This past weekend, music lovers celebrated Coachella, the annual music festival where influencers hustle to the California desert in crochet crop tops and bombard the internet with a social media survival guide to this quintessential event.
Instead of a celebration of music, Coachella has morphed into the backdrop for influencers to curate paid content. Following suit, large brands often throw events surrounding the main festival, one of these being the e-commerce designer brand, Revolve.
Revolve Fest took place outside Coachella in an off-site venue at the Merv Griffin Estate in La Quinta, California. The event itself boasted A-list celebrity guests like sisters Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner, Timothée Chalamet, Halsey, Sydney Sweeney and more.
The party featured performances by Post Malone, Jack Harlow and Ty Dolla $ign. It had a massive swing carnival ride courtesy of Venmo, top tier catering from LA’s esteemed vegan grocery store, Erewhon, and complimentary cocktails using Kendal Jenner’s 818 tequila — all the makings of an exorbitantly lavish, fun, VIP party.
But the chaos that ensued over social media before the public eye encapsulated a less than VIP experience. The controversy over the festival boils down to transportation issues.
Essentially, unless you were the child of Kris Jenner, you had to take the shuttle service from the main festival to the party venue. Invited VIP influencers dressed to the nines in varying shades of glitz and glamor all lined up under the desert sun to wait for the shuttle service on April 16 — but it was to no avail.
Celebrities were stranded with no water and a mere two staff members to cater to the growing crowd of alleged VIP influencers for hours on end.
Revolve explained that as the venue reach capacity, transportation was slowed down to remain within safety compliance ordinances. A representative of Revolve told the press before the party they had consulted "all appropriate city and safety authorities to ensure a safe and secure path for guests."
The online slander of Revolve began with Los Angeles Magazine journalist Joseph Kapsch as he tweeted “influencers stranded in the dirt with no water, under the hot sun for hours, waiting for buses.”
TikTok user Averie Bishop explained "people were trampled, pushed, shoved and were dangerously close to being hit by buses" while trying to get into Revolve Fest. In that same post, she called for Revolve to take safety into consideration the next time they host an event.
Other sources commented on the fights that broke out in the line for the buses as police were called to herd the crowd of influencers, each screaming about how they each deserved a seat on the next shuttle.
The pure ruthlessness initiated comparisons between Revolve Fest and Fyre Festival, the fraudulent scam of a music festival. Some even went so far as to call it Fyre Festival 2.0.
Another TikTok user, Kristi Howard, called the festival a “sh*tshow” and explained she waited in line for 5 hours before being instructed to leave. She succinctly characterized her frustrations as a complaint that she'd paid thousands of dollars to fly and stay at Coachella and after being personally invited by Revolve and was then told to leave.
As other TikTok users like Averie Bishop and Madeline C. White have taken to their large respective followings to condemn Revolve as well, the brand released a statement.
They said "we sincerely apologize to all the guests who were impacted. We always strive to provide a great experience and we promise to do better." Following the incident, Revolve has received more online attention than ever before.
Only time will tell if phrase runs true — is any press ever really bad press?