TIME Music

America’s Most Buzzed-About Music Festival Is…

Kanye West at South by Southwest 2014
Kanye West performs onstage at South by Southwest on March 12 in Austin, Texas. Rick Kern—Getty Images for Samsung

A new study says that one festival is more discussed than Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo or Governor's Ball

A study sponsored by Eventbrite and Mashwork has determined that South by Southwest — held each March in Austin, TX — is America’s most buzzed-about music festival, beating out perennial favorites like Coachella in Indio, Calif., Lollapalooza in Chicago and Governors Ball in New York City. Ranking just behind SXSW in the top five were Las Vegas’ iHeartRadio, Chattahoochee Hills, GA’s TomorrowWorld, Lollapalooza and Coachella.

Despite South by Southwest’s strong showing, Texas didn’t rank amongst the top three states in terms of most chatter — that distinction went to New York, Nevada and California. The study also confirmed what may have already been obvious: music festivals are heavily youth-dominated, with 75% of the conversation generated by those between the ages of 17 and 34.

Eventbrite

A few other interesting tidbits from the report:

  • 54% of the conversation takes place before the event itself, easily besting the 17% that occurs during the festival and the 29% after it.
  • For Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn. and Hangout in Gulf Shores, Ala., it was all about the music — at both festivals, excitement about the full lineup or particular artist accounted for 65% and 63%, respectively, compared with a 47% average for the top 25 festivals overall.
  • People at Coachella spent way more time talking about style than at the average event — fashion discussion made up for 27% of the conversation there, compared with just 10% nationwide.
  • Though the ages of music festival fans closely mirrored the average age of Twitter users, a much wider spread is apparent from music fans’ taste in brands, where Starbucks, McDonalds and, of all places, Walmart proved favorites. Whole Foods, Best Buy and IHOP also scored highly.

Check out the full report here.

TIME Music

Martin Garrix on Coachella, ‘Animals’ and His Upcoming Singles

2014 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 2 - Day 1
Martin Garrix performs during the 2014 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival at The Empire Polo Club on April 18, 2014 in Indio, Calif. C Flanigan—FilmMagic/Getty Images

Martijn Garritsen, otherwise known by his stage name Martin Garrix, took the stage at the Coachella Valley Music Festival on two back-to-back Fridays (April 11 and April 18) to deliver an explosive set that was surely a highlight for many of the festival’s EDM (electronic dance music) fans.

The 17-year-old Dutch DJ’s hit song “Animals,” released last June, propelled him into the electronic music spotlight. The platinum-certified track is continuing to climb the Billboard Hot 100 (it hit a new peak of #21 on the chart this week).

Garrix became the youngest DJ ever to perform on the main stage at Ultra Music Festival in Miami last month. TIME caught up with Garrix after his first Coachella performance – another career milestone – to discuss his experience at the festival, the success of “Animals” and upcoming singles.

TIME: How does Coachella compare to other festivals and venues you’ve played?

Garrix: What’s cool about Coachella is the diversity of crowd. You’ve got rock fans, you’ve got pop fans, you’ve got indie fans. For me, it was an unreal experience … It was about people having fun and playing a lot of new stuff, and I think that worked out well. I played a few unreleased tracks as well.

During your set, you played unreleased collaborations with Dillon Francis and Afrojack. What else do you have in the works?

There are so many new tracks coming up in 2014, which I’m really excited for. My next release is going to be “Tremor,” together with Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike. It’s going to be on Beatport on April 21. Then I got “Gold Sky” together with Sander Van Doorn and the guys from DVBBS. I ended my set with it. It’s getting released on June 2.

I might do an album later this year or next year, I got 10 new tracks in the works, including collaborations, solo stuff and remixes. I can’t wait until it all gets released.

Your track “Animals” was a huge hit. Can you describe the creative process behind producing it?

