A culture is one of the first things established when any organization first forms. It is intangible and happens pretty organically. We do, however, have a great amount of power in some cultures and absolutely none over others. In the business world, you have complete control over your company’s culture. If you don’t believe that, you’re going to have an extremely hard time changing it. The culture is seen and felt by anyone who interacts with your organization. In my trip to Coachella, I found myself a midst a culture in which I did not belong (and neither did my dollar votes).
I subscribed to all social media put out by the event leading up to my departure. They posted pictures intermittently featuring a couple of artists. However, my first sign of trouble to come should have been the unprofessional content they would post. Posting a snap story of seemingly random bored teen nonsense was not enticing me. There is technically nothing wrong with posting off topic content, but you send a signal of what your brand represents. It is an early signal that I wasn’t joining 100,000 music fans in the desert, but rather a clique looking to play in the dirt.
Coachella had musical performers in their lineup that were to die for. They were stunning and put up a visual masterpiece. I brought in my Fuji Film Finepix HS 30 EXR because they didn’t allow removable lenses. However, the uninspiring culture lead to uninspiring performances which lead to uninspiring photos.
In the art installments, I struggled to find enough relevancy to motivate me to display them in a picture. It may have been the blasé approach the was taken toward what I assumed would have been the purpose of the weekend: art. The artist who performed on stage were not given the consideration they deserved, so it was difficult for me to be invested in their performance. Submerged in this culture where the focus was elsewhere, the art installations became a mere passing thought. Although, I did appreciate the giant animal shade structures.
The culture of Coachella did not enable me to take my best photos. Nor did it give me an experience I am yearning to have again. There are enough people who buy in to all of it that Coachella will continue to be successful for a long time to come. I appreciate Coachella not in the way I had anticipated appreciating it. I appreciate it for showing me how much an overlying culture can penetrate the actions and experiences of those involved. Coachella taught me how having a culture happens automatically, but paying attention to and caring for your culture is important in leaving everyone who interacts with you glad they did.
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