My best friend in San Diego (who happens to be a former Observer employee) sent me a post from www.coachella.com this morning that states the Coachella Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California is expanding its schedule from one three-day weekend in April to two next year.
Identical line-ups will perform April 13-15 and April 20-22, 2012 to accommodate more concert goers.
"COACHELLA 2012 will be two separate events, held over two consecutive weekends. We will attempt to produce two identical festival weekends. That means same lineup, same art, same place, different people.
We know many of you were unable to attend this year's festival because passes sold out much sooner than anticipated...We also know some of you purchased through non legitimate sources and were inconvenienced, gouged or totally scammed."
I can completely understand the reasons behind expanding the successful festival and the change could possibly make traffic and the logistics of finding accommodations, camping, or even just a spot to stand while watching a band in a tent much easier. But it also removes a bit of the magic of attending a "one time event" assuming the organizers can get acts to commit to two weekends in a row.
My husband and I attended Coachella in 2004, 2005, and 2007. It holds a special place for us because we were married en route to the festival in 2005 and named our second son after the town where the event is held. I can't imagine duplicating the first time the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne sailed across the crowd in his giant plastic bubble (though he now does it every night) or the sight of Peter Murphy dangling by his feet as Bauhaus opened with "Bela Lugosi's Dead," or the Arcade Fire's phenomenal second stage performance in 2005 (pictured above) before graduating to headliner status. At Coachella I often feel like I'm witnessing rock n' roll history (while I enjoy Bonnaroo too, I don't feel the same way. Maybe because Coachella is one of the first festivals of the year). We haven't attended since crowds swelled, but I worry that with two festivals some of that may be lost. That's not to say we wouldn't try to attend if we had the money for another cross country trip.
Advance passes for 2012 (the only way to use the discounted monthly payment plan) will be on sale Friday, June 3rd, 2011, at 10am PST until the following Friday June 10th, 2011, at 10pm PST. According to http://www.coachella.com/ the price of three-day passes remains at $269 plus fees for the sixth consecutive year.