Annual Coachella Music Festival Begins

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival begins its two-weekend run Friday, with tens of thousands expected to stream into Indio for the annual desert spectacle.

LCD Soundsystem, Guns N' Roses and Calvin Harris top a lineup of hundreds of musicians set to perform over the weekend at the Empire Polo Grounds.

LCD Soundsystem and Guns N' Roses will headline Friday and Saturday nights, respectively, on the heels of recent reunion announcements. The festival marks LCD Soundsystem's first concert since 2011 and is also part of Guns N' Roses' "Not in This Lifetime" tour, which has brought three of the band's original members together for the first time since the '90s.

In addition to music, the festival will feature the works of an array of international artists, expected to match the lavish and gigantic installations of years past.

Artists will include Cuban-born Alexandre Arrechea, who will present a giant sculpture representing global warming and the threat of rising sea levels, Argentina-based R&R studio with a "selfie sculpture," and recurring
acts like Do Lab and Phillip K. Smith III, who has dazzled past Coachella
crowds with his monolithic, mirrored, LED-laden structures.

Local restaurants, bars, and a who's who of renowned chefs will supply the food.

Roads are expected to be as packed as the polo grounds, and festival-goers and residents alike have been warned of traffic expected to clog local roads and freeways. Caltrans recently warned motorists to avoid Interstate 10 if at all possible, particularly at the close of the weekend's festivities Sunday night, and seek detours on other local highways such as state Route 62 and 74.

The Indio Police Department will be offering traffic information through the weekend via Callers who text COACHELLA to 888777 can receive
traffic updates on their cell phones, as well as information regarding weather
and safety.

Day parking will be available surrounding the venue off of Avenue 49, Avenue 52 and Madison Street. Car camping will also be allowed in designated areas off of Avenue 50, Avenue 51, and Madison Street. A taxi and Uber drop-off
zone will be located at the corner of Avenue 49 and Monroe Street. A parent
drop-off and pick-up zone will be at the corner of Avenue 52 and Madison

Along with the usual heat, wind is expected to impact the festival, so attendees might want to invest in a bandanna and sunglasses. The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning for several areas. including the Coachella Valley. The warning, which says gusts up to 70 mph are possible, is set to last through Saturday morning. Dust and sand are expected to affect visibility, a warning typically leveled at motorists, but one which could affect festival-goers through the first couple days of the event.

Tickets priced at $399 sold out months ago, though a number of additional tickets have been made available for local residents only. Passes are available at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden Box Office on April 20 and April 27 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Coachella only figures to get bigger in upcoming years thanks a recent Indio City Council vote, unanimously approving the expansion of the festival's
attendance cap from 99,000 to 125,000.

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