- Coachella employees endure harsh, inhumane conditions while working the festival, according to an in-depth account from a security worker detailed in a new report by The Daily Beast.
- In a written account posted online and provided to The Daily Beast, staff member Antonio Cannady described the bare-bones conditions provided for workers, many of whom slept on the ground.
- The festival made history in 2017 when it became the first recurring festival to exceed profits of $US100 million in a single year.
Coachella security employees endure bare-bones, and often inhumane conditions for the duration of the festival, according to a report by The Daily Beast.
Antonio Cannady, a Los Angeles-based screenwriter, turned up to a “cattle call” for security staff to work Coachella 2019 through a subcontractor who told The Daily Beast they “uphold the highest standards” for each employee’s experience, including water, catered food, and an air-conditioned tent.
But Cannady told the outlet the workers arrived to find “a large, smelly, humid tent floored in grass” that would serve as their sleeping quarters, air mattress and other sleeping materials not included.
In an essay posted online, Cannady said he was served a Twinkie for breakfast one day and a Moon Pie on another. After the initial meal that was provided upon their arrival, Cannady wrote that workers were “s— out of luck if you didn’t bring food with you.”
“People over here are starving, losing weight because we’re not being fed properly,” Cannady said, echoing a security guard also quoted in the report. “It’s just a lot of messed up stuff that’s going on.”
The Daily Beast’s report identified Allied Universal as the responsible company for Staff Pro, the name that is listed on Cannady’s credentials.
Allied Universal told the news outlet in a statement that all security professionals hired for Coachella are “offered the resources needed to make sure that we uphold the highest standards in working conditions for each and every employee.”
“We offer a camp ground that includes seating, picnic tables, charging stations as well as shower facilities. In addition, each security professional is provided pallets of water and catered food,” the statement said. “For those security professionals who work the night shift, we offer a large air-conditioned tent that is blacked out from the sun so they can sleep during the day.”
Cannady also notes in his account that the festival made more than $US114 million in 2017, making it the first reoccurring festival to exceed profits of $US100 million in one year.
In a set of recommendations for the festival, Cannady wrote that it should “allocate food budgets to properly feed guards for at least two weeks until they receive their first paychecks” to assist employees of all income backgrounds.
“Some people arrive destitute, proper meals are essential,” Cannady wrote. “This burden should not fall on small subcontracted security companies because all can’t afford to do it.”
Cannady’s account stands in stark contrast to the picturesque images that flood social media each year around the time of the festival from guests who spend anywhere from $US500-$US9,000 to camp and party at the yearly event.
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