More than 100 people were arrested or cited during the first weekend of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, which police Thursday said was down 15 percent from last year’s initial festival weekend.
The Indio Police Department reported that out of more than 119,000 people who attended the festival each day, 106 people were arrested or cited. The arrests included 71 for drug or alcohol intoxication, 24 for carrying a false identification, seven for possession of drugs for sale and four for undisclosed violations.
In 2017, 125 people were arrested or cited during the opening weekend, including two people for a rash of cell phone thefts, a trend seen across both 2017 festival weekends.
This year’s first weekend also saw 71 traffic citations issued, 43 for misusing a disabled person placard and 28 for “various motor vehicle driving violations.” This figure was also down from last year’s first weekend total of 155 traffic citations.
The decreased numbers come as local law enforcement instituted a number of new security measures at the festival, including the usage of drones to monitor crowds and traffic conditions.
Indio police also reported that local traffic congestion was minimal when thousands of car and tent campers arrived in town last Thursday. However, law enforcement may have their hands full on Friday morning when the festival’s second weekend begins, as the camping grounds were kept closed to campers Thursday due to excessive windy conditions throughout the Coachella Valley. Campers are tentatively set to arrive starting at 3 a.m. Friday.
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