Influencer faked her whole Coachella trip

Sarah Carty
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
YouTuber Gabbie Hanna faked her own Coachella experience. Photo: Instagram/Gabbie Hanna

Forget the music, Coachella has nearly become more about the incredible outfits and the ferris wheel pictures than the artists performing.

But one YouTuber decided to fake her own Coachella experience, after hearing people claim they weren’t looking forward to the music festival and were only attending so they could get Instagram pictures.

Gabbie Hanna, who has 3.8 million followers online, thought of the idea after seeing blogger Carolyn Stritch’s fake trip to Disneyland last year, where she proved that you can’t always believe everything you see on social media, because a lot of the time it’s Photoshopped or filtered.

“I know a lot of people who go to Coachella. I talked to a lot of them and they weren’t looking forward to it,” Gabbie said in her YouTube video, going on to say it takes weeks of outfit preparations and thousands of dollars on things like travel, alcohol and tickets.

“It feels like a lot of work for something you’re not enjoying.

“There are a lot of people who go to Coachella who do not enjoy the experience just because they’re going for Instagram pictures and that to me feels stressful.”



So Gabbie thought what if she could ‘get the Coachella Instagram picture, without going to Coachella. Best of both worlds’.

Gabbie really committed to her mission, packing up like she was going to Coachella and heading to her friend’s house so it looked like she was in an Airbnb

Her first stumbling block came when she didn’t have a wristband, which is a staple in almost every influencer’s Instagram photos from the music festival. The amount of wristbands someone has is almost seen as a status statement for festival-goers.

Gabbie’s friend ended up printing out fake wristbands from the internet, which looked extremely believable in the snaps.

Next it was time for photos, which were then Photoshopped by her friend Kellan Hendry to make it look like she was living it up at Coachella.

Gabbie uploaded a stream of photos to her Instagram Stories, with followers fully believing she was at the festival.

While the rest of the world thought she was partying the night away at Coachella, Gabbie actually headed for the gym that night, in Palm Springs.


Even her friends, who knew she was faking her Coachella experience, texted her asking her if she was actually at the festival.

Gabbie spent the next two days in LA, taking photos while her friend Photshopped them to make them look like she wasn’t just living her normal life as per usual.

Comments like “Coachella Queen” and “I’m so jealous” were posted on her fake photos, with fans believing that Gabbie was one of the lucky ones partying in style.

Gabbie said she had a lot of fun dressing up for her fake Coachella experience and it gave her a ‘better understanding of why people go to Coachella, even if they aren’t enjoying it’.

“But what I noticed was the sense of being at the ‘it place’ and I guess that’s something that I never really related with,” she said.

“I do have a new appreciation and respect for it in general, just that sense of belonging and community that I always am kind of lacking.”

Her photos were so well Photoshopped it would make anyone believe she was sitting on the grass at Coachella and not in LA. Photo: Instagram/Gabbie Hanna
Her followers were sure she was there. Photo:Instagram/Gabbie Hanna

She went on to say that she didn’t feel comfortable lying and said she found it interesting how easy it is to fake a different life on social media.

“So much of it’s fake and that’s ok, I’m not shading anyone who does that on social media it is a viable career and looks and appearances are important when it comes to branding and your social presence but for an average viewer who’s just watching these things and aspiring for these things, just know that those things aren’t always as attainable as they seem.”

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