Rolling Stones at an earlier concert, Photo by By SolarScott [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Rolling Stones at an earlier concert. Photo by By SolarScott [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Who and Pink Floyd-frontman Roger Waters will close out the first weekend of the Desert Trip festival Sunday night, ending a legendary weekend of music from rock stars – including Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones – whose average age is 72.

The festival, expected to gross a record $160 million in ticket sales, only builds Indio’s reputation as “The City of Festivals.”

A somber note was felt throughout the festival Saturday night, as the thousands of Baby Boomers and others out for a night of fun couldn’t help discussing among themselves the deadly shooting earlier in the day of two Palm Springs police officers and the wounding of another in the that nearby desert city.

But the show must go on, and Neil Young and Paul McCartney drew rave reactions from festival goers Saturday night, even though both began their sets a bit past announced start times.

On Sunday night Desert Trip’s first weekend will finish with The Who performing at 6:15 p.m. and Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters taking the stage at 9:10 p.m.

Originally intended to be a single-weekend affair, ravenous demand led organizers to add a second weekend after the event was announced in May. So McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Bob Daylan, Young, Waters and the Who will do it all over again next weekend.

Playfully dubbed “Oldchella,” the festival largely targets baby boomers. The big name performers and a relatively upscale audience with an average age in the low 50s are expected to have the festival generating dollars in excess of the record $84 million raked in during last year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

At $199 for single day general admission tickets and $399 for a full weekend, admission prices are comparable to Music promoter Goldenvoice’s other Indio festivals, Coachella and Stagecoach.

However, Goldenvoice also has arranged for pricey amenities catering to an older crowd, including a top-shelf, $179 “culinary experience” featuring chefs from across the country and stadium seating, something unheard of at Goldenvoice’s other festivals.

Passes for the festival’s first weekend sold out long ago, but various three-day packages for the second weekend next week are still available. These include floor seat packages ranging from $699 to $1,599, reserved grandstand seats from $999 to $1,599 and standing pit seating for $1,599.

Tickets may be purchased at www.deserttrip.com .

Attendees must remember to get their entry wristbands activated at activation.deserttrip.com before arriving at the Empire Polo Grounds.

Hotel rooms in the Coachella Valley were booked solid months in advance, but concert goers may take advantage of vehicle and tent camping just off the venue. Reserving camping spots ranges from $99 car and tent camping to a $10,000 Safari Tent, which comes fully furnished with its own secure fence line and dedicated security.

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.

Free day parking is available starting at noon each day, along with designated shuttle drop-off and pick-up areas available to move concert goers to and from the venue. Shuttles going to the venue will run daily from 1:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Shuttles departing the Empire Polo Grounds will continue operating until 60 minutes after music ends.

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

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