This year’s Coachella features 23 sponsors with even more events and brand activations outside the official roster. For instance, Venmo set up a swing ride within the Revolve party (which some might call capitalism inception). Those invited have posted nonstop from these activities — but not always positively, with Revolve’s event getting compared to Fyre Fest after transportation and logistical mistakes. Many of these companies, including Adidas, Revolve, and H&M, have relied heavily on influencer marketing in recent years.
Yet the biggest online trend this Coachella is posting negatively about the festival. After getting caught in traffic for so long on day one that she only spent a few hours at the venue, Melody, who bought her own ticket, posted a TikTok about her experience. “is it worth it? not rly idk LMAO #coachella,” she wrote in the now-viral video. On the second day, Melody said she didn’t even make it into the festival, instead saying she waited for three to four hours in traffic to get to the parking lot, before just turning around and going home.
Mahdesian said watching the content from outside the festival feels like a culmination of the microtrends happening online, but IRL. “I don’t know, everyone looked the same,” she said. “The commercialism and the marketing killed the authenticity part of it for me. I don’t even think I’ve seen content about the music. It felt like one of those museums where you only go to get selfies, rather than a music festival.”
Mahdesian said she watched lots of vlogs from last weekend’s event to try and see if it really was as bad as everyone claimed.
“Sometimes the negativity gets more hype and more eyeballs,” Mahdesian said. “The positive content seemed like it was more about getting vlog footage rather than seeming like an actual fun time. But you know, the headliners were amazing. The TikToks I watch of Doja Cat, she seems like an amazing performer.”
When asked, Mahdesian said she would go if she were invited, out of morbid curiosity to see if it’s as bad as people posted about, but would not pay out of her own pocket to attend.
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