Eminem will wrap up the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival’s first weekend with his first Coachella performance since appearing as a guest with headliners Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg six years ago.
Gates at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio are slated to open at 11 a.m. Sunday for the tens of thousands who made their journey to the City of Festivals this year, while those who were unable to make it in person can still view select acts during Weekend One exclusively on Coachella’s livestream at www.youtube.com/user/coachella . Users can view the performances on four different feeds, including a virtual reality feed covering the Main Stage, Sahara Tent and festival grounds.
Eminem, ODESZA, Portugal The Man, A Perfect Circle, Cardi B, King Krule, French Montana and more were slated to perform on the final day of Weekend One.
Beyonce performed for more than two hours Saturday night, telling the audience “This was everything and more than I dreamed of,” during the year since her pregnancy with twins forced her to cancel her Coachella performance.
The show was complete with dozens of dancers, a marching band, orchestra and the long-rumored reunion of Destiny’s Child, the group founded in 1990 in which Beyonce sang with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams and first gained stardom. The last time the three performed was the halftime show at the 2013 Super Bowl.
No arrests or major incidents were reported Saturday.
In addition to music and its usual collection of massive art displays, Coachella will feature a full slate of food options, including a brand-new “Indio Central Market” patterned after the iconic Grand Central Market in Los Angeles and featuring more than 15 restaurants from across the country. Festival attendees can also opt for fare from three “pop-up” restaurants, a brand new ice cream parlor and more than 100 food vendors, amply covering a wide variety of palettes and dietary restrictions.
The “Outstanding in the Field” outdoor dining experience will return, featuring a four-course family style meal for $225.
The amenities should only boost Coachella’s flourishing brand, with the festival grossing nearly $115 million last year, according to Billboard, likely in no small part due to 2017 being the first year that an unprecedented 125,000 visitor cap was approved by the city of Indio.
The influx of visitors was expected to clog up local roadways throughout the weekend, with congestion largely expected Monday when around 40,000 campers will depart from the Empire Polo Grounds, filling up surface streets and westbound Interstate 10.
Police say the following roads will be designated as “primary access routes” for the festivals, and will be “severely impacted” during both festival weekends:
— Jefferson Street, from Interstate 10 to Avenue 52;
— Washington Street, from Interstate 10 to Avenue 52;
— Monroe Street, from Interstate 10 to Avenue 52;
— Highway 111 at Jefferson Street;
— Highway 111 at Monroe Street;
— eastbound Interstate 10 exit at Jefferson Street;
— eastbound Interstate 10 exit at Monroe Street; and
— eastbound Interstate 10 exit at Washington Street.
Road closures include:
— Avenue 49, between Hjorth Street and Monroe Street;
— Avenue 50, between Madison Street and Jackson Street;
— Hjorth Street, between Avenue 49 and Avenue 50; and
— Madison Street, between Avenue 49 and Avenue 52.
Those looking to avoid driving altogether can be dropped off by ride-hauling services and taxis at the southwest corner of Avenue 49 and Monroe Street, or dropped off and picked up by friends and family at the northeast corner of Avenue 52 and Madison Street.
To help make traffic smoother within the city, a yearlong road project widening Highway 111 in Indio has been suspended until the festival season wraps up April 30.
With larger crowds come new enhanced security measures in effect for the first time this year, with the Indio Police Department rolling out drones to monitor crowds and traffic, as well as tourniquets to be carried by officers posted at the festival.
The new security measures come after a spate of cell phone thefts during last year’s festival, which led to the arrests of around 10 suspects. Some have also questioned whether recent mass shootings like the Route 91 Harvest music festival tragedy in Las Vegas have impacted local law enforcement’s approach to festival security.
Indio police Sgt. Daniel Marshall said the department engages in preparations for “major incidents” each year prior to the festival, and that recent major shootings have not drastically affected the department’s response to the annual event.
“We always train for those situations. We have to prepare,” Marshall said.
While festival goers just avoided a windy patch that struck the desert, causing the National Weather Service to issue a high wind warning that expired Thursday evening, gusts as high as 30 mph were expected to hit the region beginning Sunday. Drivers were advised to be cautious while heading out of the desert, particularly for blowing dust that could make visibility tough on the roadways.
Visit www.coachella.com for festival maps, set times, and more.