Would you like a lit­tle Ar­cade Fire with your carpac­cio di radic­chio?

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - OPINION - Brian Boyd on mu­sic [email protected]­times.com

Pour yourself an over­priced half-spilt plas­tic beaker of tepid, wa­tered-down beer and go to youtube.com/coachella, where the US ver­sion of Glas­ton­bury and Elec­tric Pic­nic is be­ing streamed live all this weekend from In­dio, Cal­i­for­nia in some­thing of a tech­no­log­i­cal fes­ti­val first.

Full sets, pre- and post-band in­ter­views, be­hind-the-scenes non­sense and as­sorted au­dio­vi­sual bells and whis­tles from one of the world’s great mu­sic fes­ti­vals are all be­ing put to­gether by Ja­son Bent­ley, who hosts NPR’s Morn­ing Be­comes Eclec­tic, one of the world’s best ra­dio shows. It’s the Full Vir­tual Monty for an event that has con­tin­u­ally im­pressed as a pro­gres­sive and in­no­va­tive fes­ti­val force.

It cuts both ways, though. On one hand, you can ad­mire how Coachella was the first to get around the prob­lem of rich so­cialites pric­ing real fans out. There are now ac­tu­ally two iden­ti­cal beanos over two con­sec­u­tive week­ends, so sup­ply goes some­where to meet­ing ticket de­mand.

Years ago, Coachella also put in place a pop­u­lar “lay­away” pric­ing plan, where you pay 20 per cent of the ticket price down, fol­lowed by six additional monthly pay­ments.

Coachella has in­cre­men­tally im­proved in terms of cus­tomer care and ser­vice. It helps, nat­u­rally, that the weather and California­n desert back­drop en­sures that you’ll have a good time re­gard­less of whichever cor­po­rate rock­ers are sulk­ing their way through the head­line slot.

But Coachella has also be­come the hip­ster nightmare from hell. From the “Get Cut for Coachella” 30-day gym pro­grammes that pre­cede the fes­ti­val to the craft beer en­clo­sure where they tell you – with a straight face – that the line-up of brews is as im­por­tant to some people as the main stage line-up, Coachella is Port­landia in a field.

As Jezebel.com had it this week: “Coachella has be­come less about mu­sic and more about be­ing seen, with celebri­ties, style-blog­gers and a whole bunch of white girls with a cro­cheted crop tops and their par­ents’ AmExes flock­ing out west to Cal­i­for­nia to do Molly and hide in the Pop Chips-spon­sored VIP tent along­side the ac­tresses from Pretty Lit­tle Liars as the Very Unim­por­tant Per­sons out­side get pelted by a sand­storm while at­tempt­ing to lis­ten to Outkast”.

The “high-end cock­tails” and “Isaan-style food” at Coachella have got­ten more cov­er­age this week than the ac­tual line-up. As has been noted: “Coachella places an ex­cel­lent line-up of mu­si­cians in the mid­dle of the desert and in­vites the world’s wealth­i­est twen­tysome­things to come and com­pletely ig­nore them”.

The Coachella Fes­ti­val in south­ern Cal­i­for­nia

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.