The first weekend of Coachella ended Sunday (and the second weekend starts today). And if you were like the rest of us peasants who didn't attend, you probably spent the weekend streaming the festival via YouTube or obsessively checking Instagram and Twitter to ease your FOMO, only to end up more wrecked about not being there. As I mindlessly scrolled through social media over the weekend - desperate to see footage of my favorite artists' sets - I can probably count on one hand how many posts I saw that were actually pointed toward the stage (and a selfie with the band in the background doesn't count).
My feed was flooded with photos of girls with perfect mermaid-like locks, dressed in every desert-bohemian/hippie cliche possible while posing in front of the ferris wheel or laying in the grass pretending they're in a field of daisies circa 1970. I saw photos of all the festival fashionistas sipping fizzy drinks at bougie VIP pool parties (where Kylie Jenner and her posse partied, of course) while Coachella was going on down the road. Girls wearing $200 dresses, some weird shit on their head, and strappy sandals, rampaging the polo fields to find a photographer to be featured in a "Best Outfits of Coachella" article. So huge PSA - for those of you who aren't at those exclusive parties or wearing outfits that cost half of my NYC rent - Coachella could make you feel like you're on the bottom of the social hierarchy.
Once upon a time, it was all about the music. It was full of expressing your individuality while indulging in your favorite musicians, making new friends and bad decisions, which ultimately lead to some of the best memories of your life. But because of the emergence of social media, Coachella is becoming a weekend of fashion, parties, and social stratification. Because really, if you aren't wearing tapestry bell-bottoms, a crochet bralette, and John Lennon-style sunglasses surrounded by other boho-chic clones, are you really living? It's about the dreaded "festival fashion", paying for VIP tickets, breathing in the same air as celebrities at parties, and making sure it is all documented for the world to see. One Coachella attendee, Sarah Mirmelli, nails it right on the head by saying, "You can go like a peasant, too, but it's going to suck."
Here's to all the peasants out there, who still have hope for Coachella.