For me, it was just another track. I released like 20 other tracks before “Animals.” I just thought it was time for a new solo track. So I went into the studio and reopened an old project file, which I had started but never released, and I made this drop inspired by hip-hop. I wanted to bring something weird, something unique into the track, and that turned out to be the drop of “Animals.”

I started playing it live – I made the track to play at festivals, clubs and at own sets – and suddenly the radio started playing it, which was a big surprise for an instrumental track. Usually instrumental tracks don’t get that much love on the radio.

I’m just really thankful [for] the radio support, because with the radio you can reach out to a whole different kind of audience, which I wouldn’t reach myself.

When you start producing a new track, do you go in with a vision or is it a more experimental process?

It depends on how I feel. Sometimes I go in a very experimental direction, and I already know when I start it I can never release this under Martin Garrix as a single. But I make music, because I love to make music. I love to put my ideas into the computer and share them with my friends. Some of them get released under Martin Garrix. I also got some different aliases I’m working on. I’m not going to say which names, but I’ve got some other projects going on as well.

EDM has seen a surge in popularity over the past few years, and some might say it’s becoming too popular and that the genre is suffering creatively because of it. Do you have a response for that?

I honestly don’t care because some people are going to hate on music if it’s getting popular. But it doesn’t change the track and if you don’t like it, then don’t listen to the music … I’m just doing my thing and a lot of people do actually like it and those are the people I make the music for and I play for the shows for.

TIME Music

7 Artists From Coachella to Check Out (Even If You Didn’t Go to the Festival)

2014 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - Day 1
The Knife performs at Coachella Frazer Harrison—2014 Getty Images

Missed the California fest? You can still enjoy the best artists who played there

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival took over Indio, CA this past weekend and will repeat the feat this weekend. Between performances by headliners Arcade Fire, OutKast and Muse, plus sets by Calvin Harris, Beck, Pharrell Williams, Lorde and surprise guest appearances by Jay Z, Beyoncé and Blondie’s Debbie Harry, there was a lot to see at the festival.

But if you’re hitting the festival circuit later on in the season — or if the heat, crowds and surprise appearances by Justin Bieber aren’t your thing — here are seven bands to check out, either at Coachella’s second weekend or as far as you can possibly get from the maddening crowds:

Banks

Jillian Banks, who performs simply as Banks, makes yearning seem like a worthwhile pastime when she sings about it in her seductive voice. The singer marries her R&B inflected tunes and warm vocals with big production and electronic beats to create magnetic pop songs. Her debut album isn’t due out for months, but the singles released so far warrant setting Spotify on repeat.

Listen: “Warm Water”

Future Islands

Baltimore synth-pop punks Future Islands just released a new album this week, and it seems like the fourth time is the charm for the band, as they’re finally earning some well-deserved buzz. The three-piece drags listeners across their musical threshold with songs that range from quietly introspective to industrial new wave, all topped by the unforgettable, raspy-yet-smooth vocals of singer Samuel T. Herring (who is worth the effort to see live).

Listen: “Seasons (Waiting On You)”

MS MR

MS MR make high drama pop music with a gothic edge that is hard not to dance to. The Brooklyn duo of singer Lizzy Plapinger and producer-instrumentalist Max Hershenow craft deftly dark songs that bring to mind alt-’80s bands — if acts like Siouxsie and the Banshees and Sisters of Mercy had iPods filled with Katy Perry songs and developed a knack for making dance party anthems.

Listen: “Hurricane”

The Knife

The Swedish electro-pop collective made their first stateside appearance in eight years at Coachella — and they made it count. Belatedly touring in support of their experimental early 2013 album Shaking the Habitual, the band turns mere concerts into exuberant stage shows that are equal parts Willy Wonka-inspired performance art and ecclesiastical youth group gatherings that make for instant parties and mandatory viewing for music fans.

