Because students make up most of the music festival crowd. It’s time we see some concession for the youth at major festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo.

Today, in 2016, Coachella’s general admission passes, now sold-out along with every other type of pass to the festival, is priced at $399, which is probably one-third of the rent one would pay to live in a decent studio apartment in Los Angeles. In the grandeur of life and its luxuries, it probably doesn’t seem like much, but let’s consider this. Majority of the average California’s Coachella, Chicago’s Lollapalooza, and Tennessee’s Bonnaroo attendees are students, young-adults between the ages of eighteen to twenty five. Whether these students are supported by a scholarship or their families – students, with their college tuition and part-time jobs, are generally on a budget. The Sherp is certain that there are always exceptions, but let’s hypothesize for a moment.

Sophomore Kendall Noel, a regular festival-goer, according to this article, doesn’t mind eating cheap food if it helps him afford summer music 
festivals. Noel works through the year to help him pay for festival tickets, which are the highlights of his summer. He says,

“I would rather eat ramen for weeks on end and be able to go to festivals in the summer […] We definitely save up really hard throughout the year, I work now and most of my money usually goes to that.”


(Source: Festival No. 6/Facebook)

There are many students like Noel, who save up throughout the year, cutting back on what should be healthy food to gather enough funds to purchase festival tickets. This may seem ridiculous, from a third person’s perspective. Why would anyone starve themselves to attend a music event?

But as The Sherp has mused about before, music festivals are the holy grail of the millennial and the post-millennial generations, since the beginning of the Woodstock era back in ’69. This sense of uninhibited togetherness, where a group of strangers come together with a shared sense of understanding and respect for the music, art, culture, or environment that they’re in, is what is coveted by – if not all – then most of us in a community. Kendall Noel, and his fellow student Ashton Moody have already, with their hard-earned money, bought passes to two festivals, namely, Coachella and Electric Forest. About Electric Forest, Moody says,

“[It] makes it worth it; to be honest, like all that hard work. When I get there, I’m just like, ‘This is why.’”

fictional future image

(Source: Jamie Boynton/Fictional Future)

In this report, it says that Coachella sold 158,000 tickets in 2012, and pulled in $47.3 million in revenue, according to Billboard Boxscore. Music festivals are a massive business, and it’s only getting bigger with every passing day. And as much as we love and support them, we feel for the students feeding on ramen noodles to make it to these festivals. This is, by far, not even close to being a socio-economic problem of any gravity. It’s a rather “first world” problem, to be blunt. But as a consideration of their mass attendees, organizers should probably issue student passes that are affordable to university-going folk.

Even homegrown festivals, such as Vh1 Supersonic or Sunburn Festival in Goa, Magnetic Fields in Rajasthan, and Enchanted Valley Carnival in Aamby Valley, should issue student passes. The only large-scale festivals in India, to our knowledge, that has a separate collection of tickets priced exclusively for students, are NH7 Weekender, MTV Xtreme, and Harley Rock Riders. We’re certain that there are some festivals out there that offer concession for students and attendees under 21, and we’re thankful for them. But it’s also advisable to have these concessions implemented at major international music festivals, for a start. For anyone looking to attend a festival on a budget, do consider payment plans that allow one to pay for the ticket in installments, and check out this guide to attending Coachella on a budget.

Students make for the crux of the music festival crowd. These are the people who will organically promote your festivals; they’re the spirited fans. They will starve for months in order to make it to your festival. It’s like David Roman says in this guide to surviving Coachella when you’re broke, “One of the many benefits of youth is the ability to look at situation and decide that no matter how rotten it seems, that it couldn’t possibly be something that I couldn’t do.” The least we can do for them is provide them with, if not affordable, then slightly lower-than-average priced tickets. That minimal concession will go a long way. Think about it.

“I have tickets already, and the lineup is not even out yet […] I love that place so much.” – Kendall Noel


(Source: Wilderness Festival/Facebook)