The Coachella Music Festival, the huge festival that normally resides in Indio, California, is leaving the desert for the sea.
Goldenvoice, the festival’s promoter, will use Celebrity Silhouette, a 1,000-foot, 122,000-ton cruise ship with room for 2,800 fans, cabana-style alcoves and a small theater, to house its festival for two cruises; one three-day tour that goes to the Bahamas from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Dec. 16 and one four-day tour that visits Jamaica leaving from Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 19. The cheapest tickets start at $500 a person, and the prices rise to $9,000 a person for a “sky suite” with veranda.
Among the performers that are booked are Pulp, Hot Chip, Yeasayer, Sleigh Bells, Girl Talk, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and assorted other acts.
Coachella has been a fixture in Indio, California, near Palm Springs, since 1999. But recently there was tension between the promoters and the city because the city wanted to impose an eighteen-dollar ticket tax starting in 2014. Paul Tollett, the president of Goldenvoice, the company that produced the festival said, “If the tax initiative of putting $4 million 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.”
Goldenvoice is pleased with the cruise ship idea; the fans don’t have to worry about driving home drunk, there will be no complaints from neighbors, and the stars who appear on the cruises will be in close proximity with the fans. There are even some planned events where the fans will get up and close; including a wine tasting with James Murphy.
Tollett is pleased: “Some sets will be longer than usual. We don’t have a curfew.”
As California becomes more and more of an economic disaster zone, more and more businesses will move elsewhere – even onto cruise ships. Coachella is just the beginning.