Listen: “A Tooth For An Eye”

Ratking

Fronted by two 20-year-old rappers, Wiki and Hak, alongside producer Sporting Life, Ratking represents the next generation of New York rappers. The band was raised on a steady diet of Notorious B.I.G. and Black Star, and they put that education to good use on their debut album, So It Goes. They’ve already earned comparisons to fellow Coachella performer OutKast for their fast-paced rhymes and socially-conscious lyrics that cover everything from love and money to gentrification and police brutality.

Listen: “So Sick Stories, feat. King Krule”

Jagwar Ma

The Australian band makes music that sounds like they are the lone holdouts of the early ’90s Madchester scene (think: Happy Mondays, Stone Roses and the Soup Dragons). On their albums, they deliver an updated twist on a throwback sound, crafting psychedelic indie rock with seriously danceable trip-hop beats. Live, their crowd-pleasing tracks make for an irrepressible celebration that feels unstoppable.

Listen: “The Throw”

Courtney Barnett

This 24-year-old Australian singer-songwriter plays rambling folks songs that cover typical topics like relationships and gardening, but with a keen eye for detail and a sharp sense of humor. Her dynamic and sophisticated songs are filled with clever lyrics that, when parsed, read like novellas — but don’t underestimate her ability to write a catchy song out of a fuzzy guitar melody, an undulating piano run and a simmering bass line.

Listen: “Avant Gardener”

MORE: SXSW 2014: 17 Bands To Watch, Even if You Don’t Go to the Music Festival

MORE: Band To Watch: Ages and Ages Premiere New Track “I See More”

TIME Music

See Coachella Through the Eyes of Google Glass

See the famed California music fest from a new angle

Jonathan D. Woods, TIME’s Senior Editor for Photo & Interactive, spent a weekend at Coachella. Here’s an intimate firsthand look at how he saw the music festival through a unique lens: Google Glass.

TIME Coachella

WATCH: Jay Z and Beyoncé Make Surprise Appearances at Coachella

The superstar couple showed up unannounced at the music festival in California so Bey could join her sister Solange for a rendition of "Losing You" and Jay could team up with former rival Nas on "Dead Presidents II"

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If you were bopping around New York City looking for Jay Z and Beyoncé this weekend, wondering why you couldn’t find them, it’s because they quietly made their way to Indio, Calif., for the Coachella music festival. (Even if they were in New York, you probably aren’t fancy enough to be anywhere near them anyway.)

Both artists surprised the crowd with unannounced appearances Saturday night. First, Beyoncé joined her younger sister Solange for a choreographed duet of Solange’s “Losing You” (watch a video of their performance above). It’s awesome, and then they embrace, and you’re a monster if you don’t love everything about it.

Later in the evening, not wanting to be outdone by his wife, Jay Z took the stage alongside his former nemesis Nas to perform “Dead Presidents II” and “Where I’m From.”

O.K., before we really didn’t care, but now we’re kind of sad we missed Coachella this year.

TIME Music

OutKast’s Entire Coachella Set Posted to YouTube

Andre 3000 and Big Boi reunited for the first time in eight years to headline the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Friday, returning to the old hits. Their performance can now be seen in full on YouTube

Hootie hoo! OutKast’s entire one-and-a-half hour set at Coachella is available on YouTube.

Andre 3000 and Big Boi reunited for the first time in eight years to headline the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Friday, returning to the old hits and hitting their major albums all the way back to the 1990s’ ATLiens and Aquemini.

Old-school hip-hop heads also rejoiced at the less well-known favorites like “Rosa Park,” “Skew it on the Bar-B” and the famous horn riff on “SpottieOttieDopaliscious.” There was something at the massive LA music festival for the greener Outkast fans, too, as the duo rocked it on “Ms. Jackson” and “The Way You Move.”

The pair had to cut the set short at 1:00 a.m., eliciting boos from the crowd and apologies from Andre, but the abrupt finish wasn’t enough to kill the buzz after the exuberant “Hey Ya.”

