The second weekend of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival will kick off tomorrow, the desert’s annual music celebration expected to pack both the Empire Polo Grounds and local roadways.
Gates open at 11 a.m. Friday through Sunday at the Empire Polo Grounds, 81800 Avenue 51.
Tech Issues Mar Radiohead Weekend 1
Friday headliner Radiohead will look to best a Weekend 1 performance that had the band playing through technical issues, with audio cutting out and forcing the band to leave the stage on two occasions.
Nonetheless, Radiohead, who previously headlined the festival in 2004 and 2012, gave the sell-out crowd
a run-through of their discography, including songs from their latest album, “A Moon Shaped Pool.”
Friday night’s 10:35 p.m. set will mark the last date of the band’s U.S. tour.
Expect Major Traffic on Roadways to Indio
Traffic began building up Thursday as festival goers made their way into
the desert to set up their camping spots. Indio Sgt. Daniel Marshall said
traffic in the area was heavy, but flowing smoothly.
However, the bulk of the congestion is expected Friday on Interstate 10
between Beaumont and Indio, according to Caltrans, who urged drivers to also
look out for heavy traffic Sunday afternoon through Monday night.
Drivers were also advised to map out alternate routes just in case,
including state Route 62 and state Route 74.
In addition, the northbound 15 Freeway at Duncan Canyon in Fontana will
be closed from 11 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday, possibly forcing drivers to
take alternate routes nearby and exacerbating traffic in the area.
Locally, Indio police will be handling numerous traffic closures
surrounding the venue.
Road closures will be at:
— Avenue 49, between Hjorth and Monroe streets;
— Avenue 50, between Madison and Jackson streets;
— Hjorth Street, between Avenue 49 and Avenue 50; and
— Madison Street, between Avenue 49 and Avenue 52.
In addition, no pedestrians or pedestrian festival access will be
allowed on Monroe Street between Avenue 49 and Avenue 52 or Madison Street
between Avenue 50 and Avenue 52.
Pedestrians can enter the polo grounds at the corner of Avenue 49 and
Monroe Street and the corner of Avenue 52 and Madison Street.
An estimated 110,000 people attended the festival each day through the
first weekend, according to police, though up to 125,000 are allowed through
the gates, thanks to the Indio City Council’s unanimous decision to expand the
festival’s attendance cap from 99,000 to 125,000.
Best-Attended Coachella Festival in History
Either way, this year’s event is expected to be the best-attended Coachella festival in history when all is said and done.
The big crowds this weekend will have to contend with a heat wave set to hit the region.
Friday will be sunny with a high of 92 degrees, but Saturday and Sunday are both expected to be closer to 97 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Concert-goers are advised to stay hydrated during the heat wave and to
watch their phones.
Arrest Made for Stolen Cellphones
New York resident Reinaldo De Jesus Henao was arrested last Friday after
being tailed by several festival goers who noticed their phones were missing
and utilized the “Find My Phone” app, which provides users with the GPS
location of their device, to locate Henao.
Henao was allegedly found with a backpack containing more than 100
cellphones, which have since been returned to their rightful owners or turned
over to the lost and found area of the concert site.
A second man from New York, also was arrested during the first festival
weekend, allegedly with about 10 stolen cellphones.