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Goldenvoice positions itself for new events at Coachella site

Goldenvoice has signed a long-term agreement with the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, which will enable the promoter to stage additional festivals on the site.

The 642-plus acre desert oasis has been home to Goldenvoice’s Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival since its inception in 1999, as well as its country music counterpart, Stagecoach, which first took place on the grounds in 2007.

The newly announced deal will see the AEG Presents subsidiary take over year-round operations at the festival site and polo fields, which are estimated to be worth US$80 million, according to local land records.

Additionally, the LA-based promoter and live events company is permitted to host two additional three-day events on the site every year, according to Billboard, prompting speculation that Desert Trip may return to the site after its debut in 2016.

“The new long-term lease will assure that the iconic Coachella and Stagecoach will continue for many years to come”

The deal also provides Goldenvoice oversight of the Empire Grand Oasis, a special event property in Thermal, California.

The Haagen Family, owner of the Empire Polo Club, says: “We are pleased to continue our long-term relationship with Paul Tollett and Goldenvoice. The new long-term lease will assure that the iconic Coachella and Stagecoach Music Festivals will continue for many years to come and allow Goldenvoice to expand their vast catalogue of musical acts on both of Empire’s properties. We wish the very best to AEG, Goldenvoice, and Paul Tollett with their future plans.”

Paul Tollett, president at Goldenvoice, says: “Goldenvoice has had a unique relationship with Empire Polo Club for over twenty-five years. It is a privilege to now take over the operations of the venue and we look forward to continuing to build upon the special history that has been established there. It’s immeasurable how much we’ve learned from Al Haagen.”

In August, Indio City Council extended its development agreement with Goldenvoice, allowing Coachella and Stagecoach to take place in the city until 2050. The promoter generates $3.5m for the city of Indio each year, according to city records.

Goldenvoice is one of the world’s biggest promoters; the company produces several festivals, including recently announced California Vibrations, operates 14 mid-sized venues and promotes over 1,800 shows per year.


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Coachella announces 2019 line-up

Goldenvoice has announced the line-up for April’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2019.

Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande will headline both weekends of the 125,000-capacity mega-festival, which returns to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, on 12–14 April and 19–21 April.

Other notable performers include Janelle Monáe (pictured), the 1975, Khalid, Diplo, Weezer, Aphex Twin, Zed, Billie Eilish, Bassnectar and Christine and the Queens.

According to US gossip site TMZ (so take with a hefty pinch of salt), Kanye West pulled out at the last minute after a dispute over the size of the festival’s stages.

“It’s not the boomers’ Coachella anymore”

The 2019 line-up sees Coachella – widely regarded as marking the beginning of the international festival season – continuing the youth-focused booking philosophy demonstrated by last year’s Beyoncé-headlined event, with music industry pundit Bob Lefsetz writing in his popular Lefsetz Letter column that the bill is “an extremely accurate picture of what’s happening in music today, when it’s less about gravitas than social media presence, when the album is secondary to the single – when it’s not about history but today.”

“It’s not the boomers’ Coachella anymore, nor the Gen-Xers,” he adds.

Coachella 2019 tickets are on sale tomorrow (Friday 4 January) from, with single-weekend general admission passes starting at US$429.

See the full line-up below:

Coachella 2019 line-up


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Coachella 2018: Valley braces for boom as festival season begins

Local businesses in California’s Coachella Valley are stocking up in preparation for this weekend’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the star-studded 125,000-cap. phenomenon that traditionally marks the start of the international festival season.

Promoted by AEG’s Goldenvoice, the event returns to the Empire Polo Club in Indio for its 19th outing on 13–15 April and 20–22 April, with the Weeknd, Beyoncé and Eminem headlining. Around 250,000 tickets were sold for Coachella 2017, making it the highest-grossing festival in the world, and Goldenvoice chief Paul Tollett expects similar numbers this year – as do the small businesses set to take advantage of the event’s huge economic impact.

According to the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, last year’s festival season brought in $400 million to the Coachella Valley, and $700 million to the surrounding region.

Richard Thomas, GM of Indio’s LG Desert Store, tells local radio station KMIR extra foot traffic not only comes from festivalgoers but also the thousands of employees the event hires. “Police come by, security guards come by, the truckers come by,” he comments. “We will even have an artist drop by every once in a while.”

Chamber of Commerce president Joshua Bonner says Coachella makes up for the slower summer months of business: “Sitting at the end of the [winter] season helped to really expand the shoulder all the way to April, and that’s a massive impact on our economy in every level.”

Commenting on the reaction to Coachella 2018’s hip hop-heavy line-up – in addition to the headliners, Post Malone, Vince Staples, Tyler the Creator, Migos and Cardi B feature prominently –Tollett tells the Desert Sun: “I don’t like when there’s an instant review of a line-up. I wish there was a 60-minute cool-down period of people to be able to click through everything. ”

“It has a massive impact on our economy in every level”

He concedes that “the last couple years we’ve been going a little heavier on hip-hop”, but says it’s “just that this is what it turned out to be. We’ve had all rock headliners before. We’ve had different things. It’s not forever.”

Representing the older demographic, meanwhile, are electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarrre, former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, UK jazz-funk outfit Jamiroquai and Chic’s Nile Rodgers.

By far the biggest name on the bill, however, is Beyoncé, who pulled out last year on the advice of doctors. Tollett says he’s breaking his own rule on not booking artists already playing in LA in order to get the new mother back to Indio for 2018.

“The Beyoncé story dominates everything,” he says. “She saw her husband play here [in 2010] and came back as a fan. So did Jay-Z. They’ve been friends of the festival. We actually had a blast with them.

“So, she gets pregnant. Twins. Cancellation. Because of the timing of her postponing to this year, they had a whole tour set up, her and Jay-Z. Generally, I won’t let an artist announce a local [Los Angeles] show if they’re playing Coachella. I want them to concentrate on this show. That was the intent here, too, until I started thinking: There have just been so many extenuating circumstances on this one. I can’t even add them all up.

“I’m not looking to put lines in sand right now on Beyoncé. She’s been great to us.”

Coachella 2018 takes place on 13–15 April and 20–22 April.


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