- The Coachella Music & Arts Festival takes place over two weekends in April at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.
- While Coachella is a music festival, it has long held a reputation as a place that social media influencers, celebrities, and regular attendees go to dress up in fashionable, colorful, or outrageous outfits.
- We went to Coachella for the first time this year and decided to ask some well-dressed attendees how much their outfit cost. Surprisingly, even the best-dressed seemed to spend around $200-400 on their outfit.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Coachella Music & Arts Festival is a music festival in Indio, California, but it’s arguably more famous for what happens off-stage.
There are the glitzy daytime pool parties and exclusive afterparties that double as entertainment-industry parties, the oh-so Instagrammable art pieces that dot the landscape, and the hordes of Orange County teenagers skipping school to drink.
For years, the festival has become known as a scene so distinct that The Daily Beast’s Marlow Stern described it as a “celebration of music [that] has degenerated into a weird marriage of fashion and commerce.” The weekend is such an event for social-media influencers, models, and celebrities that some have dubbed it the “Influencer Olympics.”
Those elements were certainly present when I headed to the festival for the first time earlier this month, but it was hardly an overwhelming part of my experience.
One thing I did notice: the colorful and, occasionally, wildly creative outfits that attendees wear each day. On Sunday of this year’s festival, we walked around to find the best outfits and asked how much attendees spent to get them.
The answers were pretty surprising. Here’s what we found:
TJ Sonnier, a 26-year-old artist from Los Angeles, handmade his outfit from rainbow fringe fabric and lanyards. He helped Russell Thomas, a 21-year-old student, put together his outfit from $30 thrift store finds and a piece of his from Di$count Universe, an Australian fashion brand. “Why would you come here and buy a shirt? It should be your own vibe,” Sonnier said.
Source: Discount Universe
Kate Price, a 24-year-old from Manchester, England who works for Sky TV, spent $330 on her outfit. The dress, from ASOS’s A Star Is Born collection, cost $325 of that. The headscarf and other accessories cost only a few bucks, she said. Of the fashion at Coachella, Price said, “There’s a lot of denim shorts and vest tank tops this year. I’m not into that.”
Josh Brown, a 26-year-old graduate student from Huntington Beach, spent around $200 on his outfit between his colorful jacket from ASOS and his Calvin Klein bottoms.
Jamie Mansfield, a 27-year-old travel blogger, model and social media influencer from Bakersfield, California, spent over $2,000 between the bridal skirt, top, and her butterfly crown from Viva Del Fina.
Christelle Bacho, a 28-year-old marketing specialist and aspiring singer from Belmont, California, spent around $200 for her entire outfit, including a dress from Dolls Kill, an online fashion boutique. “I try to do themes for all my outfits. For Ariana [Grande], I wanted to be a galactic space cowgirl,” she said.
Grant Garcia, a 24-year-old working in sales for a tech company in Los Angeles, spent around $150 on his shorts, glasses, and various scarves, but he said the best part of his outfit was free — the butterflies and beads tied into his beard.
Joe Cole, a 32-year-old advertising professional from Los Angeles, spent around $400 between Etsy, Forever 21, Amazon, and free stuff he picked up at Burning Man and other festivals. The most expensive items were the custom light-up glasses he purchased for $150 from an artist on Etsy and the $100 worth of glitter he spread all over his body. It’s his 10th Coachella. It’s become an annual trip with his sister.
27-year-old reality star Nazy Farnoosh, 24-year-old travel Instagrammer Mallory Morris, 27-year-old lifestyle blogger Suzy Shattuck, and reality TV personality-turned singer London Ellis all spent between $150-250 on their outfits, which are a mix of Forever 21, Dolls Kill, and custom items from artists on Etsy. “We wanted our outfits to be as colorful as possible. Our Instagram feeds are very colorful,” said Shattuck.