Is Coachella Losing Cultural Relevance?

Ah – Coachella.

Two weekends where our favourite influencers and celebrities flock to California’s Indio Desert clad in sequins, crochet, and platform boots, ready to ~party~. While the event is considered one of the most iconic outings on the social calendar, it seems Coachella’s return after a pandemic-induced hiatus did not live up to the hype. As the festival’s first weekend comes to a close, pop culture enthusiasts are left questioning whether Coachella has hit its peak? And if so, is 2022 the beginning of the end of Coachella’s cultural influence?

Where did all the Coachella content go?

Thinking back to 2019, it was almost impossible to escape the festival content that flooded Instagram feeds during Coachella. But this year, there seemed to be a glaring absence of OOTD posts and vlogs that had come to define the festival. 

Twitter users like @dejadehaan and @kordeilogy have even gone viral for sharing how Coachella “ain’t making noise like it use to.” 

With the world still recovering from COVID-19, the dip in Coachella content is not entirely surprising. After spending the better of two years attached to our phone screens, many attendees may just want to enjoy the moment in real-time and not worry about creating content for their followers. 

Beyond a renewed appreciation for in-person events, it is also worth noting how COVID-19 changed the dynamics of the social media landscape. Over the course of what seemed like never-ending lockdowns, celebrities and influencers became an everyday part of our lives. With the pandemic accelerating the rise of “casual Instagram” and a more “relatable” side of YouTube, celebrities have embraced a new personalised type of influence. As we grow accustomed to this side of fame, watching influencers and celebrities partying in the VIP of an exclusive festival perhaps doesn’t hold the same amount of cultural intrigue as it once did. 

Coachella as Millennial-Core 

With Gen Z leading the charge for authenticity on social media, typical Coachella content is not exactly what many of us would deem as “real.” When it comes to Coachella, attendees are known for posting perfectly curated outfit pictures and sharing carefully selected videos to show that they are having the best time. Some internet users have gone as far as describing Coachella and these types of over-produced posts as “millennial core.”

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This push for authenticity and the controversy around Coachella’s most coveted party, Revolve Festival, has created the perfect storm for Coachella’s decline. With attendees going viral for sharing horror stories of the event, these videos shattered the illusion of Coachella as an unattainable event that many of us could only dream of experiencing. 

All that to say, Coachella as a pop culture phenomenon is seemingly going through a transition period. As more Gen Z influencers and celebrities start to attend the festival, the way we experience Coachella as an audience is bound to change.

So the question is; will the event be able to stick it out, or are the golden days of Coachella already behind us?

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