Coachella Festival Location Threatened by Possible Indio Tax

The audience at Coachella.

Festival May Skip 2014, Goldenvoice Head Says

The Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival may be looking for a new home if a new city tax is put on the books.

According the Indio's Desert Sun, a potential admissions tax on entertainment events on more than 2,500 people would cause the massive event -- and sister festival Stagecoach -- to choose to exit its longtime location at the Empire Polo Club.

Goldenvoice president Paul Tollett told the paper the tax would raise ticket prices by $36 each.

"If the tax initiative of putting $4 million to $6 million onto Coachella gets on the ballot," Tollett said, "we're going to take off 2014; 2015 we'll be at a new facility outside of Indio."

In March, Goldenvoice attempted to buy the Eldorado Polo Club and three additional ranches, for a total of 280 acres of land surrounding the Empire Polo Club -- signifying a commitment that's now up in the air. An additional 600-acre purchase in the area is now "in limbo," per Tollett. On June, the Indio City Council declined the proposed tax. However, councilman Sam Torres reportedly plans to launch a petition to put the tax on the November ballot. According to Torres, the tax would add $18 a ticket.

"We think this tax is outrageous for all the things we've done with Indio," Tollett told the Desert Sun, with Goldenvoice citing the millions of dollars of taxable revenue the festival generates each year.

Coachella successfully expanded to a second three-day weekend this April, drawing record attendance and a much talked-about performance by a "hologram" Tupac Shakur. Its 2013 dates have been scheduled for the weekends of April 12-14 and April 19-21.