Sir Paul McCartney at a concert in Maryland in 2009. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Sir Paul McCartney at a concert in Maryland in 2009. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

With an average age of 72, some of the biggest – and ancient – names in rock and roll will take to the stage starting Friday night in Indio for what some are calling “Oldchella.”

The Coachella Valley festival, officially called Desert Trip, will run this weekend and next and feature rock legends Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, The Who and Roger Waters.

With single-day tickets costing $199, weekend passes running from $699 to $1,599 and VIP packages going for more than $3,000, the shows are expected to bring in a record $160 million, according to festival officials. Even “bargain” three-day tickets of $399 for standing-room only behind the seated more-expensive crowd sold out quickly.

While the 72 average age of the rock-star performers makes them all way past the initial age of eligibility for Social Security – if they were all from the U.S. – the average age of the audience is expected to be 51. Aging Baby Boomers reliving the 60s will be represented in force.

While it’s normally about a two and a half-hour drive from Los Angeles to the concert site, authorities warned traffic could be heavy from Los Angeles to the desert through much of Friday.

The set times for this weekend’s performances outdoors at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio east of Palm Springs, to be repeated on Oct. 14-16, are as follows:

— Friday: Bob Dylan at 6:50 p.m.; The Rolling Stones at 9:40 p.m.

— Saturday: Neil Young at 6:15 p.m.; Paul McCartney at 9:15 p.m.

— Sunday: The Who at 6:15 p.m.; Roger Waters at 9:10 p.m.

The Empire Polo Grounds will open to festival-goers at 2 p.m. each day.

Playfully dubbed “Oldchella,” the big name performers and older audience demographic are expected to have the festival generating that $160 million that would be almost double the record $84 million raked in during last year’s Coachella festival.

Music promoter Goldenvoice, which also organizes the annual Coachella and Stagecoach festivals, has arranged for a plethora of amenities catering to an older crowd, including a top-shelf “culinary experience” featuring renowned chefs from across the country and stadium seating, something unheard of at Goldenvoice’s other festivals.

In addition to the live performances, the festival will feature “The Desert Trip Photography Experience,” a 36,000-square-foot exhibit of more than 200 photos of the performers, housed within a massive, air-conditioned indoor tent.

Passes for the festival’s first weekend long ago sold out, but various three-day packages for the second weekend may still be available.

Those seeking to camp just outside the Empire Polo Grounds throughout the weekend may begin settling into their camping spots starting tomorrow morning. Free day parking is available, along with designated shuttle drop-off and pick-up areas. The parking will open at noon each day.

— Staff and wire reports

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