Coachella has announced today via press release that tickets for Coachella 2015 will be on sale this Friday, May 16 at 10 A.M. via www.Coachella.com for the price of $375 for General Admission. Hey, wait a minute! That's $46 more than 2014! The price of festival passes keeps going up and up. Even camping fees are up to $85 from $55 a few years ago.
In both 2010 & 2011, a GA festival pass was $ 269. Just 10 years ago, Coachella passes could be purchased for individual days at $70 per day. The concert was only 2 days, so it was an affordable $140 for two days. The price of a VIP ticket also keeps climbing, reaching $799 for 2015. If you want VIP parking, it will cost you another $150.
It's true that staging such a grand concert for 3 days over 2 weekends does take a lot of money. Bands have to paid, equipment must be hauled, and stages set up for not just Coachella, but Stagecoach. Really, setting up the stages for 3 weekends in a row between Coachella and Stagecoach milks the most out of setup and teardown. But these kinds of savings aren't being passed on to to eager concert-goers.
And, there is even more money coming into Coachella than the passes themselves. Safari tents with queen sized beds on the site go for as much as $7,000 for the weekend for two people with VIP passes. Other accommodations at Lake El Dorado go for less, providing cots. While the price includes the passes, it's a hefty price to pay - even for an elite onsite stay. Hotels in the area ratchet up their fees over the weekend. And then one must consider food and beverage sales onsite. Outstanding In The Field offers dinner and drinks for $225 per person in addition to passes, or can be bundled with passes for a "savings."
When Goldenvoice first started promoting concerts in the early 1980s, they latched onto promoting punk rock nights for ridiculously low prices. Minimum wage was just $3.25, and working class people and teens could afford to go when a ticket cost just $6.50. But it's hard not to feel a bit betrayed and sold out. Goldenvoice has jumped from promoting affordable nights out to financing the largest events in California. As of 2012, they own 280 acres of property around the Empire Polo Field where the annual music festival is held. They've even held Coachella cruises.
It might be an overall savings to go see all of the artists a fan might want to see. But, even with camping at $85, carpooling, and bringing some of your own food to your camping site, it can still be an expensive weekend. After running around all day trying to get the most bang out of your Coachella pass buck, you can be so exhausted that you just don't enjoy it anymore. Overall, it seems precious little of this money actually gets into the hands of the artists who fans say they support, and fans are fleeced for their goodwill and love of music.