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How much does a weekend at Coachella cost?

We calculate the total expense of three days in America's most famous desert

How much does a weekend at Coachella cost? We calculate the total expense of three days in America's most famous desert

Bad Bunny, Frank Ocean, Calvin Harris, Rosalía and Kali Uchis; this year's Coachella Festival line-up includes artists from the music scene who have made history, and whose immense following has led thousands of fans to buy into the super-instagrammed wristband. But how much does it cost to attend the event? The first three days of the festival have already ended, but for those who don't want to miss the chance to see Frank Ocean live, there's still next weekend. 

The new edition of the world's most famous festival is predicting an attendance of 250,000 visitors, reaching record numbers even in terms of revenue; according to the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, the two weekends will generate a turnover of around $704 million - an exorbitant figure, when you consider that in 2017 alone, a total revenue of $114.6 million was calculated. Over the course of the last few editions, ticket prices have also risen dramatically, from the first edition in 1999, when they used to cost only $50, to 2010, when they went from $100 to $270 for general admission. Today, entry tickets to attend Coachella are around $500, not including all the amenities needed to experience the festival in serenity, such as shuttle, accommodation, parking, food and drinks. Tickets went on sale online in mid-January and, like every year, offer some more or less affordable wristbands, and some others for those who would never give up luxury, not even in the desert. A VIP pass, which offers reserved entrances, air-conditioned toilets, shaded areas, special bars and restaurants, can cost from $1,069 to $1,399. On top of that comes the price of parking: leaving your car near one of the stages costs $199, whereas access to the camping area, where you can pitch tents or bring caravans and camper vans, can cost you between $149 to $3,000, depending on the site. 

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Coachella's gates open at 11am, and the speakers turn off after midnight. For those who hate the camping experience, it is possible to stay in festival-approved hotels, but again, the closer you are to Indio - the town where the event is held - the higher the prices. One of the most popular facilities for festival visitors is Lake Eldorado, an open-air hotel consisting of hundreds of boho-chic teepees designed for glamping, combining the comfort of the resort with the escapism and adventure of camping. As in the case of hotels, three nights in one of these facilities can run from $3,000 to $5,000 just for two people. To all these costs mentioned must then be added those of the shuttle, from LAX airport to Coachella $85 and internally to the festival $120, and of course food and drinks - LA prices are to be expected, if not more. There are those who think it's worth the expense, and those who don't, especially considering the cost of flights from Italy.

On TikTok, where many have already posted video summaries of their weekend at Coachella, there are those who are summing up their total expense for the trip. Ivié, who travelled from England, says she booked a last minute flight for $895, having spent $597 on a ticket that included camping area rental and then stocking up on food and drink before heading through the gates to save money. In total, the cost of Ivié's weekend was $1,879. Self-proclaimed film producer and millionaire Polina, on the other hand, spent a total of $36,080; unlike Iviè, her festival included a stylist ($27,300), a first-class flight from New York ($2,800), a luxury car and a personal driver, VIP entry wristbands, hotel accommodation, and then lunches and dinners at restaurants ($550). Ultimately, the actual cost of a trip to Coachella depends mostly on the type of experience one wants to have; three days camping with friends in the name of music and adventure, or 72 hours of content creation, with stylists, fellow influencers, and all the stress that comes with it despite the added comforts.