Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Lollapalooza: How do people afford festivals?

Marc Ballon (LAWeekly.com); Amber Larson, Crystal Quintero, Dev, Wisdom Quarterly
It costs big bucks to look this "bohemian" (Chris Victorio/laweekly.com).
Lollapalooza is Chicago's own "Coachella," aka a modern "Woodstock" (kroq.com)

Psychedelic lollypop for raving
Sierra Blackford really wanted to go to Coachella. But it wasn't easy.
The 23-year-old Hawaiian singer-songwriter juggled three jobs as a waitress, playing gigs at local bars, and working in a slipper store to save enough for her concert tickets, heavily discounted airfare (she knows somebody in the industry), camping fees, and food.

Blackford has no complaints though. Talking just moments after Hozier's uplifting set, she said she couldn't put a price tag on the transcendence she experiences at Coachella. This two-time festival veteran said she found inspiration being surrounded by "great art and great music," as well as the 15 friends she came to the desert with.
Turn off the monitor, and go dance!
"I have no care in the world here," said Blackford as she walked through Coachella's trippy art installations, featuring a giant moving caterpillar. "This is an amazing escape, and one of the best experiences you'll ever have." And a pricey one. 
Blackford estimated that she would spend $1,200 at the festival, including $200 on a funky outfit that included a headband and fringed backpack. There's no way getting around it. Coachella ain't cheap.

Tried and true way to connect: crowdsurfing in the moshpit (lollapalooza.com).
A three-day pass alone will set you back $375. Add in the costs of getting to and from Indio [the impoverished desert where the concert is held], after-concert Uber pickups, hotel rooms, vittles, and other incidentals and we're already near $1,000.

VIPs, Trustafarians [trustfund + Rastafarians], and other one-percenters [unlike Occupy's 99%] can easily spend three, four or five times that. Even the grungiest, tattooed bro camping in a tattered tent and subsisting on booze, dope, cigarettes, and dust can expect to spend around $500. 
Bohemia is next to Licentia and Vagabondia and free-loving Philistia.
Compare that to Woodstock. In August 1969, advanced tickets to "3 Days of Peace & Music" cost $18, the equivalent of $120 in 2014 dollars. Not a bad deal to see The Who, Sly & The Family Stone, and Jimi Hendrix all in their primes, especially since most concertgoers got in for free.
And the Woodstock Generation came to Max Yasgur's farm clad in the counter-culture uniform of jeans, beads, and T-shirts -- or nothing at all. Turns out it cost a lot less to be an actual hippie than a wannabee playing dress-up at Coachella.

What other white straight racist male patriarchs can we put on bills we worship? (Horsey)
Concert ticket prices have surged since the days of peace and love, with the average increasing by nearly 400 percent from 1981 to 2012. That's nearly triple the rise in overall consumer price inflation, former Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Alan Krueger said in 2013.
So how in the hell can almost 200,000 mostly 20- and 30-something hipsters afford to attend the nation's premier music festival over the course of two weekends?

For Gia DiMatteo, there's extreme budgeting. The 27-year-old account manager from San Diego came to her fifth consecutive Coachella with 14 friends, many from her alma mater of Washington State University. They camped and bought and shared food. She also went low-budget on her festival outfit, buying $50 low-cut boots, and a shirt from Goodwill.
"We're the economic Coachella," DiMatteo said with a laugh.

Crystal Gallegos went the route of an installment plan to take herself and younger sister to the festival. The 27-year-old Central Valley payroll clerk saved her pennies and paid off a little each month until her $750 debt disappeared.
Then spent more money. Gallegos and four friends booked a hotel room in Cathedral City for $220 a night, a relative bargain by Coachella standards. To put together her festival outfit, Gallegos shelled out $200 on a hat, shorts, belt, dress and jewelry at American Eagle and Forever 21.
How much will Coachella set her back? "I haven't done the math, but it's a pretty penny," she said. "And totally worth it." More

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