TIME Music

The OutKast Dictionary: 38 Terms You Should Know for the Duo’s Reunion

From left: Antwan A. (Big Boi) Patton and Andre (Andre 3000) Benjamin of Outkast onstage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios on Aug. 22, 2006 in New York City.
From left: Antwan A. (Big Boi) Patton and Andre (Andre 3000) Benjamin of Outkast onstage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios on Aug. 22, 2006 in New York City. Scott Gries—Getty Images

As OutKast preps a big summer festival return, get caught up with the duo's distinctive lexicon

Tonight, the seminal hip-hop group OutKast launches their improbable reunion tour at the Coachella music festival. The group, who released their debut album as teenagers twenty years ago, had an impressive decade-long run in which they rewrote the rules of hip-hop as they went along. In addition to bringing the soulful sound of southern rap to a mainstream audience with hits like “Rosa Parks,” “Ms. Jackson” and “So Fresh, So Clean,” the group is particularly known for its inventive use of language: they helped make the Southern dialect cool to fans the world over. They also really, really love portmanteaus. Before you go to one of the 40 concerts that Big Boi and Andre 3000 have planned for this year, it’s worth brushing up on your OutKast lingo a bit. Here, we present a handy guide to the people, places and phrases of one of the greatest rap acts of all time. In the words of Big Boi, this dictionary is “strictly for the Caddy lovers.”

Ain’t no thang but a chicken wang

1. An expression indicating that the issue at hand will not be problematic or difficult 2. An early OutKast song that helped popularize the phrase in the South

ATLiens

1. A portmanteau of “Atlanta” and “aliens” 2. The name of the group’s somber, spacey sophomore album 3. The coolest way to refer to yourself if you’re an Atlanta resident

Aquemini

1. A portmanteau of the Zodiac signs of Big Boi (Aquarius) and Andre 3000 (Gemini) 2. OutKast’s experimental and influential third album; Rolling Stone named it one of the 500 greatest albums of all time

Bamboo

1. Big Boi’s teenage son, who got his own song on 2003’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below 2. The kid that will be pop-and-locking with abandon on stage during “B.O.B.”

Big Rube

1. A rapper and poet who has shown off his spoken-word skills on several OutKast albums; hopefully he’ll appear along with a full choir to perform “Liberation” on the tour

B.O.B.

1. Official name of “Bombs Over Baghdad,” the chaotic 2000 single that features a gospel choir, a guitar solo and a breakdancing monkey, all colliding together in a 155-beat-per-minute musical tour de force

Chonkyfire

1. The essence of OutKast which, when spiced with rock and roll, attracts rats, mice and snakes up out they hole in a vaguely demonic ritual 2. The closing track to Aquemini; its wailing electric guitar laid the creative groundwork for the genre-bursting “B.O.B.”

Chronomentrophobia

1. The fear of clocks; the fear of time 2. A medical condition that Andre 3000 is still trying to get formally recognized by the Center for Disease Control or the World Health Organization

The Crooked Booty

1. A little-unknown OutKast track from the 2001 Dungeon Family posse album that is actually pretty good 2. A cheesy dance performed at weddings worldwide in an alternate reality where “Crooked Booty” was included on Speakerboxx/The Love Below

Crumblin’ Erb

1. A philosophy that espouses that marijuana is a more powerful mediation tool than guns 2. A mellow track from OutKast’s debut effort; reference it at the concert to seem like an old-school fan

Dungeon Family

1. An Atlanta-based hip-hop collective that includes OutKast and Goodie Mob, along with modern stars such as Future and Janelle Monae

Fish and grits

1. A common Southern dish that has never been properly prepared in a restaurant above the Mason-Dixon line 2. A favorite meal of the duo, who equate it to “pimp s***” in their hit song “ATLiens

Francis the Savannah Chitlin’ Pimp

1. Big Boi’s nickname, referring to his home town of Savannah, Georgia; other monikers include Chico Dusty, General Patton, Daddy Fat Sax and Hot Tub Tony; for reference, these are chitlins

