Yesterday, fans were shocked to learn that Coachella, one of the country’s biggest annual music festivals, was considering a change of venue, but everyone can rest easy because it looks like the move will be called off.
Goldenvoice, the company that produces Coachella, threatened to leave the desert town after councilman Sam Torres proposed a controversial ticket tax that would add $18 to the price of admission.
Fast forward 24 hours later, Torres has decided to drop the initiative in light of the widespread criticism. In a statement to The Desert Sun, Torres explains, “The effort was based on the desire to help bridge the gap in revenues that Indio, like cities across the state have experienced due to the economic recession.”
“The supporters of the proposed initiative take seriously the threat to move the festivals out of the Valley, thereby further injuring working families that are already struggling for survival,” Torres continues. “We can not in good conscience allow this to happen no matter how dire the cities own circumstances.”
“Personally as the main proponent of this effort, I accept all criticism and responsibilities for any strain or anxiety that has been incurred by the residents and businesses of Indio and indeed the entire valley. While having support for the effort by many residents and the real possibility of qualifying for the ballot nothing would be gained should the festivals leave. This would be tragic for Indio. My sincere hope is that we can now move pass this episode and I personally look forward to working to enhance relationships, build greater festivals and a more vibrant economy.”
Goldenvoice has yet to respond to this latest development, however, the company’s president Paul Tollett previously said they would leave Indio if the tax initiative appeared on the November ballot. Now that those plans have been scrapped, it seems likely that Coachella will be staying put for the time being.
-Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio, Los Angeles