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Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

Let’s make Coachella a music festival again

Photo courtesy of Instagram @drinkpoppi
Influencer Alix Earle partnered with soda brand Poppi for Coachella

Dust. Heat. Music. Lights. And now, influencers?

One of music’s largest music festivals, Coachella, took place over the past two weeks at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. The festival featured popular headliners like Lana Del Rey; Tyler, the Creator; Doja Cat and Ice Spice. The purpose of the festival, evidently, is for attendees to enjoy the music. Though after this year’s show, the festival has strayed from its original purpose and shifted to another focus: influencer and brand marketing, and it’s ultimately ruining the essence of Coachella.

One of the most notable examples of the influencer storm at Coachella was Alix Earle, who attended with the modern soda company Poppi. The brand invited Earle and anyone else she wanted to bring along to make paid content and to promote the brand’s products. TikToks portrayed the group dancing to songs while holding a Poppi soda, sporting luxurious outfits and promoting a privileged lifestyle at the festival. As much as these videos were made for entertainment purposes, this isn’t what the festival is actually like for many attendees, and instead promotes an unrealistic depiction of the festival.

Unlike other influencers who attended with brands, TikTok creator Ysabelle Wallace had a more typical Coachella experience. Across her TikTok platform, she used the hashtag (#ourchella) to emphasize the originality of her time at the festival including staying overnight in a tent at the camp, a more traditional experience of attendees staying for the weekend at the festival.

Many viewers believed Wallace’s experience to be more authentic and refreshing compared to the almost theatrical portrayal of fun posted by big influencers and brands. TikTok user @officially1982 responded to one of Wallace’s videos saying, “I’m convinced this entire vlog series is the only way to festival! Loved all the comfy clothes, the focus on enjoying the artists and the organic clips!”

Ever since watching lifestyle vloggers Hannah Meloche, Emma Chamberlain and Ellie Thumann attend Coachella in 2018 with the brand Dote, a social shopping app, the festival has become too focused on influencers and social media personalities attending the festival with brands.

Since then, there has been a lack of media coverage or content about a “typical Coachella experience” which is more focused on listening to the music and enjoying the experience. Many videos on our social media only captured the biggest influencers showing what outfit they were wearing, and what product they were using based on the brand they were promoting.

We believe that this is destroying the true focus of the festival, and we hope to see more media surrounding the actual performers and less about the influencers and brand marketing.

Influencers, keep your marketing in other places. Let’s make Coachella a music festival again.

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