It’s time to look beyond the hype.

For some, music festivals are the perfect combo. You get to see tons of artists at a price that is much cheaper than most concerts and you get to meet loads of new people. But then, there is the dark side no one talks about. Over-crowding, drug overdoses, ridiculously expensive food, the same three bands playing at all the festivals all the time…the list is endless. Some festivals started out with good intentions but now have been reduced to money making machines that do not give two hoots about the experience of the festival attendees.

1. Coachella


This festival has managed to top a lot of lists and this is definitely one of them. As much as we love Coachella, we gotta admit that it’s a little overrated. It’s the poster child for the quintessential American music festival, with flower crowns, pretty food and popular music. But there is a dark side that this image has had a hand in breeding. The festival attracts a large number of teenagers, some of whom will be attending a festival for the first time. Let this pissed off attendee explain:

My cousin went to Coachella and said it was the worst experience ever at a festival due to the fact that a lot of teenagers go and decide this is the first festival they want to do drugs at and it always ends badly.  If it was my choice I would look at Sasquatch Music Festival, Bonnaroo or even SnowGlobe.  These are all great music festivals that aren’t all over the board with music choices and they are always a great time.  If I ever went to Coachella the lineup from top to bottom would have to be with bands I have seen or want to see but so far that hasn’t happened.  I will hold out for South By Southwest in Austin.

The fact that is happens to be one of the most expensive festivals in the world doesn’t help.

2. Bonnaroo


Yes, this is probably a shocker. Bonnaroo is one of the most loved festivals ever. But this is exactly why we need to talk about why the festival is overrated. The festival tends to get too crowded and the ‘vibe’ that people have been going on and on about seems to be losing its sheen. Though complaining about the weather at a festival is pretty pointless, Bonnaroo does tend to get extremely hot. The festival still has some seriously awesome lineups, but the festival needs to make up for other amenities a little bit more. Here’s one guy giving you his opinion on why the festival needs to buck up.

Went last year, too many fucking people, too much damn dust and too far away from the main venue. Loved all the bands I saw, glad I went, never going again.

3. Burning Man


Many people have debated Burning Man’s ‘authenticity’ over the years. The festival claims to be a spiritual experience built on principles of equality and brotherhood. Well if that’s what you call tripping for six hours on ecstasy, I guess we agree. A lot of people have called out the festival for its dubious representation. One Redditor termed it as ‘middle-class people behaving embarrassingly’. The festival latches onto the wanderlust most cubicle-bound millennials who are desperate for a getaway. Let this frustrated dude’s rant sum it up for you.

Nowadays, Burning Man is little more than a caricature of itself. The core values — gifting, decommodification, inclusion, leaving no trace and running around naked (except for the body paint) — is exactly the type of hippie crap that nostalgic white-collar professionals gab about on their Bluetooths. If I wanted to hang out around a bunch of pseudo-bohemian trustafarians and smug yuppies slumming it, I’d move back to Portland.

4. Tomorrowland


The festival used to be all about the greatest gathering for all things EDM, but those days seem to be far gone. But the constant struggle to outdo its own previous years is not really going as they intended. Plus, there is an astonishing increase in the number of people who come to the festival JUST for its hype. Though we cannot expect organisers to choose who attends their festivals, the real spirit of Tomorrowland needs some rescuing. Let Reddit explain it for you:

But there are things the organizers can’t control, and that’s the crowd. This year was the lamest crowd of all 3 times I’ve been to. The mainstage lacking energy, people not knowing the most popular songs, or any DJ not being guetta and avicii. A lot of people above 30 years old where there, more than i’ve seen at any other EDM festival before.’

5. Lollapalooza


Let’s get one thing clear. Lolla is expensive. Set in Chicago, the festival can rake up a pretty hefty bill and many have complained that the experience just isn’t worth it. The tickets usually cost around $250-300 but sell out within an hour’s time. So realistically speaking, if you want to get the ticket you’re probably going to have to get it at a jacked up rate from site that bought hundreds in a go. The festival has some pretty decent headliners but quite frankly, the entire experience just doesn’t sell that easy. With no cultural facade like the one Coachella banks on to get away with its outrageous pricing, Lolla falls short.