Coachella in Indio, California is the most famous music festival in the world.
However, Insider’s music team found the reality is not exactly how it appears on social media.
The area is dusty, the food is expensive, and much of the day is spent sitting or weaving through crowds.
The first taste of the festival is not very picturesque.
The walk from the parking lot is long, tedious, and extremely dusty.
Festival workers try to reduce dust with water, but that often creates mud puddles.
The walk back is even worse.
Many people got lost trying to find their cars and were forced to cut through unmarked areas.
Some people took off their shoes because their feet had become so sore.
Lines at the festival are always long.
The line to buy merchandise is especially grueling.
You could wait 40 minutes or more to buy overpriced food.
This slice of cheese pizza cost $11.
This order of fries and onion rings cost $26.
There are very few tables or seating areas, so people typically end up eating on the ground.
In fact, people spend far more time sitting on the ground than you might expect.
The sun is so strong that people skip shows and activities just to sit in the shade.
It’s so hot that some people can’t bear to go near the stage, even if they want to watch the performance.
It can also be difficult to get close to the stage thanks to massive VIP sections, which are barred to regular patrons.
Much of the day is spent weaving through crowds.
Those crowds leave trash everywhere.
The experience can be overwhelming and exhausting.
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