‘It was absolute torturous hell’: Coachella staff reveal the BRUTAL reality of working at the music festival – from grueling conditions to organizational chaos
- Thousands of music lovers will soon be descending on Coachella in California
- But also think of the teams of workers toiling behind the scenes
- Thomas Hearts is an employee who exposed the harsh conditions
Thousands of music lovers will soon be descending on Coachella as the summer concert circuit gets underway.
But as festival goers rush to take their place at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California, think of the workers toiling behind the scenes.
Thomas Hearts is one of the former employees who exposed the appalling conditions at the festival.
He described working as a merchandise seller at last year’s event as “torturous hell” before denouncing the lack of organisation, limited breaks and lack of team morale.
Thomas Hearts is one of the former employees who exposed the appalling conditions at the festival
He described working as a merchandise seller (stock image) at last year’s event as “torturous hell” before denouncing the lack of organisation, limited breaks and lack of team morale.
Thomas took to the r/Coachella subreddit after working at the festival last year – and he didn’t hold back.
He began, “It was absolute torturous hell. During the three-day festival, I worked a total of 33 hours in the merchandise tent, standing for hours in front of an endless line.
“At the end of the first day I could barely stand. Every step hurt so much. It only got more painful as the weekend went on.’
Thomas claimed that team leaders handed out ibuprofen to employees who were in pain and continued some shifts until 2 a.m.
He also argued that there was “no organization” and said team members “routinely worked for more than five hours without a break during our shifts” and claimed their timesheets had been edited to “fix it.”
The festival worker, explaining that helpers were paid $20 an hour or $30 an hour for overtime, said he ended up taking home $750 plus $80 in tips.
Thomas said ‘camping with staff was a nightmare’ and added that he wished ‘there was more solidarity among staff’ as he felt there was ‘unnecessary tension’.
FEMAIL has reached out to Coachella for comment.
Thousands of music lovers will soon be descending on Coachella (stock image) as the summer concert circuit kicks off
And Thomas’ candid insight gained sympathy from other Reddit users, as some shared their own experiences
And the candid insight gained sympathy from other Reddit users, as some shared their own experiences.
One of them wrote, “Thanks for giving us all a behind the scenes look at what goes on in that tent. I had no idea it was so disorganized, no wonder it’s taking so long.’
Another added, “Working at Coachella sounds like sunshine and rainbows, but it turns out to be really hard work.”
And a third said, “I talked to a few employees and they all said (it) was a mess.”
But Thomas isn’t the only employee who has shared secrets from the festival.
LA-based Katelyn Darrow took to TikTok to shed more light on the realities of working the lemonade stands at Coachella
LA-based Katelyn Darrow took to TikTok to shed more light on the realities of working the lemonade stands at Coachella.
Speaking about having to work 10-hour shifts, the content creator said, “I just wanted to talk about the shifts because they are tough.
“We don’t just work 10 hours – we work 13 hours, 15 hours…
“To be honest, it’s a lot and you have to fend for yourself here, it’s not a typical office job, there’s no HR department.”
In a separate clip, Katelyn explained that the company she works for also has a strict policy where employees pay a $400 deposit that is only refunded at the end of the festival if employees satisfactorily show up for each of their shifts.