Goodie Mob

1. A hip-hop group that helped pioneer the Southern hip-hop sound along with OutKast and the legendary production team Organized Noize 2. Cee Lo’s band

Hey Ya

1. An 11-year-old song that makes you depressingly aware of your own fading youth each time you hear it 2. The only song most people know by OutKast

Hootie Hoo

1. A track from OutKast’s debut album that references the White Owl cigars that the duo used to roll blunts (Andre famously gave up drugs and alcohol before the group’s 1996 album ATLiens) 2. A warning call people yell out when the police are approaching 3. A phrase ‘Kast fans may yell as a greeting; if a fellow concert goers offers you a “Hootie Hoo!” simply reply in kind

Hush That Fuss

1. To quiet a group by telling them to move to the back of the bus

Idlewild

1. A tranquil, wooded location in the novel Anne of Green Gables 2. A colloquial name for the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York 3. Something you shouldn’t expect to be referenced at any point during an OutKast concert

Kryptonite

1. A strain of marijuana so potent it has been known to knock out Superman, though not in the comic series 2. A 2005 song by Big Boi’s hip-hop supergroup the Purple Ribbon All Stars that still gets played in Atlanta’s nightclubs because it’s that hype

M-I-crooked letter

1. A reference to the completely impractical but widely known Southern method for learning how to spell Mississippi; the full phrase is ‘M-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-humpback-humpack-I” 2. A phrase Big Boi uses to refer to himself in a few early OutKast tracks, even though he’s from Savannah, Georgia

Ms. Jackson

1. The first OutKast song you ever liked, but that’s okay! It’s a great one. 2. The infamous Ms. Jackson is actually singer Erykah Badu’s mother. Badu and 3000 have a son together, but their relationship went south in the late ‘90s.

Myintrotoletuknow

1. The introductory track to OutKast’s debut album 2. The least creative of the group’s many portmanteaus 3. A great letterhead for resumes

Organized Noize

1. An Atlanta-based production team that produced many OutKast hits, such as “Player’s Ball” and “So Fresh, So Clean” 2. The team behind TLC’s “Waterfalls,” which makes them ‘90s legends

Oskie Woskie

1. An ounce of marijuana; used in in a drug deal skit on Aquemini in which Big Boi complains about price gouging from his dealer

Pimp Trick Gangsta Clique

1. A fake generic rap group created for Aquemini that serves as a foil to OutKast’s innovative but offbeat style; Andre 3000 considered making a concept album under the band’s name

Player’s Ball

1. A “black man’s heaven” that boasts chitlins (again, these are chitlins), copious amounts of marijuana and an impressive roster of Cadillacs 2. An all-time great Christmas song; it debuted on a 1993 Christmas album by LaFace Records that also featured TLC and Usher, but the sleigh bells and some holiday references were stripped from the version of the track that appeared on Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik

Possum Aloysius Jenkins

1. The weirdest nickname for Andre 3000; he also goes by Three Stacks, Ice Cold, Johnny Vulture and simply Dre

Seven

1. The teenage son of Andre 3000 and Erykah Badu, who can be heard crying at the end of the Aquemini track “Slump”; hopefully he’ll have a dance-off with Bamboo on stage

Shake it like a Polaroid picture

1. A phrase you should have stopped using in 2005

Sir Lucious Left Foot

1. One of Big Boi’s many nicknames; this one is his “Luke-Skywalker-becoming-a-Jedi persona” 2. The title of Big Boi’s excellent debut solo album, which will hopefully get some love during the concert

Sleepy Brown

1. A member of the production team Organized Noize that also sings the chorus on OutKast classics such as “The Way You Move” and “So Fresh, So Clean” 2. A man you should cheer for furiously if he makes a cameo appearance during the concert so you seem like a knowledgeable fan

Southernplayalisticadlliacmuzik

1. The greatest portmanteau of all time 2. OutKast’s debut album, which helped Southern rap gain mainstream acceptance through its introspective lyrics, soulful choruses and lush production

