Celebrities Given Thousands to Attend Coachella Means the Festival Is Dead

Are you going to Coachella this year? Have you done your new Coachella diet regime? Have you carefully curated your Coachella wardrobe so you can be featured on a style blog that will probably be defunct a month away? No matter, you're not the only one caught up in the festival fanaticism—it's rumored that celebrities like Lea Michele and Vanessa Hudgens are being paid in the tens of thousands to show their faces in Indio this year. Sponsored care-free fun? Clearly, this music festival is dead.

Apparently, Michele will be raking in "a cool $20,000 from Lacoste to wear its clothes while she rocks out," and Hudgens will receive $15,000 from none other than socialite sponsor, McDonald's. I'M LOVIN' IT! Even more disheartening is the fact that some celebrities are straight up, shamelessly asking for passes at a ransom — Aaron Paul wants $15,000 just for showing his face. Joe Jonas and Kate Bosworth are also looking go get paid for attending.

Musical festivals were once plugged as a getaway from the daily grind, the signal of a new, summery season where you could lay to rest the problems of the day and relax in the sun with your friends. Now, though, they are a flagrant money suck, and though the lineups are still solid (I mean, come on, Outkast is playing EVERYWHERE this season), it just doesn't seem worth it. What are people going for?

If you're like these celebrities, you're going to flaunt luxury brands in the sweaty, hot crowds before you retire to your perfectly, ruggedly quaint camper. It's all become so contrived, which is frustrating for fans who really do want to attend the festivals for the music, and don't have the cash to do so, and DEFINITELY don't have the celebrity to get them in for free. They're becoming exclusive clubs that are exhausting and stressful — how are you going to have fun AND Instagram it AND tweet about it AND send the perfect, "wish you were here" snapchats? All the endorsements and distractions take away from the experience, but give festivals a reason to overcharge for the crowds that want to be a part of such a frenetic hype.

Even though the summer season is still defined by the festival circuit, I'm calling it on the this one—if McDonald's is sponsoring someone to simply show up (what's the product placement here?), the music festival is a dying breed. Only at heart, though, because I am sure there will still be thousands that will go cashpoor for a chance to see Lea Michelle "rocking out" in Lacoste to Arcade Fire.