15 unbelievable facts that show just how much people are willing to spend on Coachella, from $430 tickets to $9,500 campsites
- The Coachella Music & Arts Festival takes place over two weekends in April at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.
- Coachella tickets cost $429 for general admission, but how much Coachella costs depends on what you want from your time - it can cost thousands of dollars for a VIP or luxury experience.
- In addition to admission, there are also costs for travel, transportation, food and drink, and "festival fashion" involved.
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It's the time of year when Indio, California, takes center stage.
For two weekends every April, celebrities, influencers, millennials, and music's top talent all collide at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club. This year, the event's first weekend takes place from April 12 to 14, while the second weekend wraps things up from April 19 to 21.
"It wasn't expensive at all," a festival-goer, who spent more than $1,000 on Coachella, told Russ Espinoza for Forbes. "Once you got in there it was like average LA prices for everything."
But luxury experiences can run up to nearly $1,000 for VIP admission, more than $8,000 for an accommodations package, and almost $10,000 for a safari camping experience, according to the festival's website. And that's not to mention any costs for travel and transportation, as well as food and drink.
And then there's "festival fashion," which can include anything from fringe boots, bikini tops, and sequined jackets to colored hair, glitter make-up, and flash tattoos.
See how much it really costs to attend Coachella.
Revenue numbers for 2018 weren't available, but Coachella grossed a record-breaking $114.6 million in 2017.
The cost of attending depends on the experience you want. One festival-goer told Forbes she spent $1,414.47 attending Coachella in 2017, while Money's Megan Leondhardt estimated the typical cost to be $2,347 in 2018.
General admission costs $429 for all three days (including day parking), or $509 with a shuttle pass. VIP admission is $999 for the weekend.
There are eight options for camping on site. Car camping and tent camping are the most affordable, at $125.
You can also camp in a teepee by Lake Eldorado, which costs anywhere from $2,459 to $5,600, depending on the level of admission and number of people. The price includes a festival pass.
For more of a luxury experience, festival-goers can pay $9,500 for safari camping, which includes golf cart transportation, restrooms, showers, an air-conditioned lounge, and admission for two people.
But attendees also need to figure out how to get to and around Coachella. The average airfare into LAX for the weekend in 2018 was about $230 round-trip, according to Leonhardt, citing data from travel app Hopper. However, that cost can increase depending on where you're flying from, and when you book your ticket.
A shuttle to and from LAX or to and from several California cities, like San Francisco or San Diego, is $75 each way.
Festival-goers can also purchase an "any line shuttle pass" for $80, which allows them to ride between a participating stop and the festival all weekend long.
Coachella also offers hotel travel packages. Festival-goers can bundle their festival passes with resort accommodations and shuttle transportation. Prices start at $2,695 and cost as much as $8,069, depending on the level of entry and number of people.
Festival-goers can also purchase add-ons, like an "outstanding in the field dinner" for $225 per night. It includes a full-course meal in Coachella's VIP Rose Garden.
Otherwise, Leondhardt estimated food, water, and alcohol for the weekend to cost $175. Reported prices for food include $14 egg sandwiches, $11-$14 corn dogs, and $11 ice cream tacos.
Meanwhile, alcohol can run $7 to $11 for beers and $10 for Mimosas.
Then there's "festival fashion," which can cost as little as $3.99 at H&M. It can also be more expensive — Emily Ratajkowski showed up with a Prada bag worth $2,604, and fashion blogger Aimee Song wore a $1,308 pair of boots in 2018.
Based on expert opinion, Lilian Min for Marie Claire estimated that social media influencers spend $300 on clothes and accessories, $200 on hair coloring and/or styling, $30 on a spray tan, and $50 on beauty accessories like flash tattoos — a total of $580 on appearance alone.
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