Coachella’s viral yodeling boy moment is just the start of the festival’s latest makeover

The Sahara Tent provided the clearest definition of what the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has become when 11-year-old Mason Ramsey took the stage Friday afternoon alongside electronic dance artist Whethan.

Two weeks ago the preteen from Golconda, Ill., was unknown, and then a video of him yodeling in a Walmart went viral and he became the next overnight sensation — with his own hashtags: #WalmartYodelBoy and #WalmartYodelingKid.

With few events as trendy as Coachella — just check your Instagram and Twitter feeds — it was no surprise Ramsey’s arrival was met with rapturous applause and not with the nod of irony one might expect.

“Everybody took your picture, right?” Whethan asked after the kid nervously pushed through a performance of the Hank Williams Sr. classic that made him a “celebrity.”

It was a moment that aptly distilled the culture of the festival as a can’t-miss destination for music fans — and those who just want to be seen.

For as big and loud of a presence that Coachella is, the three-day blowout is ultimately about escapism (with a heavy heaping of surprises primed for social media posting).

Whether you’re a spoiled Hollywood executive or part of the overworked and overstressed 99%, Coachella exists as an opulent escape from our day to day.

It’s an experience that’s become incredibly coveted given its bill and place among the millennial zeitgeist, and this year is bigger than…

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