Festival producer Goldenvoice announced an attendance figure for its Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals this month that is larger than the population of Coachella Valley.
Stagecoach: California’s Country Music Festival began its three-day run at the Empire Polo Club with caution Friday as its organizers tried to put the reins on some of its historic partying.
The Goldenvoice producers reduced the number of camping spaces at the event by 20 percent to 30 percent and tried to make sure all of the rowdy friends would settle down.
It not only limited RV camping to owners of their own RVs and no more than five guests per space, but it required the RV owners to write an essay explaining why they wanted to come to Stagecoach. As a result of their critical grading system, attendance was down considerably.
While close to the maximum 55,000 people per day attended last year’s festival, Friday’s attendance was probably less than 45,000 people.
Coachella and Stagecoach saw a combined 214,159 festivalgoers and grossed $60,356,918 in ticket sales alone this year, according to Billboard Boxscore.
Coachella 2012 brought 158,387 people to Indio over two weekends this April and racked up $47,313,403 in gross ticket sales, according to the music mag.
Compare that to about $23 million for last year’s single-weekend festival and $21.7 million for Coachella 2010, which are the numbers Goldenvoice gave Billboard last year.
Billboard says Goldenvoice sold 80,726 tickets to Coachella 2012′s first weekend and 77,661 tickets to the slightly less star-studded second weekend a week later. The promoter has said about 75,000 people attended last year’s fest.
Stagecoach, which expanded to a third day this year by staffing a single stage on Friday, saw slight increases in attendance and ticket sales.
The country music festival grossed $13,043,515 and brought in 55,772 fans, compared with just less than $10 million last year and $7.3 million in 2010, according to Billboard. Last year’s Stagecoach brought in 55,000 fans each day.
The totals were released just as the city of Indio is considering ways to get a bigger financial piece of the action from the annual music festivals.
That talk has Goldenvoice rethinking its plans to buy land in the city, Indio leaders told The Desert Sun this week.
Wednesday night, the City Council also rejected a plan to increase Indio’s bed tax at festival campgrounds and smaller hotels.