Coachella Killed Music

Aron Levin
Apr 22 · 3 min read

Coachella 2019 is officially over.

And I have this theory:

The music part of the festival is dead.

And… all it took was a 27-year-old woman with 4 friends and $1,345. But let’s rewind…

The culprit, here seen in the absence of her equally influential friends.

With 250,000 festival attendees over two weekends, Coachella is one of the largest music festivals in the world.

Some of the biggest artists in the world have headlined the festival…

… and brands like Revolve, Heineken, BMW, Absolut, Bondi Sands, and others line up to leverage the cultural relevance of the festival — Known for attracting consumers, creators, influencers and celebrities from across the globe.


… I’ve just made an interesting discovery.

The influencers and creators that are attending the festival…

… couldn’t care less about the actual music.

In fact…

We’ve surveyed 821 influencers that are attending Coachella and other festivals this year.

A full 93.7% cite that they attend Coachella and other festivals for reasons other than the music.

33% are not even attending the actual festival.

They just go to Palm Springs and Party @ #Nochella.

By the way — I’ll go on the record and admit that I really dislike the term influencer. Influence is an outcome, not a profession. It’s like “authenticity”. (A great outcome, but not really for you to decide.)

Totally guilty of using both the I-word and the A-word, though. Guess you have to talk the talk.

Anyway, to finish my point:

When you have hundreds of thousands of wildly engaged followers that know, like and trust the story you tell…

… you have the power to influence the perception of what a cultural happening like Coachella actually is.

Because a brand is no longer what you tell your customers… It’s what they tell each other.

And they’re not talking about the music.

Heck, I don’t think I’ve seen a single creator share a photo or story from an actual artist performance.

And so…

The music is no longer a part of the story.

It’s dead.

So, what’s the story about, then?

97% (!) say that style and fashion are key elements in their festival experience.

And this isn’t your average Jane.

The average survey participant had 345,000 followers and traveled to the festival with 4 friends.

She (86%) is 27 years old (on average), stays at a hotel (40%) or Airbnb (33%)… and will spend $1,345 (on average) on her festival experience.

Those are some REALLY appealing facts.

A talented and creative individual with a large social circle, money and AND power to influence and shape culture (and perception of relevancy).

And guess what…?

… 99.7% (like… everyone) expressed an interest in working with brands while attending festivals!

Massive opportunity @ Way Out West, Ultra, Lollapalooza, etc (Full list of festivals here).

Now imagine for a second that your target audience is a woman in her 20s-30s with spending power and a loyal group of friends…

That’s the greatest marketing opportunity ever, isn’t it? Sure could be… and we’d love to help.

But… I get it.

You might be like…

“I sell dishwashers! How would this possibly apply to me?”

You’re right. This specific opportunity is likely not for you.

But you know what? There are other equally relevant opportunities out there. Our clients use similar strategies to build influencer marketing campaigns for both dishwashers (Whirpool), bananas (Chiquita) and financial services (Klarna).

It’s all about executing on the right moment, with a creative angle and big idea. Head over here and tell us what your challenge is, and we’ll set up some time to chat.

The bottom line? A brand, product – or in this case, a festival – is no longer what you tell your customers, it’s what they tell each other.

Coachella (and other festivals alike) have always been about the experience– and the music doesn’t seem to play an important role in the festival narrative anymore.

Aron Levin

Written by

Founder @ Relatable (Formerly at Spotify & King)