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Why Coachella Is No Longer Worth It

Don't think I can help you

Josh "CuriousJosh" ReissDon't think I can help you

Well, I'm glad to see my editor, old man Westhoff, still thinks Coachella is cool! I hope they've got a shuttle that will take him directly there from the convalescent home.  

In his argument, he notes that most Coachella haters have never been there. But see, I have. I'm 20, and went when I was 16, 17 and 18. I'm supposed to be Coachella's prime demographic. But I'm done with it. 

See also: Why Coachella Is Still Worth It
 

Radiohead - Coachella 2012

Timothy NorrisRadiohead - Coachella 2012

Don't get me wrong, Coachella 2010 was the best thing that ever happened to me (even though it sent my dad to the hospital). The memory of hearing Vampire Weekend play "Giving Up the Gun" still makes my heart jump, and the exhilaration of getting lost in the crowd at Phoenix, the first performance I ever watched alone, is burned in my mind. Truth be told, Coachella introduced me to many of the musicians I still listen to today.

But it's gradually lost its magic since then. Coachella 2012 was a particularly giant hassle. Getting in felt like a competition. I wasn't willing to fork over a couple weeks pay for a ticket without knowing the lineup, so I held out, and ultimately ended up paying more than the list price. And then there was the part about sleeping in my car with three other people, seeing a shit ton of bands that I'd seen at different festivals, and trying to survive in 105 degree heat after my water was confiscated - just because the bottle was already open. It took all my cash just to stay hydrated. 

Cool tatt

Josh "CuriousJosh" ReissCool tatt

To top all of this off, I had my face squished between a set of sweaty, body-painted man boobs in the Sahara Tent. But that's a story for another time.

Fine, you say, you're into all the sweat, the heat, the "communal" aspect. Grossness is your bag. Good for you. But there's a bigger problem: The lineup is no longer compelling. Here's why:

Why Coachella Is No Longer Worth It

Colin Young-Wolff and David Young-Wolff

Basically, the same bands are being recycled. Nearly a quarter of the acts on this year's line-up have already played Coachella at least once before. Some have been booked three times -  Chromeo, the Glitch Mob, Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, MGMT, Fatboy Slim, Sleigh Bells, Skrillex, Cage the Elephant, Mogwai, Beck, Calvin Harris, and Lee Burridge.

Girl Talk and Arcade Fire have been booked four times. As Gob from Arrested Development would say, "C'mon!"

And many of the other acts on the list are routinely booked at other festivals. I caught Ty Segall, STRFKR, Waxahatchee, MGMT, Shlohmo, Flume, Poolside, Classixx, Washed Out, and Solange at the last FYF Fest (for $99).

To be honest, though, I'm much more excited about Burgerama III. For $60, I'm going to get to see the Black Lips, Fidlar, Bleached, Mac DeMarco, Cherry Glazerr, and other acts - some of which have played Coachella before, some of which undoubtedly will in the future. I'd go so far as to say the Burgerama indie offerings are better than Coachella's, and at a fraction of the price. 

I still consider Coachella 2010 a life-changing experience. But when it comes down to it, I can get nearly the same musical package (perhaps not a hologram Tupac, but a real/live Stevie Wonder or Paul McCartney) in a setting like Outside Lands, where I am less likely to pass out. 

Or have to deal with man boobs. 

See also: Why Coachella Is Still Worth It

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