Why Coachella Is a Global Phenomenon

Since Coachella was founded in 1999, the festival has become an international phenomenon. Music lovers, celebrities, and anyone looking for a good time come from around the globe to experience this three-day-long event for two weekends filled with non-stop partying.

Coachella is a music and arts festival held in the Coachella Valley in the Colorado Desert every year. The festival was created as a protest against Ticketmaster’s monopoly over concert ticket sales. It quickly rose in popularity. Ten years later, in 2009, reportedly 200,000 people were in attendance, a number that has only grown since. In 2019, Hipcamp gathered data and found that Coachella was the most famous music festival in the world. In addition to being the festival with a record number of people in attendance, Coachella is also the most Instagrammed festival in the world. Hipcamp reported that Coachella had a total number of 4,201,240 hashtags in 2019, outranking festival giants such as Tomorrowland, 3,844,374 hashtags, and Burning Man, 1,333,164 hashtags.

One of the hallmarks of this festival is the fashion. Many people take outfit inspiration from the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Bohemian style dominates Coachella; outfits are often mixed and matched with modern trends. Anything fringe or sparkly is considered a staple. Thomas Hermann, a Pennridge junior, said, “When I think about Coachella, my mind immediately goes to cargo or baggy pants, maybe tighter ripped pants, but still something that is stylish.” Today, the fashion element is considered just as important as the music. It is not uncommon for people to treat Coachella as a runway rather than a music festival. When asked what her go-to Coachella outfit would be, Alexis Haas, a Pennridge junior, responded, “My go-to outfit is a cute shirt with mom jeans and maybe a pair of cute sneakers.” Similarly, Hermann said, “My ideal outfit would be a pair of cargo pants, with a cropped hoodie and a pair of Nike Jordans.” Boho-inspired outfits are not the only common theme seen at the festival. Street fashion has begun to rival the classic festival look. Coachella is an excellent opportunity to stay up to date with the latest fashion trends and see what will be popular next.

Another reason Coachella is so popular is the music lineup. Only the most prominent artists perform at Coachella. This year’s lineup included Bad Bunny, Kali Uchis, Labrinth, the K-pop girl group BLACKPINK, and much more. Previous years include music icons such as Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Prince, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and a hologram of Tupac. Headliners often bring out high-profile surprise guests. This year Labrinth pulled Zendaya up onto the stage, marking her first performance in seven years. For Haas, her favorite part of going to a concert or festival is “seeing [her] idol and listening to [her] favorite songs of theirs.”

To many, Coachella is a bucket list experience. It is a time to be carefree and have fun. “My favorite part is how everyone gets along; you are able to make new friends and overall just meet new people at the general events,” says Hermann. This festival is an opportunity to form new connections, meet your favorite people, and create memories that will last a lifetime.