Students Hunt (and Sell) Coachella Tickets

By Nancy Ramsey

Feb 28, 2011 12:36pm

ABC News on Campus reporter Siera Lambrecht blogs:  For the first time in its 12-year history, the Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival, which has attracted Rage Against the Machine and Madonna to its stages, sold out at a record pace: six days. On April 15, 75,000 fans will descend upon Indio, Calif., for the annual three-day festival. Rapper Kanye West and indie bands Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire and the Strokes are headlining. Plus, smaller acts such as Mexican rock band Caifanes, neo-soul crooner Erykah Badu and world-renowned DJ Paul van Dyk will continue Coachella’s trend of diversity. As for those without tickets, festival organizers were not sympathetic. Here’s one of their tweets: "no, we don't have any passes left to release, kthxbye" So fans are scrambling to find tickets and accommodations. Arizona State University senior Alyssa Moore, 21, has attended the festival for the past two years and bought her passes before the 2011 acts were announced. Moore says she was disappointed with the lineup, especially Kanye West. So the college senior and her boyfriend sold their festival passes for $575 each. Now, she's selling her two car camping passes on Craigslist for $450 per pass. So far she's received offers to exchange the passes for an Xbox, an iPhone accompanied by cash, and VIP passes to the Tempe Improv (a local comedy club). The last, Moore said, was "lame." Moore says she and her boyfriend are planning to use the money to go to a "different festival in Miami for practically free". That’s the Ultra Music Festival taking place from March 25 to 27. Ultra offers  a mainly electronic-based lineup with many of the world’s top DJ’s and, like Coachella, is now sold-out. Those desperate to attend Coachella have taken to Craigslist as well. There’s the “true music fan” in Las Vegas working three jobs and going to school. This student isn’t even asking for a ticket. All he wants is a car camping pass and a fair price. His only guarantee is “great karma all year.” Two college students from Orange County promise a place to stay: “a house with extra beds and a pool and jacuzzi” plus $500 a pop in exchange for tickets. They are actually paying strangers to stay with them and they’re preferably looking for strangers who like to smoke weed. There’s also the matter of accommodations for those traveling to Coachella. On-site accommodations are sold-out — meaning, after a day spent in the dusty desert with 100-degree temperatures, the lines for community showers will be long. (But don’t be surprised if all-night parties go even longer.) Some college students have opted to take a chance. Natalie De La Vega already has her ticket and was going to pay $1,500 for a "little casita near the venue." Instead, she "decided to just go with whatever happens." She posted a message on Coachella's Facebook Fan Page reaching out to other concert-goers for a place to stay. "We know so many people going that we're going to see where we end up for the nights,” she said. “Hopefully we can find a place to shower. I heard the camping spot took over three hours to shower."  The Coachella message board is a forum for complaints, excitement and rumors. According to a few users, no one without a wristband will be allowed within a square mile of the venue to combat the hundreds of fans who "gate-crashed" last year. One student, with the username “nickolasvan”, titled a post: “I didn’t buy textbooks for any of my classes…” Added nickolasvan, “Im putting my college education on the line for this music festival!” In a reply, another poster advised, “go buy your books, kid.” 

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