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Coachella: Paul McCartney, the Cure ignore curfews. The cost?

Paul McCartney's opening night set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival won rave reviews. It also came with additional cost.

The Beatle performed for nearly three hours, delighting fans with a career-spanning set, and one that went well past the midnight curfew for music on the main stage imposed by the city of Indio. Once the clock strikes 12:01 a.m., the charge is $1,000 per minute, said Indio police spokesman Ben Guitron. He estimated that McCartney went "50-plus" minutes after the music curfew.

Was there ever a thought of cutting the Beatle off?

"Believe me, some people wanted us to," Guitron said. "We weren't going to, but we are talking to the people responsible. ... If we end up having artists go a little over, there are consequences."

Guitron said it's up to Coachella promoter Goldenvoice to pull the plug, not the police, but the department does alert fest organizers as midnight approaches. "How they stop [the artists] is up to them," Guitron said.

Sunday night headliners the Cure didn't get the same extended treatment as McCartney. Sound on the band's set was eventually cut off, even as the act continued to play. Ultimately, the Cure went 33 minutes past curfew, Guitron said.

As for why the Cure was stopped and McCartney wasn't, that probably has something to do with the fact that Robert Smith wasn't in the Beatles. Pop & Hiss reached out to a Goldenvoice representative late Sunday/early Monday and will update if need be.

Blowing past curfew is a Coachella tradition. Prince last year played till close to 1 a.m., and Coachella veterans may remember Brit-rock humorists Art Brut in 2006, who told attendees that they were being charged $2,000 per song past midnight.

-- Todd Martens

Comments () | Archives (11)

Cities with all their powers are totally ruining America. How about a "Tea Party" to dump all powerful persons like "Guitron".

Ridiculous. Coachella's asleep the other 360 days a year. Plenty of time for them to get caught up on their snoozing.

Friday: I live a half mile away and sleep with ear plugs and it woke me up at 2:30 am.
$50, 000 to Paul McCartney is what his probably less than his private jet devours to get him into LA from NY or London.
Why do they need 130 bands for a three day show? They didn't have that many at frickin' Woodstock!
I love rock, too, but cut out some of the crap and keep it under midnight curfew.

Of course, the city makes a lot of money to have these rules broken. Their town, their rules, their money. Great plan!

Having attended Indios Coachella Polo Fields, some years back, they actually showed us a great night, several porta-pottys available, ample parking, easy out traffic, I cant complain.
New Order, NIN, thats all I remember, was a few years ago, several concerts ago, BUT, I dont forget bad venues.

The Cure is the most generous band I know. Robert is always willing to pay the fines and really wanted to play longer. The entire band looked positively happy and grinning. Screw Coachella for denying fans this opportunity, especially since the band had to cut short a performance earlier in the week, and wanted to give those who might have travelled to both shows a real treat.

This is very disappointing

That's unfortunately what happens when you have a festival in a desert full of cranky, bitter, and old people. The only reason why they live in the desert is to get away from people and play golf and shut themselves in in their ridiculous gated communities.

Sorry to say this, but I'm totally glad Paul McCartney broke the curfew and played TWO encores for us at Coachella. His set was so amazing!!! Getting fined sucks, but it was SOOO worth it!

You go, Paul!!!!!!!!

Instead of cheating fans out of the headlining acts that they paid large sums of money to see play a full show, how about finding a town that appreciates all the extra revenue the festival is bringing to the community and hold it there.

Bart: It's my understanding that Paul doesn't own a private jet and still flies commercially. He's actually a pretty humble guy for someone who's worth 800 million. He raised his children on a remote farm in Scotland and sent them to public schools because he wanted them to be able to talk to people from all walks of life.

To Kat: I agree. Double Encore from a legend of rock-n-roll was worth any fine.

To Bart: Mr. Indio resident I need to physically laugh at you in every way shape and form. Like you said, it was a three-day event that your town prospers from in lieu of hotel guests and patrons let alone fines levied against Coachella itself and its attendees. So you have really only two choices. Embrace it and the fact that you should feel honored to listen to great music in your little hidey hole of a desert town or zip your hypocritical lid and go on a vacation for the weekend. It's not like Coachella just sneaks up on you. Besides you said 2:30, Paul was done by 1 am. You heard the house music. And I also have to laugh that it kept you up as I was camping 100-FEET away from the main gate and I slept like a baby.

Why do people always think they can have their cake and eat it to?


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