Coachella these days is often less about the music and more about the opportunity for influencers to pose in front of Ferris wheels in carefully curated ensembles.
But one influencer took the music festival pose-up a step further. After posting all weekend in her festival attire, sprawled out on the grassy knolls of Indio, influencer Gabbie Hanna admitted she had faked the whole thing in a 23 minute video which has already amassed more than 2 million views.
The YouTube star says she was influenced by UK blogger Carolyn Stritch, who faked a Disneyland trip in March 2018. Hanna says she's not the only influencer who fakes things on social media, whether it's full vacations or bikini shots, claiming she knows multiple bloggers who pack double the outfits for Weekend One so they can also pretend they were at Weekend Two.
We watched all 23 minutes and learned how Hanna feels about Coachella - and how to plan your own fake festival.
To fake her Coachella experience Hanna did a shoot in Marina del Rey, complete with millennial pink hair, space buns and a mesh top. She chose to stage the trip at her friend's "dope" house because it looks "super Airbnb" and even picked out a pretend room.
Because she's a musician, she also decided to DIY an artist wristband - she couldn't exactly fake a general admission brand if she wanted to achieve peak influencer. To do this she used an old trick everyone who ever faked having a 21+ wristband at a bar knows well - a stapler. She then had a friend photoshop the backdrop.
For the next photo shoot, she posed in a field in the same style of crop many of Coachella's influencers were wearing at the real thing, and swapped her pink wig for a neon yellow one.
"I have sunglasses, jewelry, lip colors and eye shadow for every look," she says in the video about the elaborate ploy while doing a quick costume change in the car, this time opting for a bright button-down blouse with matching shorts that would look at home on a dad at Jazz Fest. This time, she had the Ferris wheel photoshopped behind her.
"I'm tired of pretending to be at Coachella. I can't imagine actually being at Coachella," she points out.
Next year Hanna says she plans to be at Coachella for real - so prepare for even more photos...or just more photoshopped ones. After all, if going to Coachella is an exercise in building followers, why pay for the wristband, Airbnb and trip to Indio when you can enjoy the festival from the comfort of your own home?
"Social media for the most part is just a very curated and manipulated version of reality," Hanna says.
While the ruse might be over, the Coachella photos live on. Check her Instagram highlights to see how she faked an entire weekend.