Arrests dropping during all three festival weekends for Coachella and Stagecoach.
Police made a total of 171 arrests over two Coachella weekends, down from 235 last year. They made 124 arrests during Stagecoach, down from 174 last year. During all three weekends, the majority on alcohol- and drug-related charges — and, most popularly, underage drinking.
More than 80,000 people paid for entrance into the sold-out Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival each weekend. An estimated 45,000 people paid to get into Stagecoach Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio.
Law enforcement from across Southern California are tapped to be on the grounds — including the four police departments in the valley (Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Indio and Palm Springs) and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Here’s the recap of arrest numbers, from Indio police:
Actor Ashton Kutcher attends 2013 Stagecoach: California's Country Music Festival held at The Empire Polo Club on April 27, 2013, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach)
Ashton Kutcher got into a violent melee with security at the Stagecoach country music festival, according to TMZ.
Kutcher was in the VIP area Saturday afternoon to check out Nick 13 and Dwight Yoakam when a woman approached him to say, “Hi” and shake his hand, according to sources cited by TMZ.
“We’re told that when Kutcher went to greet the woman, security intervened and shoved the two of them … and chaos ensued,” according to TMZ.
Following the death of a Coachella fest worker just outside of the grounds on Saturday, security workers were more vigilant of traffic on the last day of the festival.
The hired security worker was riding his motorcycle early Saturday morning and was struck by a Toyota Corolla at Avenue 52 and Madison Street. It is unknown if the motorcyclist was on his way into work at the time.
My first and only other Coachella was 2010, which might as well have been called Crowdchella.
This is what it was like getting out of Crowdchella (2010) after headliner Gorillaz on Sunday night, and the rest of the weekend felt just about as packed. (Brian Indrelunas, The Desert Sun)
Though my friends and co-workers who had been to the fest before complained, I didn’t know any better and secretly wondered if the long lines, general inability to move around freely (Heading from the Sahara tent to the Outdoor Theatre? That must’ve taken 20 to 30 minutes.) and hours waiting in the parking lot at night were merely a little bit worse than usual. Continue Reading
A second Coachella checkpoint appeared on the grounds on April 19, 2013 (photo by Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun).
As Boston was locked down amid a massive manhunt for a suspected terrorist, tens of thousands of people flooded into the valley for the second Coachella weekend.
At least one additional security checkpoint was opened Friday at the Empire Polo Club in Indio.
“1st #Coachella Music Fest security checkpoint is strictly for bombs, security personnel tell me,” photographer Crystal Chatham tweeted.
Police were “being more vigilant” as a precaution, Indio police spokesman Ben Guitron said.
Palm Springs police officers came in on horses at Tachevah on April 17, 2013 (Liz Kelly Nelson/The Desert Sun)
Palm Springs police have officers weaving through the crowd — both on foot and on a pair of horses — at Tachevah.
Even as DJ Alf Alpha turned up the bass on stage, though, the police called it a “quiet” night so far.
Police arrested one man who appeared to be under the influence of drugs, Sgt. Mike Kovaleff told us about 8:30 p.m.
Officers were prepared for as many as 10,000 people to flood into downtown Palm Springs for the block party.
The security lines to get into Coachella on the first day were so backed up that crowds rushed the gates, according to several Twitter users.
Ben Bergman, a reporter with public radio station KPCC, tweeted about 3:15 p.m. Friday: “Several hundred people tired of waiting rushed the gates at Coachella this afternoon. There was nothing guards could do to stop them.”
Orange County resident Brandon Weiner, 27, (right) laughs while playing beer pong in the campgrounds with friend Billy McDonald, 29, (left) on Friday, April 27, 2012 during the first day of the Stagecoach country music festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. / Crystal Chatham/The Desert Sun
The hardcore partying at campgrounds used by attendees of Stagecoach: California’s Country Music Festival will have to come down several notches, the festival’s promoter said Wednesday.
Changes to next year’s country music festival on April 26-28, which follows two back-to-back Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festivals, eliminates car camping, reduces the number of RVs and limits entrance into the RV area to only those with camping wristbands.
Read more …
No surprise here: Alcohol-related arrests spike at Stagecoach Festival after night falls.
Here are the totals so far, though:
Saturday, as of 6 p.m.: 16
“That’s normally what it’s been the last coule of years for Stagecoach, and it picks up later in the night,” Indio police spokesman Ben Guitron said.
Almost all arrests have been for alcohol-related incidents. A few were for drug-related offenses.
A 17-year-old girl was sexually assaulted while using the restrooms at Stagecoach Festival on Friday night, police said today.
The woman was using the portable bathrooms near the main entrance about 8:30 p.m. when a man broke through the locked door.
“The male and two others began sexually assaulting her,” police spokesman Ben Guitron said.
After the assault, the men ran away and the teen went to the first aid stand, where police were called. She was taken to a local hospital for medical treatment.
Guitron said police do not have a description of the men other than that one of the men was blond.
The teen is a non-Coachella Valley resident who was attending the festival with friends, Guitron said.
Last year, a Stagecoach parking lot attendant raped a 23-year-old festival attendee after helping her find her car.
Darin Ledale Garrett of Los Angeles was convicted in December of the April 30, 2011, rape. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Indio police asked anyone with information in Friday’s assault to call detectives at (760) 391-4057 or anonymously call Crime Stoppers at (760) 341-7867.