The mayor of Indio, Calif., home to the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and the Stagecoach county music festival, both produced by Goldenvoice Entertainment at Indio’s Empire Polo Grounds in April each year, is making known its desire for that company to produce another festival. It wants this one, though, to land with the leaves sometime in autumn.
Citing a 2013 long-term contract renewal between Goldenvoice and the city that paves the way for a fall festival, Indio Mayor Glenn Miller recently told the Desert Sun a new event from Goldenvoice is “imminent” -- but that does not mean that Goldenvoice is prepared to launch another major festival in Indio this year.
For one, Goldenvoice, a division of leading North American festival producer AEG Live, is already launching the Panorama festival in New York City this July 22-24, part of a 30-festival portfolio in North America. Certainly, there is room in the September-November time frame for another major festival, were one to arise. Both fans and AEG could easily support the right event. The packed North American festival season slows down in the fall, but major festivals already exist near Indio's proposed timing -- Lollapalooza July 28-31, Lokn’ in Virginia Aug. 25-28, ACL Music Fest in Austin, Texas, Oct. 3-5 and 10-12, and Goldenvoice’s own FYF fest in L.A. Aug. 27-28.
While the mild Indio weather would be conducive for a festival up through November, the season for all practical purposes ends around Thanksgiving as the bulk of artists -- and much of the touring industry -- packs it in for the holidays.
The Empire Polo Grounds is a proven winner for hosting large music events. The site has been home to Coachella, now the world’s highest-grossing festival, since 1999, and Stagecoach since 2007, with the two events grossing a combined $106 million last year, bringing in 268,000 people over the festivals’ nine running days.
In 2011, Goldenvoice added The Big Four, a metal one-off featuring Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, that drew about 50,000 paid, with a $5.5 million gross. As well, Phish staged the Festival 8 festival there on Halloween, 2009.
Goldenvoice reps have not commented on the prospects of a fall festival in Indio, and Mayor Miller did not respond to a request for comment.