by Frances Allen
Raising Coachella and Stagecoach Ticket Prices – Not a Good Idea
“You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em,”
There’s a lot of sage advice in those lyrics, as the Indio City Council found out recently. Indio is the home of the Empire Polo Club, site of the immensely popular back-to-back Coachella rock music concerts and the following weekend’s Stagecoach country music concert. All three concerts are produced and promoted by Goldenvoice, who are as immensely powerful as the concerts are popular.
All three concerts are mega-hits. This last April, the three events drew more than 214,000 and generated more than $60 million in ticket sales.
The City of Indio could not fail to notice this cash cow, even though the city’s share of the take was an $800,000 overnight camping fee and an already existing per ticket charge of $2.33. So, Indio City Councilman Sam Torres did the math and had an idea: up the City of Indio’s ticket tax by approximately $18.00 per ticket; that would bring in an additional $4 million to the city.
Not a good idea. Goldenvoice immediately threatened to move the location of its concerts, and local hotels and businesses expressed the fact that they would lose the millions of dollars that would otherwise be spent in the local economy.
Although Goldenvoice is in escrow to purchase 280 acres of land in Indio for the promoters to broaden the reach of the concerts, the company has also been reported as showing an interest in other properties outside the city even looking at land as far away as Blythe.
The existing contract between Indio and Goldenvoice expires next year and the city has expressed an interest to re-negotiate before then (without a ticket tax increase). Goldenvoice is being slow coming to the table and we will keep you informed as the music gets amped up a notch.
As Kenny Rogers could have told them: “You never count your money when you’re settin’ at the table. There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.”
Pets on Parade Winners Announced
On July 15, as they have for the previous 13 summers, the Pegasus Riding Academy, which provides equine motion therapy for children and adults of all ages and disabilities, teams with another animal-centered, non-profit organization, the Humane Society of the Desert, which provides a “no-kill,” safe haven for homeless, abandoned and abused pets, to present Pets On Parade, both as a major joint fundraiser and in recognition of those four-legged companions who love us through the best of times, and the worst.
The highlight of the Pets On Parade luncheon is the awarding of prizes in numerous categories, and the results are as debated as the results of a close presidential election.
We name the award-winners without comment, knowing each of our pets is the true winner.
Avian/Wild/Other: Winston, a Sulpher Crested Cockatoo, owner: Sarah Shiller.
Equine: Mia & Aspen, owner: Maja Ruetschi, M.D.
Feline: Gracie, owner: Tory & Jim Luick
Large Canine: Moon III, owner: Alice & Gerry Bucci
Small Canine: Crisket, owner: Tamar Geller
Palm Springs Cutest Pet of the Year: Bailey, owners: Sue & Rick Moore
In Memoriam: Ginny & Deer, owner; Bonnie Campbell
Forever Marilyn Tribute Concert Aug. 5
“Forever Marilyn” is not the title of a new movie, or even a line of cosmetics. It’s the official name for the 26-foot-tall statue towering over passersby at the north-west corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way in the heart of downtown Palm Springs.
After the City of Palm Springs approved the placing of the statue, but denied any financial support, a private group of hoteliers raised about $100,000 to bring “Forever Marilyn” to Palm Springs on a temporary basis.
The questions now are: Can we keep her, do we want to keep her and where will we keep her?
The easiest question to answer is: Can we keep her? Yes, the statue is for sale at an asking price of $1.5 million.
But, not everyone wants to keep her. Some locals feel “Forever Marilyn” is a boast for tourism, while others consider it tacky and tasteless.
And then, where is “Forever Marilyn” to be permanently placed? Her present location is only temporary and available until work begins on the Desert Fashion Plaza. Come to think of it, waiting for work to begin on the Desert Fashion Plaza may result in the statue’s present location being permanent.
Regardless of Marilyn’s future, the organization that brought her to Palm Springs is hosting a tribute concert at 6:30 p.m., on Aug.5, the 50th anniversary of her death.
The concert will feature Jeffrey Allen, a Las Vegas entertainer known for his performances as Elton John in “Legends in Concert.”
Seats are available at a first-come, first-had basis, so you may want to bring your own chairs and blankets.