some amazing live acts.
But who knows, maybe I’m secretly just bitter that I’m missing out on the madness this year.