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Young YouTubers are not letting weeks of preparation for Coachella — and all the prospective content and sponsorship opportunities — go to waste just because the festival is canceled.
Organizers postponed the festival, which was originally scheduled for last weekend and this weekend, until mid-October due to the coronavirus pandemic. So YouTubers have been filming makeup tutorials, doing outfit try-ons, and even putting on mock festivals at home because they can — and because content is their full-time job. Some are even calling it ~homechella~.
Hailey Sani, a 19-year-old Los Angeles–based student and lifestyle vlogger, had accepted that Coachella would be canceled. But because she would have been there this past week, and would have had plenty of material for her channel of 1.3 million subscribers, it posed a new challenge.
"I was definitely bummed about it being canceled because as influencers we start planning our work around Coachella months ahead," Sani told BuzzFeed News. "However, I completely understand and appreciate it being postponed considering the crisis at hand."
Sani sees her job as helping her followers "get their minds off of things," so she decided to make her Coachella video anyway.
"You can still create the fun yourself... It’s a way of thinking, not a destination," she said of the trendy music festival.
Last week, Sani published a video titled "Pretending to Get Ready for Coachella," in which she does her makeup the way she'd do it for the festival and then gets into costume. The entire video is sponsored by the cosmetics company NYX.
"Even though we’re not all on the same festival grounds, I feel that sense of community because a bunch of people are uniting to have fun at home," she added. "I think that’s what Coachella was about in the first place."
Sarah Betts, a 23-year-old full-time YouTuber to her 1.6 million fans, published a tongue-in-cheek video last week called "I Held My Own Coachella." She filmed herself doing a typical try-on clothing haul and outfit shots for every day she would have been at the festival.
"At first I was just trying to make a lighthearted video and show people what I was planning on wearing because I had planned my outfits for...well, I'm not going to say because I'm ashamed," she joked. "But something I realized is there is nothing stopping me from having fun, dressing up, playing music, and FaceTiming my friends for our own version of Coachella."
While Betts, who's based in Gold Coast, Australia, said she's only trying to "come up with ways to entertain my subscribers and [herself] while [they're] are all stuck at home," her video is mentioned the many brands featured throughout.
While her video is not directly sponsored, she does receive a commission for purchases through her affiliate links.
While most of the bigger-name channels had tickets to attend the music festival, those who didn't say it's also an opportunity for them to participate in the collective fun and YouTube culture surrounding it.
"I've never been nor was ever planning on going, but the idea of making my own fun is enough to keep me participating [at] home," said Bianca Bello, 24, who's quarantining in New York City. Bello currently has just over 5,500 subscribers.
"Weirdly, this gives everybody a chance to 'attend a festival' most of us can't afford to go to anyway."
Bello made her own "What I Would've Worn to Coachella 2020 + TRY ON HAUL" video in which she plays dress-up with clothes she already owns.
"I'm not someone who is super comfortable going to huge festivals. I used to when I was younger, but as I got older my panic attacks got worse, and they tend to be triggered in large crowds," she said.
"So participating in a 'homechella,' where I'm in a place where I control the music, I control the vibe, I control the food I put in my mouth, and can avoid the overpriced festival snacks, then I'm happy."