Math Is Hard Dept.: Why The Coachella Numbers Are Good, But Not Great

Apr 22nd, 2009 // 9 Comments

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? 

+coachella +second [Google News]

  1. You can number-crunch all day. But as someone who has gone to most of the Coachella festivals over the years, I can tell you that 2009 was one of the most populated ever. I expected a gigantic crowd Friday night for Macca, but it was thick the entire weekend. People would start streaming in early, and by dusk the place was jam-packed all three days. Don’t get it twisted–GV made MAJOR bank this year.

    If there is a recession, I certainly didn’t see it at Coachella…

  2. You can number-crunch all day. But I prefer anecdotal evidence based on my own subjective visual interpretation! Sorry dude, but are you sure you’re not Joe Morgan?

  3. MhS

    Mmm, crunchy numbers

  4. @SomeSound-MostlyFuryWell, I could just make snarky comments from my computer when I wasn’t even there. Oh wait, that’s you.

    PS: Joe Morgan is in the Hall of Fame, as is John Madden. There is a lot to be said for “subjective visual interpretation.” Like, “BOOM!”


  5. MhS

    One might make the point that Joe Morgan is in the Hall of Fame as a player, not as an announcer

  6. @MhS yeah, dude is not exactly a ford frick shoe-in.

  7. @MhS Yet he still gets paid mad loot to commentate on the games that we only listen to. Homey is doing something right as an announcer…

    In the end, my wildly inaccurate ‘visual interpretation’ was backed up by those crunched numbers. 55,000+ bodies per day at around $100 per bod equals Paul Tollett laughing at our poor asses while he rolls around on a bed of money.


  8. MhS

    @LukeCage But he gets paid mad loot by Fox which has absolutely no idea how to broadcast a baseball game, hence Joe Morgan as an announcer.

  9. MhS

    Yeah so Joe Morgan is actually on ESPN. Fox stills sucks at broadcasting baseball.

Leave A Comment