21 apr 2023

Does the Coachella festival still making people dream?

The world-famous music festival Coachella near Los Angeles is once again hosting big names of the music industry, from Björk to Rosalía and Frank Ocean. Despite numerous criticisms, the event is still making people dream.


The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was created by promoter Paul Tollett after an idea by rock band Pearl Jam. Since its launch in 1999, the event has been at the center of intense criticism. Taking place every year for six days in April, in Indio, near Los Angeles, the event is indeed both musical and world, which doesn’t please everyone. Many influencers are used to attend the festival in order to take pictures of themselves in front of the huge carousel wheel, instead of listening to the performers. For that matter, the festival sounds more like a vanity fair, where appearance prevails over art – the crown of flowers and fringed jean shorts are now emblematic. This year, everyone could see Kendall Jenner being extensively photographed while dancing during the set of her partner Bad Bunny, or Kourtney Kardashian acting as an extra in the audience, and the sculptural Alessandra Ambrosio showing off her endless legs.


Is the Coachella festival still a dream today?


Another reason for that discontent? The insane amount of money people have to get out of pocket to have the opportunity to brag on social media about going to Coachella. In 2022, the 3-day pass cost $499 (approximately €464) and the VIP pass was worth $1199 (approximately €1115). Besides, the festivalgoers had to pay an extra $209 to pitch their tent near the festival. Not to mention the tickets prices on the black market, or the prices for drinks and meals on site. When we went to the festival in 2014, we paid $4 for a small bottle of water and $13 for a sandwich.

Coachella Festival on April 16, 2022 by Christina House/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Frank Ocean, Angèle, and Rosalía scheduled for Coachella 2023


Yet the music event still is a must-see, highly sought-after by celebrity and a true dream for the thousands of festivalgoers. The main reason? The line-up, which over the years has remained one of the best in the world. In the past, Coachella had hosted Daft Punk, Beyoncé, Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and The Weeknd. This year, from April 4th to 16th and from April 21st to 23rd, the festival is once again levelling up with the headliners Frank Ocean, Bad Bunny, and Blackpink. Rosalía just gave a wild performance, bringing her boyfriend Rauw Alejandro on stage and making a moving cover of a song by Enrique Iglesias. Other notable performances so far were delivered by Charli XCX, Blondie, and 070 Shake, who won over the audience in their respective ways. Gorillaz, Björk, Los Bitchos, Burna Boy, Willow, Calvin Harris, Alex G, Pusha T, Gorillaz, Wet Leg, Weyes Blood, Ethel Cain, Yves Tumor, Latto, and Francophone artists like Angèle, The Blaze, and Redcar, were also present. Many surprises were planned this year as well. Billie Eilish made an appearance during the performance of her friend and collaborator Labrinth, the band Gorillaz invited the legendary De La Soul on stage, and Kali Uchis performed next to Tyler, The Creator, Don Toliver, and Omar Apollo. Even though the huge crowd gathering over 125,000 festivalgoers per day makes it difficult to enjoy the performances up close, the star-studded gathering remains quite impressive.


The Coachella Festival takes place in Indio, CA, from April 14-16 and April 21-23, 2023. The concerts are broadcast live on YouTube.

The poster of the 2023 edition of Coachella