The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, first held in 1996, returned to the USC campus last weekend after a two-year Covid hiatus. Because April 22 through 24 was also the final weekend of this year’s Coachella Music Festival, held 130 miles away in Southern California’s Colorado Desert, someone—maybe the person in charge of the Times’s Twitter feed—decided it would be cute to call the literary festival #Bookchella.
And just like that, -chella became the new -stock: a portable suffix denoting “festival.”
Except it wasn’t exactly “just like that.” And watch your back, LATFOB: the music festival in the desert has a history of refusing to give up its -chella without a legal fight.
I don’t remember anyone calling it #Bookchella in 2019, when I attended, but that already feels like 50 years ago, so who knows.