Following a vote by the Indio city council last night to approve the city's two year contract with festival promoter Goldenvoice, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is back on as scheduled. It will take place over two weekends in April at Indio's Empire Polo Field.
Both Coachella and the popular Stagecoach Country Music Festival were in limbo, following attempts by the neighboring city of La Quinta's city council to pressure Indio officials into delaying the contract's approval. La Quinta worried that it didn't sufficiently account for extra noise and pollution expected from the festival's expansion to a second weekend. They requested a lengthy environmental review that would have likely delayed both Coachella and Stagecoach.
But La Quinta officials were persuaded following a new agreement presented by Goldenvoice. It still doesn't enforce an environmental review, but has been modified to address some of the city's concerns, including “monitoring by an independent third party of air quality, traffic and noise.” La Quinta gave their approval for the contract on Tuesday, leading the way for Indio to sign on.
The two year contract officially extends Coachella, which will be held next year on the weekends of April 13-15 and April 20-22. The agreement also adds an extra day to the popular Stagecoach festival, to be held next year April 27-29.
La Quinta city council members faced heavy criticism for its machinations against the popular festival. According to Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley newspaper Desert Sun, about a half-dozen protestors showed up at the council's Tuesday meeting to support the festival. This group included the creators of the “Support Coachella Music and Arts Fest” Facebook page, which has over 700 followers.
“It's the most popular music festival in the whole world, and it's right here,” Goldenvoice Vice President Skip Paigesaid at the Tuesday meeting. “I want you to be proud of the event.”
The new contract also allocates a portion of weekend earnings from the both festivals to the City of Indio. ($2.33 per ticket, to be precise.) That could bring in as much as $500,000 for the city.
“I think Goldenvoice is as important to us any other business,” Indio mayor Lupe Ramos Watson told the Desert News.