Coachella Canceled? Delayed? It Was Almost A Reality
Mommy and daddy arguing at the dinner table because little Timmy brought home a bad report card — it happens all the time. But when little Timmy is pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars for not only both parents but the whole family — and Timmy decides to give more to Mom — well then things get complicated.
These past few weeks, Coachella was in danger of being Timmy. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed.Given all the stalemate in Washington these days, it’s only right for Southern California’s musical gift to the world, Coachella, to be battled over by neighboring city government officials.
According to LA Weekly and the Desert Sun, last week the city of Indio postponed singing their contract with Goldenvoice — Coachella’s organizer and promoter, citing pressure from the neighboring city of La Quinta:
La Quinta wants Indio and Goldenvoice to conduct an assessment under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to evaluate the environmental impact of traffic, noise and pollution generated by the festival, owing to the fact that its length will be doubled this year, to two weekends in April. If Indio complies, the review process could extended well beyond Coachella’s scheduled opening date.
Yikes! On top of the environmental impact of adding another 100,000 people into the desert for another weekend, La Quinta, the larger, more affluent area in the Coachella sandwich, certainly has a reason to gripe.
The La Quinta exits off the I-10 freeway are what is used to get to the Polo Grounds, and a majority of festival goers camp, rent hotels and houses and use La Quinta’s stores, shops, etc. The city of Indio is also getting a portion of ticket sales (estimated at $500,000) this year for adding another week to Coachella and another day to stage coach, which La Quinta was none too happy about either. (They have horse trails to maintain!)
Postponement of the contract signing would most likely push the dates of Coachella back, and given that the entire Coachella Valley makes an estimated $35+ million off of the music festivals, a deal was struck this past week.The City of Indio approved a new, two-year contract with Goldenvoice after La Quinta’s city board dropped their grievance the night before. To address the environmental impact issues, both cities agreed to bring in “monitoring by an independent third party of air quality, traffic and noise.”
“It’s the most popular music festival in the whole world, and it’s right here,” Goldenvoice Vice President Skip Paige said at the meeting after the vote was passed. “I want you to be proud of the event.”
So….phew. April 13-15 and 20-22. IT’S ON.