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Why Coachella Is Still Worth It

Look out, you might get some Lana on you!
Look out, you might get some Lana on you!
Timothy Norris

Like life, death and taxes, you can count on incessant whining after the Coachella lineup is released every year. The festival has jumped the shark! It's no longer about cutting-edge, underground music, but rather about ecstasy-ing to giant, mainstream acts. (That and offensive "fashion" statements.)

The trump card in recent years has been the expense. Tickets are now $375 (if you can get one), and that doesn't include transportation, coconut water or the Innovative Leisure-branded sweatshirt you buy when you remember it gets cold at night.

But Coachella is  still worth it. Here's why.  

See also: Why Coachella Is No Longer Worth It

Shield your eyes!
Shield your eyes!
Star Foreman

First, there's the lineup, which this year, like every year, is really, really good. The problem is that internet whiners focus on the negative. Boo hoo, you don't like Lana Del Rey. So don't see her. That attitude is kind of like going to see a show at the Echoplex and crying about the band playing upstairs at the Echo. Coachella has five six stages, six seven if you count the Do Lab, and more than 150 acts scheduled. I'm not saying the lineup is perfect; it's not at all. But even if you dislike, say, 80 percent of it, you can still find 30 acts on the bill that you want to see. (If you need more than 30 good bands at a festival, you need to lay off the greenies.)

But wait, what's that you say? You have super-obscure taste, are always craving something new, and are easily offended by sell-out artists who so much as sip a free Red Bull backstage? Good for you. Have you ever heard of the Internet? Because that's an easier way to find out about new music than driving 120 miles east through windstorms that may topple your car. (Or, once you arrive, your tent.)

Did you know some people go to festivals to hear bands they're familiar with performing songs they like? And when a bunch of said bands are all in the same place at the same time -  and when some of them are your absolute favorites, reunited especially for this occasion -  that tends to be a pretty cool experience. 

Yes, we know you don't like this music. So go see some of the other music
Yes, we know you don't like this music. So go see some of the other music
Timothy Norris

As for the cost, well, I'm lucky enough to get a press pass, but you know what? I'd buy a ticket even if I didn't. (Hint: wait until the last minute and buy weekend two passes on the secondary market.) You can say Coachella is only for rich kids, and you wouldn't be wrong, but it's cheaper than many other "destination" concerts, like those cruise ships, or, I don't know, Mexico.

As for the inconvenience; yes, it is a pain to drive out to the Coachella Valley, though if you don't go during rush hour it's not that bad. And though there can be long lines to get in and out, they've gotten better and are still are nothing near the horrors of Electric Daisy Carnival. And though camping is a bummer for anyone who's not 19, with the immune system of a goat, there are other reasonable lodging options. A shit ton of part-time retirees rent their houses, for starters, which becomes cost-efficient when you cram in enough people. (Just don't wait until April to lock one down.)

Ok, fine, so it's a logistical pain in the ass, but that's part of the experience. You'll notice that the most Coachella haters are the ones who haven't actually been there; even the most cynical of attendees tend to have warm and fuzzy memories of the experience. Why? Because there are huge masses of people who are all, legitimately, simultaneously, psyched about the same thing. When you hear those first janky chords of "King of Carrot Flowers," your endorphins are going to go nuts, even if you've made as many jokes about Jeff Magnum's love for Bulgarian folk music as I have. And that's because it's a punishing, hot, inconvenient event to attend. It generates a high that's different from the kind you get after driving across town to the Bootleg. It's better.

And when you combine that with another kind of high -  the kind you get from drugs -  then you're really onto something. Just make sure, I guess, that you don't end up making out with Skrillex.

See also: Why Coachella Is No Longer Worth It

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