Coachella has turned into fashion show with top artists

By Lauren Holcomb | Reporter

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, a popular music festival in Indio desert, Calif., just concluded the first weekend of its 2022 run. Having been on a hiatus since COVID-19, this year’s festivities are the first in three years. While the artist lineup should be at the forefront of Coachella’s appeal since it is a music festival, I’ve heard more talk about the outfits and ‘who’ everyone wore.

Even in years past, the fashion statements were a huge commotion. However, especially after the three-year break, everyone was expecting jaw-dropping outfit choices from their favorite celebrities and influencers this festival season. I cannot scroll through TikTok without seeing a ‘rating Coachella outfits’ or a ‘get ready with me for Coachella’ every few videos.

Major media outlets like E!, People and Insider have already published best dressed lists from the first weekend. I couldn’t help but notice that under every celebrity photograph, following their name, was ‘wears so and so’ — as in to clarify which top name brand they sported. Almost every celebrity or social media influencer who attended seemed to be there on a paid brand trip to flaunt new releases and gain publicity for the company. I mean, I would do so too since the beginning price for a tier one ticket is $449, not including extra travel, food and hotel fees. Even the VIP tickets, which almost all the big names have, start at $929, which is insane.

While planning extravagant outfits and posting the perfect Instagram picture looks fun, it comes to a point where it almost seems like Coachella is a fashion show rather than a music festival. The only people I’ve seen raving about the actual performers are people online who didn’t even attend the in-person festival and just watched the livestream. Almost every influencer who has posted about their experience complains about how miserable and tired they are after every day.

Note that Coachella outfits are not your everyday looks. They are meticulously planned, usually with a more bohemian feel, as Coachella takes place in a desert. These outfits are taken very seriously, and most of them are not the most practical. Sure, it’s fun to dress up for an event like this, but when you wear huge chunky boots and clothes covering next to nothing made of chains and feathers and every other material under the sun, it becomes way too much.

Don’t get me wrong, I love judging all of the quirky outfits I’m seeing all over my social media pages. Rating Coachella outfits is one of my favorite parts of the festival from an outsider’s perspective. But come to look at it as a whole; there are no other music festivals that I care this much about the outfits for. The artist lineups are on the forefront of my mind for every other festival, but for some reason, not Coachella. In my opinion, Coachella is an expensive and physically taxing fashion show in the middle of a desert — oh, and some cool artists happen to be there too to make it a music festival.