Coachella may still gross more money than any other U.S. festival -- $78.3 million in 2014 alone, according to Billboard BoxScore -- but since its inception in 1999, the only currency accepted on site has been cash. But this year, credit cards will be accepted for the first time in Coachella’s 16-year history, and American Express has signed on as the Goldenvoice/AEG festival’s official payment provider for both weekends on April 10 through 12 and 18 through 20, as well as sister country festival Stagecoach, which returns to Indio Valley, Calif., on April 24 through 26.
“We see Coachella as a festival that celebrates multiple passion points beyond music, like art and culinary experience, which are very much in line with our platform around bringing cardmembers closer to their passions,” Walter Frye, vice president of entertainment at AmEx, tells Billboard. “We’ve certainly been seeing the growth in festivals over the years, and increasing demand from our cardmembers, so given our existing partnership with AEG we saw it as a logical extension.”
As part of AmEx’s multi-year deal, the company will provide exclusive experiential packages for cardmembers including weekend passes, exclusive hospitality access and other curated programming, which have already gone on sale. “We’re developing a few additional activation components that we can’t talk about yet, but look forward to sharing in the coming weeks,” explains Frye, noting that current AmEx campaign The Journey Never Stops will likely be incorporated.