Coachella? How about No-chella

Cassidy Bartolo, Staff Writer

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Festival season has arrived and the fashion frenzy followed by the Instagram hysteria is upon us. Coachella 2018 is a month out and it’s that time again where event goers endlessly ask you if you’re attending and flash a puzzled smile confused as to how any twenty-something can say no. Well the answer to that question is to stop contradicting our proclaimed modern social values of being “woke” and start realizing the truth of what we’re endorsing with Coachella.  

Like many other festivals having its carefree and open-minded vibes, Coachella has become a rite of passage for millennials with a certified stamp on their social media to verify they were in fact in attendance. Every April people start to pack up their cars with camping supplies, booze, outfits and about 10 gallons of water to survive. What many event goers seem to forget to pack is their conscience as they drop almost a grand into an event without regard of who they’re giving their money to. That person is Philip Anschutz, owner of Coachella’s organizer Goldenvoice, who sparked up controversy when it was revealed in 2016 that people and companies he personally endorsed were strongly conservative in their views and agendas.  

Joshua Espinoza of Complex Magazine wrote, “The recipients included pro-gun Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, who was given $5,400 in March; Scott Tipton, a Colorado congressman who opposes same-sex marriage and abortion ($2,700 in August); U.S. Representative Mike Coffman, a pro-life birther ($5,400 in August); as well as Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.” People who pay for Coachella tickets may be strongly against these views and agendas, but this is where that ticket money is going.

The festival is geared towards an audience of millenials making up the vast majority of ticket sales. This is the same generation fighting for equal rights, acceptance and justice. It seems as though our generation is okay with giving their money to the groups they claim to be so against if it benefits them with seeing their favorite bands live and a weekend off work. Anschutz’s endorsements were revealed over two years ago and although he’s claimed to of cut ties with the organizations, there’s no proof that he has done so nor does it change the fact that he had been endorsing and donating to them for years until he was exposed. So this is where our $600 ticket per person is going? Goldenvoice will happily keep raising their prices and funneling in millions of dollars thanks to us because we will keep buying them year after year.  

The festival lifestyle and letting loose while listening to amazing artists with your group of closest friends on a mini vacation two hours away from home is one the best experiences. I have attended about a dozens festivals but Coachella has not been one of them. It’s time that us festival-goers pay more attention to these companies that make millions of dollars off of us. Not to mention that every year Coachella tickets particularly raise their prices significantly and every year more and more people attend. Festivals are an amazing opportunity and place to congregate with others who have the same interests and thoughts as you, but do these festival’s companies have those same interests in mind? Attendees need to show these companies like Goldenvoice and people like Anschutz that their views don’t align with who they choose to endorse. Many of the anti groups he funded are the opposite of the demographic of Coachella attendees. Without that demographic of LGBTQ’s, feminists, different race and religions, there’s doubt that Goldenvoice would even have a festival to put on. This diversity is what is celebrated at events, so it’s time to pay attention if that diversity is appreciated.

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