SpottieOttieDopaliscious

1. A description for a woman that is “superfine, bad, sexy, intelligent and jazzy all at the same time,” in the words of Big Boi. 2. OutKast composition noted for its live instrumentation, smoky horn charts and spoken word delivery; the ultimate in spaced out Southern funk

Stanklove

1. A level of funky Nirvana that OutKast ascends to on this track

Stankonia

1. A portmanteau of “stank” and “Plutonia”; refers to a futuristic place and time in which there is total freedom of expression. 2. The title of the Andre and Big Boi’s fourth outing, which cemented their legacy and garnered them two of their six Grammy Awards

Stank You Smelly Much

1. A play on the phrase “thank you very much,” that incorporates the funky theme of Stankonia; Andre 3000 “stanks” a woman on his ballad “Prototype”

Sweeter Than a Plate of Yams With Extra Syrup

1. A poetic metaphor Big Boi uses to describe his babymama on “SpotieOtieDopalicious”; she’s also “smooth like a hotcomb on nappyass hair” 2. The most romantic thing you can call your significant other

Uncle Darnell

1. A relative of Big Boi’s who was imprisoned for several years and who Big referenced on multiple albums; he’s since been released 2. A man who may appear on stage during any and all concerts on this tour; Big Boi loves a huge posse

TIME Parenting

Coachella Ticket Fever and What I Learned From My Teenager About Integrity

169952141
Concert Crowd Vasileios Economou—Getty Images

How a 16-year-old revealed his mother's better side

As parents, hardly a day goes by when we don’t try to teach our children—sometimes by word, sometimes by deed—to do the right thing. This week, I slipped.

Thankfully, my 16-year-old son, Nathaniel, stepped up and reminded me what doing the right thing looks like.

I blame my lapse on Coachella Fever. In case you’ve somehow missed it, Coachella is an annual music festival held in the Southern California desert, east of Los Angeles. Despite the 90-plus-degree heat, some 90,000 people will show up there starting Friday to listen to all manner of rock, rap and electronica. For months, Nathaniel has desperately wanted to be among them, and he started saving his money a while ago—$375 for the ticket alone—to attend.

In January, my husband went online to grab him a ticket, but the event quickly sold out. So he did what he thought was the next best thing: He snapped up a pass for the festival’s second and final weekend, figuring that something was better than nothing.

Truth is, it wasn’t. Nathaniel was eager to go to Coachella during Weekend One because that’s when his closest friends were going to be there. Weekend One was better for us, too: Nathaniel had arranged a ride to and from the festival, and was planning to stay with one of his best pal’s parents—a couple we knew well and trusted.

Everything was set, save for the ticket.

For several weeks, we searched for one with the intensity of Navy Seals on a manhunt. Nathaniel, my husband and I each checked eBay, StubHub and craigslist five or six times a day. (My favorite craigslist ad: “Unfortunatley cant make it to coachella because i have a court date for this house robbery i did.”) We emailed friends and acquaintances, and posted requests on Facebook.

If we seemed a little over the top, please forgive us. Nathaniel is a good kid who doesn’t ask for much and this was important to him. He loves music and wanted to experience it with his friends—and we wanted to help make that happen.

More than a few times, we got close. Or at least it felt like it. A craigslist stranger would text us back, indicating we had a deal—only to then disappear entirely or to say, sorry, they’d decided to go with a different buyer instead. One scalper agreed to sell me a Weekend One ticket for $500, well over face value, but then turned around and said he’d just gotten an offer for $600. Would I bid higher? I told him to buzz off.

In the midst of all of this craziness, an old friend of Nathaniel’s named Gabe reached out and asked if he could buy his Weekend Two ticket. At this point, Nathaniel wasn’t all that interested in going if it couldn’t be during Weekend One. And so he agreed to sell. At least he wouldn’t lose any money.

