If you're planning to attend the Coachella Valley Music & Arts festival in California this April, come prepared to party all three days to get your money's worth.
Fest organizer Goldenvoice has decided to nix single-day festival tickets, and will only offer three-day passes, which ring up at $296 (plus fees). According to the L.A. Times, festival architect Paul Tollett wanted the weekend to optimized for three-day attendees, whose good time was being compromised by single-day buyers.
"The single- and two-day people are clogging up the hotels and making it so people who want to go for three days canâ€™t find a hotel," he said, though many Coachella fest-goers opt for camping, which is $55 for a 300 sq. ft. spot for all three days. He also said the move should improve the traffic around the festival.
Who does this hurt? On average 20% of those who attend the Coachella festival are single-day ticket holders. The reasons why people buy single-day could be for a variety of reasons, including decisions based on a day-to-day lineup. But it could also be influenced by the fact that not all music lovers can afford a $300+ weekend out. Or can't get the vacation time for the Friday date. Or need rest between days from the desert heat.
"Weâ€™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 weâ€™re trying our best to make it a good experience."
Coachella could very well sell out again this year -- that seems to be the trend -- and this sounds like a very insular event experience. Some peoples' hurt feelings likely won't hurt the fest's reputation, but still we wonder if this was based on cost-saving or cost-bloating measures. Especially as some festivals bite the dust, or some expand and hit the road, music festival organizers every year deal with a different glut of competition, and it wouldn't be a good idea to bite the hand of the fans that feed it.