5 Reasons You Can Skip Coachella 2013
The annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., can be a grand time -- but a grand time is certainly not guaranteed. Considering the massive costs involved, the huge claustrophobia-inducing crowds, the potentially stifling heat, the redundancy of the expanded schedule and the overall vibe -- which some might describe as obnoxious -- of the thing, it sometimes seems like it's just not worth the hassle. Especially, it could be argued, in t2013, as this year's lineup looks a little short on exclusive appearances.
That doesn't mean Coachella's popularity has taken a hit -- tickets to the first weekend sold out in 15 minutes -- but it does add to the attractiveness of the Coachella webcast, which costs nothing (as long as you have Internet access, of course) and can be enjoyed from the comfort of your couch (as long as you have a couch, of course). So if you didn't score tickets to this year's Coachella, don't get down -- instead, take solace in our list on 5 Reasons You Can Skip Coachella 2013.
Sure, it's nice to fly out to California in April from the rust belt, where it's possibly still snowing, but for the rest of us, a trip to the West Coast this time of year may already be too late in the game. Temperatures are known to soar in Indio come Coachella season -- last year's 104-degree high during the second weekend landed it in the top five hottest festival days ever -- and the dry desert heat is hell on the sinuses. Throw in upwards of 80,000 people packed into a field under the blazing sun, and the heat gets downright oppressive. Don't forget sunscreen!
Coachella is known for its fan-friendly prices -- bottles of water have gone for $2 since its inception -- but even with costs kept reasonable, a weekend in Indio is no bargain. Consider airfare (Orbitz has a pair of round-trip NYC-to-West-Palm-Beach flights for $900 right now), three-day passes and lodging ($2,000 for tickets and a "fully pitched and ready to go kick ass tee pee style tent" with sleeping bags, et al), and you're already dropping almost $3,000, and that only gets you in the gate with a place to crash. Add in food, booze and all those $2 bottles of water, and ... well, it ain't cheap, that's for sure.
No, that's not a mirage you're seeing on the horizon from the desert heat -- you're seeing double. It's cool that Coachella added a second weekend to the festivities last year and all, but the additional three days don't really mean any additional rock, because the second weekend's schedule is exactly the same as the first: same acts, same days, same set times. In other words, stick around for Weekend Two and you're bound to experience some serious deja vu. It's almost as if Coachella organizers are (gasp!) out to double their profits, not double your fun.
Stone Roses fans may be stoked for the chance to see the reunited rockers in the States for first time in years and years, but most festival goers were shocked by their inclusion as headliners. After months of rumors that classic rock legends the Rolling Stones would kick off their upcoming North American arena tour with a top-line slot at Coachella, some fans even thought the booking of the similar-sounding (name-wise, that is) Stone Roses was some kind of sick, cruel joke. Elsewhere, the problem with this year's bill is that there's nothing especially exclusive about the lineup, as most of the acts are touring extensively on their own or playing some of the year's other big festivals.
If you love to wander around a crowded field under the blazing sun with a bunch of drunk and smelly hippie dippy types then ... why not go to Burning Man or hit the road with Phish? But Coachella also attracts a certain (how shall we put this?) element, a group of ready-to-party-hardy souls that are in it more for the wild times than the music -- and some may find the scene they create insufferable. Add in all those frat boys, ravers, hipsters, music snobs and celebrities that also tend to show up, and a weekend in the desert turns into a pseudo-utopian social experiment in corporate-backed Generation Y nightmares soundtracked by the Chili Peppers. Do a little dance and then drink a little water!