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If you thought the strangest part of Coachella was the rich people spending hundreds of dollars to smoke weed in mud pits, get ready for some way weirder news! According to the Daily News, a handful of big-name celebrities are receiving hefty paychecks to attend the festival… and they’re some of the last people you’d expect. In the DN‘s own words,

Lea Michele will earn a cool $20,000 from Lacoste to wear its clothes while she rocks out to headliners OutKast, Muse, and Arcade Fire, while Vanessa Hudgens is being paid $15,000 by McDonald‘s to hit the festival.

Uh, what? This is confusing on so many levels. Let’s break it down, bit by bit.

  • Who hires Lea Michele to improve their image? I don’t know her, and I’m sure she doesn’t totally deserve her High Maintenance Diva reputation, but she’s not exactly a heroine to the wearing-flower-crowns-while-dropping-molly crowd.
  • Does Lacoste understand what Coachella is? Does Lacoste understand what they are? Starchy polos and overpriced boat shoes are pretty much the exact opposite of what appeals to hippy concertgoers.
  • Does Vanessa Hudgens really need incentive to dress like a Shakespearean fairy on heroin? She lives every day like it’s Coachella. She breathes Coachella. There’s no way she needed a paycheck to attend.
  • What is McDonald’s getting out of this? Vanessa isn’t a big enough star that people will see her eating McDonald’s and start cravings nuggets to be just like her. Will she be wearing their logo or something? I feel like she’d be eaten alive for dragging that kind of capitalist bullshit into the Hippie Culture Capital of the World.

I mean, a big part of Coachella seems phony to me– there’s something sad about people spending big bucks at Urban Outfitters and Free People to try to look like they don’t even care— but I know it’s an event that some people live for, so this news kind of sucks. Here’s hoping that all this new branding and product placement and Lea Michele-ness won’t ruin anybody’s muddy acid trip.

Via Daily News / Photo: Getty images