The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is the largest event of its kind in North America. Held in Indio, California over two weekends in April, the festival attracts more than 125,000+ attendees each year. With headliners like Beyoncé and Ariana Grande, the festival is a definitive highlight of the global artistic and social calendar. When analyzed in terms of design principles, Coachella is a goldmine of pleasure. The festival embodies and symbolizes hedonism at its finest. First, Coachella is stimulating to the senses, especially the sights and the sounds. With hundreds of musical artists selected to convene and perform in the desert, the event is experienced and perceived as otherworldly. Your options to listen and party abound. There are events galore. The experience is almost overstimulating. Ultimately, this reflects the design principles of psychopleasure and physiopleasure.
Secondly, Coachella is a social hotspot where hundreds of thousands of revelers bond on music and lyrics alone. Music festivals enable a sense of community based on shared interests and values. There’s also the social validation component of Coachella as well. The event attracts celebrities and laymen alike. Festivalgoers aggressively document and share the experience on social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. YouTube vloggers have admitted to attending Coachella to solicit likes and views. There’s also the stylistic component of Coachella that has played into the rise of festival fashion. Brands also want to be affiliated with youthful and trendy phenomena. For example, Forever 21 once released a capsule collection of so-called festival clothing. Ultimately, this reflects the design principle of sociopleasure.
Based on a YouTube analysis, one critique of Coachella is how exhausting the experience is. Because there are so many attendees at the festival, Ubers may be up to two hours to come by; surge pricing is a common tactic. These drawbacks may be overshadowed in favor of the more hedonistic vision publicized by the press.