This past weekend, despite all my friends saying “you’ve got to be there,” I relaxed at home instead of journeying out to Indio. And to be honest with you, I don’t regret it. I didn’t have hundreds of dollars laying around, and didn’t want to buy an early bird ticket without the line up being released. Instead, I watched the livestream on Youtube from the comfort of a couch. This past Sunday, a few friends and I even had a stream viewing party to see Snoop and Dr. Dre’s historical performance.
The performance was incredible, and the big reveal of the holographic Tupac was a historical event. It was such an awesome surprise it came out of nowhere, I had heard murmurings that there was going to be a hologram of Nate Dogg, but was floored when I saw the iconic “Thug Life” tattoo.
I can only imagine what it would’ve been like to actually be at the show.
After the show ended, I started chatting with a friend online, gushing about how awesome Snoop and Dre’s performance was. I was met with a wall of frustration and anger. I had just spoiled a surprise. My friend was going to Coachella next weekend, and wanted to go into the festival with zero expectations. To be fair, it was only a matter of time before he discovered the surprise but I still felt like I had just spoiled the ending to a Harry Potter book.
This friend has reason to be angry. He’s spent hundreds of dollars on his ticket alone, and probably hundreds more on lodging, food, gas, etc. He’s a huge Snoop and Dre fan, and was looking forward to their performance the most. And this isn’t the only surprise that was ruined, literally every set is going to be redone next weekend. The worst part about it is I got to see all these big reveals from the comfort of my own home for absolutely no money. I felt like I was apart of the shock and awe. My friend has been saving for months to go to Coachella, and was looking forward to the life-changing experience that everyone who goes gushes about. Now that excitement is tempered, instead of freaking out about Tupac’s hologram it’s just going to seem stale.
I appreciate what Goldenvoice was attempting to do with the two-weekend experiment, but it really takes away from a lot of Coachella’s allure. The artists performing at the festival pull out all the stops, showing their audience the best production they have to offer. Often artists debut their stage productions that they tour with for the rest of the year, Daft Punk’s pyramid is a great example. I wouldn’t be surprised if Snoop and Dre launched a tour with Tupac’s hologram, that must have cost them a fortune and they want to make a return on that investment.
Sure having a two-weekend festival makes Goldenvoice more money, but it takes away from a lot of the magic that made Coachella what it is today. And streaming these performances for free to everyone around the world is even more of a slap to the face to those going Week 2. Now instead of being fresh and exciting, big surprises like the hologram of Tupac are going to seem stale. We’ll see what happens with this two-weekend experiment…