The three-day-long Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is expanding to two back-to-back weekends in 2012 in an effort to meet the "overwhelming" demand for tickets (the 2010 fest sold out in a week). Crucial in that equation for promoter Goldenvoice? The approval of Indio, California's five-member city council, four of whom voted this week to OK the concert's return to the Empire Polo Club, where it's been held since 1999.
The vote was delayed by two weeks at the request of neighboring community La Quinta and its city council, who had expressed concern about detrimental effects to the environment and local residents, such as increased dust, traffic and noise.
To address the issue, Goldenvoice proposed "monitoring by an independent third party of air quality, traffic and noise" for next year's concerts, which also include the country-themed Stagecoach, scheduled for April 27-29. La Quinta agreed and the show will go on, with Coachella set to kick off on April 13 (2013 dates have not been announced).
"Goldenvoice is as important to us any other business," said Indio Mayor Lupe Ramos Watson, whose city will pocket $2.33 for every weekend pass sold, potentially bringing in as much as $500,000. The fee, the council members emphasized, will not be passed down to concert-goers.
The agreement was met with cheers as fest loyalists filled the City Council chambers, some wearing "Support Coachella" stickers, according to The Desert Sun.
With a reputation for showcasing a diverse array of musical acts, past festival headliners have included Arcade Fire, Jay-Z, Radiohead, Paul McCartney, Coldplay and Prince, and attendance has reached close to 100,000, as was the case in 2007 when Rage Against the Machine reunited.
The 2012 lineup has yet to be announced, but typically, acts are revealed around the third week of January.