Coachella: Already Sold Out, But Staying Put In Indio
In a first, the 2007 edition of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is officially sold out in advance, more than two months prior to its April 27-29 engagement at Empire Polo Field in IndioIn a first, the 2007 edition of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is officially sold out in advance, more than two months prior to its April 27-29 engagement at Empire Polo Field in Indio, Calif. And despite rumors to the contrary, Coachella will remain at the palatial desert venue for the foreseeable future, according to Goldenvoice co-founder Paul Tollett, who books the festival.
One of the key reasons: Goldenvoice committed to a second event at the Polo Field, the country festival Stagecoach, which will launch the weekend after Coachella. "There are rumors about that whole area being developed for houses and golf courses," he tells Billboard.com. "We said we'd make this commitment to them, but please don't make houses here, and it worked."
Tollett admits it is "unbelievable" that Coachella has already gone clean, an achievement he attributes to "a killer lineup" featuring a one-off reunion from Rage Against the Machine, Bjork, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Arcade Fire and the Jesus & Mary Chain.
Capacity will be slightly decreased from last year's 60,000-per day figure, and, in another first, cars with four or more passengers will be given preferential parking and access to the grounds. "It's crazy it took us eight years to think of that one," Tollett says. "But less cars going to a show is always good."
As for Stagecoach, which boasts country superstars like Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn and Alan Jackson, Tollett says tickets sales have been strong so far but concedes, "the first year of any festival, it's very hard to get the people out. We experienced that seven years ago with Coachella." Capacity will likely be in the 35-40,000 range, and, unlike for Coachella, RV parking will be allowed on-site.
Even though the Los Angeles area's lone country station, KZLA, went out of business XX, Tollett has found support from their sister station, KSON San Diego, and an upstart AM outlet, KKGO. "They're really coming through," he says. "They've told us they want to set up there for a week and help us sell tickets."
To be sure, Coachella is no longer the lone player on the American festival scene and now faces stiff competition each year to differentiate itself from Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits. But Tollett says he's been happy for the extra company. "I think it's a great year for festivals," he enthuses. "Everybody is stepping it up."