Updated after the jump with the promoter's official crowd estimate. See the rest of our Coachella coverage, including eye-opening photos, here.
Supporters of ecstasy-fueled mega-raves at publicly owned venues in L.A. have used comparisons to other mainstream concerts as a way to drum up support. But, if this year's Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is any gauge, there is no comparison.
The three-day event, expected to draw about 195,000 people compared to last year's record of 225,000-plus, saw only 49 arrests and 48 medical transports, Indio, California police and Riverside County fire officials told the Weekly.
For comparison, last summer's controversial Electric Daisy Carnival rave at the L.A. Coliseum saw …
… more than 200 medical transports, 60 arrests and one drug-related death. (The Los Angeles Times reports that the arrest number is actually more than 100, although LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has cited the 60 number).
Most of the arrests and transports at the rave, which drew about 160,000 people, were believed to be drug related.
At Coachella, Indio police spokesman Benjamen Guitron tells us about 33 of the arrests were drug or alcohol related.
There were 20 arrests Friday, 16 Saturday and 13 Sunday, he said.
Cops also dealt separately with 290 alleged trespassers who were warned to stay away.
“Considering how many people that had attended, we feel we had a really successful concert,” Guitron said. “We're looking forward to many more to come.”
Although there were only 48 emergency transports, about 800 people requested some form of help over the three days at the concert as temperatures reached above the 90s, a Cal Fire spokeswoman said.
Update: A promoter's rep tells us the crowd was estimated at 75,000 each day. Now wait a minute, you say: Didn't organizer Goldenvoice vow to dial back the numbers this year? Wasn't that the capacity last year? Yes and yes, but …
… Because of gatecrashing, last year's record numbers (225,000 plus?) were probably above 75,000 a day. Maybe this year's figures were closer to the reality of the crowds actually on the polo fields.
Clarification: The event only three-day passes, so it would be the same 75,000 people all three days — however you want to add that up.
First posted at 5:19 p.m. on Monday, April 18.