We all took a breath.

Then at 7 a.m. Monday morning, just four days before the start of the festival, Nathaniel got a Facebook message from a kid he knows. “Mom, mom, wake up!” he said shaking me out of a dead sleep. “I have a friend who wants to make a trade—his Weekend One ticket for my Weekend Two ticket.”

“Do it,” I said without hesitating.

“But what about Gabe?” he asked.

“Just make the trade,” I told him. “Gabe will figure it out.” Then, in an attempt to justify what I knew was wrong, I added: “There are still plenty of tickets on Craigslist for Weekend Two. He’ll find something. He has time—you don’t.”

Nathaniel walked out of my room, and I buried my head under the pillow in an attempt to steal just a few more minutes of sleep. No sooner had I snuggled under the covers then I felt Nathaniel’s hand gently shaking me awake again.

“Mom,” he said. “I just can’t do this to Gabe. It’s not right.”

Once again, I responded terribly. In that instant, all I could think about was how this would mean we weren’t done with this whole Coachella nightmare, which was consuming our lives. All I could imagine was that I’d be left dealing again with unscrupulous scalpers, buying Nathaniel a far more expensive VIP ticket (which we couldn’t really afford) from a friend with connections, or disappointing my son. “Fine,” I said finally, “but you’re going to lose us the best opportunity we’ve had in weeks to get you a ticket—you know that, right?”

To which Nathaniel responded: “Mom, just think for one minute how you would feel if someone promised us a ticket and then changed their mind because they got a better deal. You’d be really mad.”

Though I felt embarrassed, he wasn’t trying to shame me; he was just doing the decent thing.

In her book Inside The Teenage Brain, Augustana College education professor Sheryl Feinstein highlights the importance of modeling behavior. “People learn by example, and your teen is always watching you,” she notes.

I obviously blew it in this case—big time. Afterwards, I sat down with Nathaniel and told him how much I admired what he did, especially knowing how badly he wanted to go to Coachella. I also told him why I’d reacted so poorly. But I stressed that this wasn’t a valid excuse, just a reminder that all people make mistakes and that it’s important to learn from them. I told him that, this time, he was the teacher.

He just smiled. “Don’t worry,” he said, teasingly. “You can’t be that bad a parent. I mean, look how I turned out!”

A postscript: In the end, everything worked out well. Nathaniel decided to lay out the whole situation to Gabe—while making clear that he would certainly honor their deal. As an alternative, Gabe suggested that Nathaniel help him land a Weekend Two ticket from another source, which he did. Nathaniel then made his trade for a Weekend One ticket. By Friday afternoon, he’ll be on his way to Coachella.

 

 

TIME celebrities

Celebrities Are Getting Paid to Go to Coachella. Why Is This So Surprising?

FIJI Water At Lacoste L!VE Coachella Desert Pool Party - Day 1
Musician Joe Jonas, model Alessandra Ambrosio, actress AnnaSophia Robb, and musician Nick Jonas attend the FIJI Water At Lacoste L!VE Coachella Desert Pool Party on April 13, 2013 in Palm Springs, Calif. Imeh Akpanudosen / Getty Images for FIJI

Who wouldn't rather get paid than pay?

Updated April 8, 12:50 pm

When it comes to attending the Coachella music festival, which begins this coming weekend in Indio, Calif., celebrities aren’t just in it for the tunes.

The New York Daily News breathlessly reported this morning that, according to an anonymous source, a variety of bold-faced names would be receiving pay-outs in exchange for showing up — for example, that Lea Michele would get $20,000 from Lacoste to wear the brand while at the festival, and that Aaron Paul would be willing to strike a deal for $15,000. (The Daily News says Michele’s getting paid to go to the festival, but it seems likelier that the deal has to do with Lacoste’s pool party.)

