Festival flaws: Residents ready for another weekend of noise & traffic

As Weekend Two for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival begins, some nearby residents are getting ready for the noise and traffic that comes along with it.

Thousands of people either camping, shuttling or driving to the festival grounds. Unfortunately for some residents, they were caught up in the crowds.

“They make us go around sometimes, most of the time it’s an extra 8 miles around sometimes just to get home from there even when we’re just a couple of miles away so that’s difficult,” said PGA West resident Jody Shapiro.

The loud music and vibrations were also impacting nearby neighborhoods.

“Last Friday and Saturday you could actually sit here and hear the words coming from the Polo fields because it’s a 2 mile straight shot to us. Especially with the wind blowing toward us. But it’s the bass that we hear all the time,” Shapiro added.

News Channel 3 requested from public records the complaints filed during Weekend 1 of the festival. Public records received 12 noise complaints, 6 traffic complaints and 2 other complaints via phone, voicemail, text or email. However, the exact amount of calls the city received is unknown.

After listening through the voicemails, most cited noise past curfew as well as traffic.

Resident #1:

“It’s just absolutely horrible having to go til 2am with the loud noises and the vibrations, nobody can sleep.”

Resident #2:

“We did not sign up for this type of stuff. Not only the music is loud at night, preventing us from sleeping, there are people parking their cars in the community being built.”

Some residents said they had a hard time even getting home, and were directed through festival traffic.

Resident #3:

Just unacceptable, I don’t understand why you guys cannot make some sort of exception for the people that live right there. You’re making them go all the way around for no reason whatsoever.”

News Channel 3 requested an interview with the City of Indio and we were given this statement:

The city mans a dedicated hotline and email address as a venue to take care of any festival related complaints as soon as they arise, and encourages people to call the hotline right away so that we can fix any issues immediately, while they might be occurring. It is natural that some concerns would arise when the population of the city more than doubles over a three day period, especially after being somewhat out of practice for three years. Since 2019, the last time the festivals took place, new communities have been built out, new residents have moved in, and new people are stationed at every corner and intersection who may not be fully aware of how best to direct residents in and out of their neighborhoods. We absolutely understand the concerns of residents regarding noise and road access, and in many cases we were able to address and solve them immediately once they were reported, on day one. All day long we assess traffic patterns, communicate with staff at intersections, and with neighborhoods to make sure festival goers and residents are able to get to and from their locations as quickly and safely as possible. We truly appreciate the feedback to make sure that situations only get better.

With regard to the noise curfew, for Coachella, the hours are 1 am on Friday (Saturday am) and Saturday (Sunday am), and Sunday at midnight. The agreement with Goldenvoice does have a provision in place to address the noise curfew via a fine paid to the city.

If you’d like to report noise or traffic to the City hotline, call 760-391-4112.

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