Contract would give Indio part of Coachella, Stagecoach ticket sales
Season further expanded with third day for Stagecoach
12:02 AM, Oct. 4, 2011
Written by Xochitl Peña
The Desert Sun
INDIO — Come concert season, the city could be enjoying a welcome boost to its coffers. And residents near the Empire Polo Club will get a respite from early morning sound checks — a change they say is music to their ears.
Several changes intended to address resident concerns and boost Indio's general fund are expected if Indio City Council members on Wednesday approve a new contract with Goldenvoice, the promoter of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach country festival.
Proposed benefits for 2012-13 include no sound checks before 10a.m. and $2.33 per weekend pass to go to the city's general fund.
“If they sell out every weekend ... it should be close to $500,000,” said Jim Curtis, human services manager in charge of special events.
Event organizers announced earlier this year that Coachella would be extended to two consecutive weekends — April 13-15 and April 20-22 — with the same lineups. The second weekend was added because of what organizers called an “overwhelming response” to this year's festival in which tickets sold out a week after going on sale.
The back-to-back Coachella is a first for the festival since its founding in 1999.
The new contract also includes an extra day of Stagecoach — planned now for April 27-29. Dates for 2013 have yet to be set.
The 2011 edition of Coachella sold out for a three-day weekend with paid attendance at 75,000 people. Two-day Stagecoach nearly sold out with 54,791 people.
Money generated from the extra funds Goldenvoice would pay to the city would go to its general fund and be put into reserves, said Mayor pro tem Glenn Miller, who worked on drafting the contract.
LaVerne Sprinkle, a resident of neighboring La Quinta Ridge Mobile Estates, said she especially appreciates the potential sound-check time changes.
“I'm a late sleeper. I can remember it coming on at 6:30 and 7 a.m.,” she said of the sound checks. “That's an improvement. I can handle 10a.m.”
The new contract has been about two months in the making, Curtis said.
Following the concerts this year, various meetings were held between residents, Goldenvoice, and the cities of Indio and La Quinta to discuss concerns about future festivals.
“One of the goals that we had that we had never done before is go out and reach out,” said Ben Guitron, spokesman with the Indio Police Department.
“The meetings have been very informative. The promoter has been very open- minded, very cooperative in trying to address a majority of all their issues,” he said of resident complaints.
The promoter typically provides the city with plans for security, emergency medical service, camping, waste and shuttles prior to the concerts.
A “neighborhood resident plan” is also being required that would map out how the promoters plan to make the concerts less burdensome for the people living nearby.
Miller said it could include a specific traffic plan or added security.
Safety is a big concern for Marcia Stingley, a resident of La Quinta Ridge Mobile Home Estates.
Her neighborhood has had to deal with constant trespassing and concertgoers using the pool.
She's met with city officials and the concert promoter to share her concerns and feels good about the upcoming concerts and promises she was given.
“I think they have pretty well taken our concerns to heart and they plan to bring on real policemen and real security and pay for it and put up fences all around us,” she said.