Keeping the facts straight on the Coachella controversy

When Bruce Fessier and I wrote last week about Coachella and Stagecoach promoter Goldenvoice’s threat to move the popular festivals out of Indio, we figured it would get picked up by other outlets and make some waves across the Internet.

It took a few days, but eventually LA Weekly, then Rolling Stone, CNN and The Guardian and others were echoing the report and linking to The Desert Sun. So it was interesting to watch how outlets around the world treated this story of significant local and global impact. (Some were better than others at citing the local paper.)

But the whole game of online telephone also distorted some of our reporting, getting some facts wrong, so we’d like to correct the record here.

The worst inaccuracy floating out there appears to come from LA-based TheWrap, which says the festivals’ move out of Indio is a done deal and links to The Desert Sun as its source.

However, Goldenvoice President Paul Tollett said 2013 would be the last year for Coachella and Stagecoach in Indio only if the ticket tax measure makes the ballot.  That hasn’t happened yet.

Here’s how we quoted Tollett:  “If the tax initiative of putting $4million to $6 million onto Coachella gets on the ballot we’re going to take off 2014; 2015 we’ll be at a new facility outside of Indio.”

Unfortunately, Reuters is circulating the TheWrap’s story, so it’s getting picked up at news outlets all over the place, and it also made its way on to the popular Huffington Post.

Some housecleaning – The LA Weekly cites The Desert Sun as stating Goldenvoice has been looking “into purchasing property in surrounding areas, including the El Dorado Polo Club in neighboring La Quinta and 600 acres of land in Riverside County.”

Just to clarify: The proposed deal for Eldorado property (technically in Indio, on the La Quinta/Indio border) would actually help keep the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals at the neighboring Empire Polo Club.

But Skip Paige’s texts indicate the 600 acres at 62 and Van Buren are another matter.  That location could be used as an entirely different concert site, outside of Indio.

We’re glad to see our local reporting make its way around the Internets – we just want to keep the facts straight about a very important issue that affects thousands of people and injects tens of millions of dollars – at least – into the Coachella Valley economy.