In responding to the report, Grantland‘s take was the one that many music fans might have had: this is one for the category of “Things That Were Inevitable, But No Less Grosser for It.” The idea of a celebrity getting paid for attending something that normal people are paying to attend — the general admission cost this year was $375 — is infuriating, especially when it’s something like a music festival, that’s meant to be down-to-earth.

But if you’re actually surprised by this revelation, you haven’t been paying attention. Celebrity appearance fees are old news. How do you think Jennifer Lopez ended up performing at a dubious birthday party in Turkmenistan?

In 2012, New York magazine included Lea Michele in their run-down of the appearance-fee world and Celebrity Talent International, an agency that helps its clients find celebs for their events, lists her in their library of potential paid guests or performers. A CTI spokesman said he couldn’t comment on anything specific about Coachella, but noted that paid celebrity appearances happen all the time at all sorts of places, and that such product placement is one of the most effective forms of advertising. And that’s just what it is: advertising.

Being paid to appear at a Coachella party if you wear the brand that sponsored the party — just like AnnaSophia Robb, pictured above, did at Coachella last year, though that could totally have been of her own volition — is really no different from an athlete wearing their sponsor’s gear at a big tournament, or Ellen DeGeneres tweeting a selfie from a Samsung phone at the Oscars.

That goes for the rest of us too. This is both the era of the personal brand, where Facebook status updates have become advertisements. If you’re cool, have lots of Twitter followers, or influence your friends, you’re worth a lot to brands. When you wear, consume, or discuss their product, you’re advertising that thing — which isn’t necessarily bad. Maybe you like it. (Probably more than Vanessa Hudgens likes McDonald’s — but who knows?)

For normal folks, though, you (probably) can’t command payment in exchange. Stars really are just like us — they just make more money doing it.

Update: A McDonald’s spokesperson tells TIME that, contrary to the information in the original Daily News item, the brand doesn’t have that relationship with Vanessa Hudgens. The point about advertising still stands, though.

TIME marketing

Beer Is About to Invade Your Snapchat

ULTRA.F / Getty Images

Marketers are taking a growing interest in the ephemeral messaging service Snapchat, using it to debut new sandwiches and offer customers exploding coupons. Now beer manufacturer Heineken has devised a way to make disappearing images engaging. The company will give attendees of the Coachella music festival the inside scoop on a lineup of secret concerts by sending them photo clues throughout the weekend.

With the promotion, which the company is organizing through an account called HeinekenSnapWho, Snapchat users can receive snaps to help them figure which two artists are planning a surprise joint performance on a given day at the festival. A tightly cropped picture of an artist’s clothing, for instance, might be used as a tip. Users that respond to Heineken with the correct artists get an early confirmation of an act scheduled for the Heineken House, the stage where the beer maker is hosting acts.

“When you’re at a music festival like Coachella, a lot of people are kind of fueling the rumor mill of who’s going to show up, who’s going to be the surprise act,” says Eric Steele, creative director at Wieden + Kennedy, the ad agency that worked on the campaign. Heineken hopes to leverage this curiosity to get in front of more music fans. “A lot of [brands] are using it as another broadcasting medium. Knowing the way people organically use Snapchat, it’s much more of a two-way conversation.”

One to two surprise acts per day will be revealed via Snapchat. Pattie Falch, director of sponsorships and events at Heineken, says the company is the first beer brand to be active on the app.

Social media networks can prove a thorny advertising venue for the alcohol industry. Snapchat in particular has a very young audience that includes many teenagers. In the United States, alcohol makers generally self-regulate their marketing and require that 70 percent of the people likely to see an ad be 21 or older. For the Snapchat promotion, Heineken will initially greet users with a photo of a bouncer and ask them to confirm that they are of age. Users are required to make similar confirmations to follow alcohol brands on Twitter and Facebook.

Despite these limitations, social media marketing is becoming increasingly important for the alcohol industry. Beer and spirits manufacturers spent about eight percent of their marketing budgets in digital channels in 2011, according to a recent Federal Trade Commission study of the industry’s advertising practices.

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