TRAFFIC ALERT: Coachella Revelers Rolling Into Town as First 2014 Festival Kicks Off

Locals are reminded to plan ahead for road closures.

An aerial view of the 2013 festival.  Palm Desert Patch photo by Renee Schiavone.
An aerial view of the 2013 festival. Palm Desert Patch photo by Renee Schiavone.

Festivalgoers are converging on Indio Thursday for the first weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which starts Friday.

The sold-out festival will be held at the Empire Polo Club Friday through Sunday and again April 18-20, with the same lineup performing both weekends. Friday's headliners include OutKast, the Knife, the Replacements and Neko Case, Saturday's are Muse, Pharrell Williams, Queens of the Stone Age and Lorde, and Sunday's include Arcade Fire, Beck, Lana Del Rey and Motorhead.

Camping at the festival opened Thursday morning. Events surrounding the festival, including pool parties and an art exhibit, are also starting Thursday, and festivalgoers can use their wristbands to get discounts at local businesses. Discount information is at http://festivals.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com.

Roads will be closed and traffic delays expected Friday through Sunday on both weekends, according to the city of Indio.

Closures are:

  • Avenue 49 between Hjorth and Monroe streets
  • Avenue 50 between Madison and Jackson streets
  • Hjorth between avenues 49 and 50
  • Madison between avenues 49 and 52
Delays are expected on:
  • Southbound Jefferson, Washington and Monroe streets, from Interstate 10 to Avenue 52
  • Highway 111 at Jefferson and Monroe
  • Eastbound I-10 exits at Jefferson and Monroe

North and southbound travelers should use Washington, Jackson, Calhoun Street and Golf Center Parkway, and east and westbound travelers should use Fred Waring Drive, Miles Avenue and avenues 48 and 52, according to the city.

Taxis will be at the southwest corner of Avenue 49 and Monroe, and parents can pick up and drop off at Avenue 52 and Madison. About 30,000 people will be shuttled to and from the polo club from around the Coachella Valley to ease traffic, according to the city.

Pedestrians won't be allowed on Monroe between avenues 49 and 52; there will be pedestrian access at Avenue 49 and Monroe and Avenue 52 and Madison. Golf carts won't be permitted on any of those streets.

"We want to remind residents and guests to follow the advertised routes and recommendations and be patient," Indio police spokesman Ben Guitron said.

California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Radford said the CHP "wants all motorists to have a fun and safe weekend. Indio CHP officers will be out in force, aggressively enforcing all traffic laws to ensure everyone's safety."

High temperatures are expected to reach the low to mid 90s, according to the National Weather Service. Guitron said festivalgoers should wear comfortable clothing and stay hydrated, especially if they're not used to desert weather.

He said attendees should also "be mindful" of the laws -- "easy on the alcohol, no drugs, be responsible and have a memorable festival, not memorable because you're in jail."

Festivalgoers should take the usual precautions like locking vehicles, not leaving valuables visible inside and preserving some battery power on cellphones in case of an emergency, he said.

"We just want everyone to enjoy themselves and be safe," Guitron said.

Information about the festival is available at www.coachella.com. With other questions or problems, call the city at (760) 541-7800 or email concertinfo@indio.org.

– City News Service.


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