A YouTube star faked going to Coachella by having a series of photos of herself professionally edited to make it appear as though she attended the second weekend of the music festival.
Gabbie Hanna, a 28-year-old vlogger with more than 6.5 million subscribers, took to Instagram on Saturday, April 19, to share photos of herself dressed up in festival gear, claiming she was in Indio, California, attending Coachella.
The social media influencer posted numerous snapshots of herself modeling a variety of outfits in different locations over the course of the weekend. A few days later, she stunned her fans by revealing she faked the entire trip.
Not only were the backgrounds of her images creatively edited by photographer Kellan Hendry, but she turned her friend’s home into her ‘Airbnb’ and printed out fake versions of the Coachella artist wristband.
In her latest YouTube video, titled ‘I Faked Going To Coachella,’ she detailed how she pulled off the stunt with the help of her friends, explaining that she was inspired by other social media influencers who have pulled off similar tricks.
‘If you’ve paid close attention to me throughout the past couple or few years, you know that I am not Coachella’s biggest advocate. Now here’s the thing, I don’t have anything against Coachella per se. In fact, as an artist, it would be an absolute dream to be on the lineup at Coachella,’ she explained at the start of the clip.
‘But to me, a socially awkward, socially anxious introverted hermit — the idea of going into the desert for three days in very, very hot heat and then very, very cold nights in the dust and the dirt without access to healthy food or reasonably priced alcohol or showers that is not walking distance away from your hotel or even an Uber to get [to] your hotel. I don’t know.
‘All of it just seems like a lot of work for me, personally. I’m a homebody, or as other people like to call it, lazy. But yeah, it’s just not for me.’
Gabbie, who lives in Los Angeles, noted that it felt like a lot of people were dreading attending the festival because it takes ‘weeks of preparation’ with hotels, outfits, and tickets costing patrons ‘thousands of dollars.’
She stressed that while there are plenty of people who enjoy Coachella, there are also those who simply go for Instagram pictures to boost their social media followings.
‘I can pull this off because I know people who go to Coachella weekend one and bring twice as many outfits and double up on their outfit each day so that they can pretend like they’re at Coachella weekend two, but they’re not.
‘They’re at home,’ she explained. ‘Social media is a lie. So what I’m doing isn’t that far from reality anyway.’
Although Gabbie didn’t actually go to the festival, she admitted that she put a lot of time and energy into picking out her clothing for the stunt.
For ‘Coachella Day 1,’ she donned a pink wig, a black net top over a sheer bra, and ripped jeans, but instead of heading to the desert, she made her way to her friend Sydney’s home in Marina Del Rey, California.
The location served as her ‘Airbnb,’ and she pretended Sydney’s bedroom was where she was sleeping during the getaway.
To make it look as authentic as possible, they printed a bunch of fake wristbands to show she had access to the concert grounds.
Gabbie took great care in finding locations in Sydney’s home where the background could easily be manipulated.
The first series of photos Gabbie posted on Instagram while at ‘Coachella’ show her standing on the balcony surrounded by lush landscaping and other homes.
The pictures were actually taken by Vitaly S. Kibenko on the balcony of Sydney’s home that overlooks the beach.
Gabbie headed to the gym for a quick workout before changing into her ‘Coachella Day 2’ look, which consisted of a yellow wig, a funky bra top, and cut-off shorts.
She found a field to lie in for a round of selfies, and while it was a dreary day in Los Angeles, Kellan was able to Photoshop the photos to make it looks like it was sunny and she was surrounded by concert goers.
To create her third and final day at Coachella, Gabbie threw on a long blue wig and a patterned short-sleeve button-down with matching shorts. She topped off the look with a fanny pack and returned to the same field she was in for her last set of pictures.
‘I’m tired from pretending to be at Coachella,’ she admitted. ‘I can’t even imagine actually being at Coachella.’
While her social media followers thought she was soaking up the sun at the festival, she actually spent the day at a bar with her friends.
When it was time to share the first set of doctored images, Gabbie told the camera she was ‘extremely nervous’ to post them because they look ‘too nice.’
To really sell her story, she had her friends who were at the festival send her videos to share on her Instagram Stories throughout the day.
Gabbie admitted she has never gotten so many tags and reposts on her own photos than she did that day.
The images received thousands of comments, and she didn’t really see anyone accusing her of posting fake photos, which amazed her.
After posting two more days worth of photos, she shared her final thoughts, admitting that she felt ‘kind of weird and guilty’ about doing this.
‘I don’t feel comfortable lying, even it’s for a very harmless — however, elaborate — prank,’ she said. ‘I did feel bad, so I’m really sorry if you guys feel duped.’
Gabbie said the purpose of the stunt was to show her followers just how easy it is to fake things on social media.
‘I know a lot of people look at people on Instagram and social media and they think, “Wow, their life is impossibly perfect.” That body, that vacation, that car, so much of it’s fake and that’s okay.
‘I’m not shading anybody who does that on social media because it is a viable career. Obviously, I am a social media person; I understand it.’
She ended the clip by reminding her fans what she was really doing on those days when it looked like she was at the music festival.
‘The whole time I was living my best life at Coachella I was really, for the most part, sitting in this editing chair.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Erica Tempesta