OK, to be perfectly honest, I have never really been to a major music festival. The closest I got was the Download Festival and Rock the Bells in 2007, but those were one-day only, and local (in Mountain View and San Francisco, respectively). I've never been to a multi-day, road tripping, camping out in tents, wandering around and meeting people from all over the world sort of music festival. Call it my Grateful Dead longing. The two that I've been really wanting to go to are Coachella and SXSW. I'm such a good aging hipster.
And so, when I saw the line up for Coachella this year, AND the dates (I usually can't take off Fridays and Mondays because of my job, but I had a light load for April 17th), I was thinking "FINALLY! My dream of seeing TV on the Radio AND Band of Horses ON THE SAME DAY has come true!"
And then I saw that you have to buy tickets from Ticketmaster, and my heart sank.
I have been sort of waffling on Ticketmaster for years; alternating between fist-shaking "what are these convenience charges when I have to do all the work?!!?" and "this is the only way I get to see the Decemberists." Rock the Bells last year cemented it for me; after seeing that with all the fees, the ticket price increased by about 30%, I put my foot down, and swore off of the service. This means missing lots of shows, which pains me because I know that touring is something that can really benefit the artists. Plus, I really, really love seeing live music. But I really, really can't support that company any longer.
So, goodbye Coachella 2009. Maybe we'll try again next year.
As if I were timely or something, reports have come out today saying that LiveNation and Ticketmaster are in merger talks. As if the pricing and fees model for concerts weren't bad enough.