Coachella Has Its Own Problems


Frazer Harrison

Coachella is an extremely popular music festival and people from all around travel to Indio, California just to attend it.

Alyssa Pepito, Photojournalist

The most well-known music festival, Coachella, holds problems for multiple reasons. Recently, they have been sued by Portland Music Festival, Soul’d Out, over a clause which gives Coachella a seasonal monopoly on West Coast live music. It is observed that Coachella has violated the antitrust laws.

The clause allegedly restricts artists playing at Coachella “from playing any festival or themed event in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington or Arizona from December 15, 2017, until May 7, 2018” (Billboard). Basically, they are being sued for banning artists from participating and playing in any music festivals within 1,3000 miles of Indio, California, for five months, December to May (BBC).

These restrictions are unjust and do not let artists have the freedom to play wherever they want for whichever festivals they want. According to BBC, lawyers for Soul’d Out admitted the radius clause is “an unlawful restraint on trade, meant to use Coachella’s market power in the music festival market to suppress competition by other festivals.” The radius clause is set so that the only place where people can watch this artist during this time is at Coachella, thus resulting in Coachella making more money. It is noted that many artists had to turn down playing Soul’d Out because of the radius clause preventing them from playing there.

Another subject which has been addressed by the media is that Coachella’s owner and founder has also been found to be quite problematic himself. Philip Anschutz is a billionaire and owner of the popular music and arts festival, Coachella. It was discovered that Anschutz gave large amounts of money to groups which work hard to defeat equal rights of LGBT Americans and even to extremist hate groups. Furthermore, he puts his money in the wrong place by funding for and supporting pro-discrimination groups (The Daily Beast).

Even as cultural appropriation can be clearly seen through attendees of Coachella, the issues stated here are bigger than that. Furthermore, it seems that the problems which are brought about are not bothering many Coachella attendees since many people are still buying their tickets and seeing their favorite artists all in three days. For some, it seems as their views on Coachella have changed and for some it does the opposite. Tiffany Vo (11) explains how she does not support his views on anti-LGBT, however, she loves “to go to this music festival because it is so unique and all [her] favorite artists perform there.”

Overall, the popularity of the music festival seems to overshadow these problems. As much attention as it’s getting, Coachella’s reputation seems untouched and people continue to attend this famous music and arts festival.