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Coachella's 2010 ticket policy inspires online petition

March 4, 2010 |  2:13 pm

The decision on the part of Coachella organizers to no longer sell single day tickets for the three-day 2010 event has provoked the ire of many a fan. "Make it fair for all us people who obviously want to attend but cannot afford $269," reads a note on the Facebook group created by 22-year-old San Diego resident Brian Lozano. 

In a shift from prior years, AEG/Goldenvoice opted to forgo the single-day ticket option for the 2010 edition of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Only a three-day pass retailing for $269, which ultimately comes to $303.60 once various service fees have been added, is being offered for this year's festival. 

In an earlier interview with Pop & Hiss, Goldenvoice leader and festival architect Paul Tollett said his primary goal was bettering the experience for those who opt to buy three-day passes, pointing to a lack of hotel rooms in the Indio area as well as increased festival traffic for those coming down for just one day. 

"We’re really trying to make it great for the fan," Tollett said. "We understand it will affect some people who want to go for one day, but we have to protect the three-day people. It was a complex decision. We put some thought into it, and we’re trying our best to make it a good experience."

Lozano started his "Coachella 2010 Single-Day Pass/Wristband Petition Group" after reading the Jan. 27 Pop & Hiss item, as he had intended originally to go to the event only on Sunday, when alt-rockers Pavement will reunite and Damon Albarn's adventurous Gorillaz project will headline. Within the first two days of launching the group, the San Diego Mesa College student said he had about 500 members. As of this posting, the number has increased to more than 5,000.

"My heart was broken," Lozano said of when he read that single-day tickets would not be available. "I saw that, and I thought, ‘Well, I guess we’re not going to go.’ I’m not really able to make it Friday or Saturday, and I was only looking forward to going on Sunday. So what can I do?"

Lozano's Facebook page continues to provoke discussion on the topic, as do the Coachella forums. An earlier Pop & Hiss post has generated close to 50 comments on the matter. For his part, Lozano has been surprised at how many people disagree with him, posting on his Facebook group that it's a good thing the 2010 edition of Coachella is now for die-hards-only.

"Who are all these people that are just hating on people who love music? Everybody would love to attend all three days. It’s one big party. But the negative messages? We don’t delete them. People can’t spend $269, especially in times like these."

The comments section on Lozano's Facebook group is filled with pleas from fans who say they either can't afford the three-day pass, or the time off work. Lozano himself hopes that as the festival draws closer, Goldenvoice will offer single-day tickets. Yet that appears unlikely. An email to "info@coachella.com" generates an immediate auto-response, with the note that only three-day tickets will be available for 2010. Tollett has said it is likely that those who buy tickets at the gate will find them pro-rated, but a Coachella spokeswoman had no further details at this time.

Lozano admits he may ultimately spring for the three-day pass. "Yes, I am considering it," he said. "At first, I just didn’t want to go, just to spite them. Out of anger, I didn’t want to give them my money."

Tollett earlier noted here that the vast majority of Coachella attendees opt for the three-day pass. Since Coachella expanded to three days in 2007, more than 80% of concert-goers have bought multi-day passes, Tollett said. While cutting out the single-day, $99 ticket may result in alienating a number of fest-goers -- a financially sizable 20% -- Coachella, Tollett said, should be known as a three-day event. 

"The thing is," Tollett said, "there’s a lack of hotels in the Coachella Valley, and most have a three-day minimum. Many times what happens is people get a hotel for the three days, and only go to Coachella for one or two of the days. They hit Friday and Saturday, and go home or rest at the hotel on Sunday. That’s no problem, but the problem with that is that there are people who want that hotel and are going for three days."

-- Todd Martens

Photo: The Coachella 2009 crowd. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times


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