Coachella 2024 faces ticket sales slump

As the anticipation builds for the iconic Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, there is an unexpected buzz surrounding the event. With ticket sales moving slower than usual, is the festival losing its luster or are high prices to blame?

According to Complex, Coachella tickets are still up for grabs and have not sold out like they have in previous years. In 2015, tickets were sold out within 40 minutes of their release. In 2022, they sold out within four hours.

One major concern as to why I believe that many people have decided to not purchase tickets is because of the high price tag. In an era of economic uncertainty, the festival’s cost may be dissuasive to potential attendees. Most of the festival is also live-streamed for people to watch at home, which may also be a factor for the lack of sales.

Tickets are on sale on the Coachella website and have three tiers: tier 1 for $499, tier 2 for $549 and tier 3 for $599 not including fees.

When Frank Ocean headlined in 2023, it also took a few days for the tickets to sell. Even though the festival did not sell out right away, many fans were still extremely excited to see Ocean perform, especially since it had been a while since his last live performance.

Unfortunately, he did not live up to the high expectations. He started late, and it felt like it was more of a listening party rather than an actual performance.

Since I was young, I have wanted to go to Coachella. Not only is it regarded as one of the highest-level music festivals, but it also always has a stellar lineup, creative art installations, diverse culinary offerings and an undeniable cultural impact.

Positive effects also come with negative effects for the residents of the Coachella Valley. About 125,000 people attend Coachella once a year across both weekends.

Coachella generates 1,612 tons per year of solid waste and generates about 107 tons of solid waste each day for the 3-day event. Within the two-week festival, only about 20% of it gets recycled.

Recycling initiatives are available and promoted at the festival and most other festivals. Ways to fix these issues are to trade bottles, cans and cups for merch and food vouchers. And, offering shuttles and prizes for people who carpool.

Furthermore, the festival attracts visitors from all over the world, and this has a significant impact on the residents. The amount of visitors increases the demand for goods and services, which leads to increased revenue for businesses throughout the entire Coachella Valley region.

Valentina Enriquez, a student at Cal State Long Beach, has also always dreamt of attending Coachella, mainly because of the influencers she used to follow. She is a bit surprised that there has been a decrease in ticket sales.

“Coachella used to be a big thing, but I do believe the hype has died down a little,” Enriquez said. “I think that the lineup this year is a bit different from the others, but it gives smaller artists a chance to make a name for themselves.”

For the past couple of years though, people have been upset with the lineup. Why is that?

Doja Cat, Lana Del Rey and Tyler, the Creator will be headlining the festival this year. These three artists are in their prime of making music, as we have been able to see them collaborate and develop their artistic styles over the years.

For example, the last time that Tyler, the Creator performed at Coachella was in 2016 during his “Cherry Bomb” era, which many disliked. Over time, however, he outgrew this phase and now a lot more people love his music.

“When the Coachella lineup first came out, the comments that I heard the most were, ‘Who are these people?’ or ‘This lineup is wack,’” Enriquez said.

Enriquez and I both agree that the lineup this year is great. Overall, I believe Coachella tickets are worth buying, this year or any year.

The spirit of Coachella does not just lie in the hands of the artists on stage, but in the collective experience that the attendees carry with them long after the festival ends.

So, if you love music festivals, it should definitely be on your bucket list. Of course, the prices may change in the following years, but the excitement of attending and the memories you make will never fade.

This article was updated on Feb. 12, 2024 with additional information about the Coachella Festival.

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