Hey, I want Coachella to be successful as much as anyone not employed by Goldenvoice or the Indio Chamber of Commerce. I missed this year’s incarnation, but I’m hoping to head back to the desert for some music and fair food eventually. Still, when festival producer Paul Tollett hands out a press release saying the festival had its second-biggest year (out of 10 incarnations), could cheerleadery press types–I’m looking at you, Los Angeles and New York Timeses–just take a second before running with a story that heralds Coachella’s triumph over the economy?
Let’s do the math: Of the ten Coachellas to have taken place, six were two-day affairs, while 2001 was only one day; only the last three years have stretched from Friday through Sunday. So, the big accomplishment wrought by this year’s Coachella? It attracted 10,000 more sweaty bods than last year, which itself saw a 30,000-attendee decline from the 2007 incarnation. (I’m going to assume that Paul McCartney’s headlining stint on Friday helped this year’s rebound a lot.) Comparing the attendance figures of two- and three-day events brings up images of apples and oranges, no?
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