Coachella: The Canary In The Increasingly Crowded Festival Coal Mine?

A statistic that I probably could have ballparked solely from my personal observations of this year’s Coachella Music & Arts Festival: Year-to-year ticket sales were down by 30,000, with 150,000 people attending the three-day sweatfest, according to promotion company Goldenvoice. The last-minute addition of Prince to Saturday’s bill reportedly helped swell that day’s attendance to 60,000, and Goldenvoice founder Paul Tollett claimed that Roger Waters’ litter-filled set was one of the festival’s “best ever,” so I’m guessing that the tumbleweeds rolling through the Empire Polo Field on Friday (headlined by Jack Johnson) were not, in fact, desert mirages. All this number-crunching brings up the whole question of sustainability in the festival market once again, since “oh, why don’t we just book Prince one more time” is not a viable long-term plan if only for reasons of crippling cost. (Just ask the people who book the Super Bowl!) [The Desert Sun]