Heightened security at Coachella

Megan Terlecky, News Channel 3 Anchor & Reporter, megan.terlecky@kesq.com
POSTED: 06:14 PM PDT Apr 19, 2013    UPDATED: 06:16 PM PDT Apr 19, 2013 
INDIO, Calif. -

Thoughts of the the bombing in Boston are certainly on the minds of people at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

The second weekend of the huge rock concert is underway at the Empire Polo grounds in Indio.

80,000 people will to attend the sold-out festival that runs through Sunday.

According to an analysis done in October,  the economic impact in the Coachella Valley last year for both Coachella and the Stagecoach music festival was more than $254 million; $89 million to Indio alone.

So what, if anything, has been done to protect festival goers?

Security is very visible, just like it was last weekend.  But this weekend, festival goers are more aware of their surroundings.

Goldenvoice is not responding to our request to talk about security measures, But festival goers say they've seen bomb sniffing dogs check the cars coming in to camp.

"There is a risk in everything," says Cassandra Ayala.

This week's events in Boston is not stopping the people we talked to from heading to Coachella, but it is on their minds.

"I honestly am a little bit nervous," said festival goer Victoria Venkatramann.

"We talked about that on the way up here a little bit.  I think we are scared of that a little bit, but we don't want to think about it too much. I hope security is really tight," said festival goer Cassie Fryman.

"I think I am going to be aware more of my surroundings definately," said Venkatramann.
 
Indio police say one advantage over authorities in Boston is no one is allowed in the festival area without going through a security check point.

"You can't even get within a mile of the site without having one of these wrist bands," said festival goer Robbie Cadman.

"They've got mounted posse everywhere, they are constantly checking and that makes me feel safe," said festival goer Shannon Dahlmeier.

Festival goers are being searched as they enter the venue, so are the cars that are coming to camp out over night.

"They check that we don't have drugs and glass and stuff but everything is ok," said festival goer Mario Circano.

"They check everything.  You are there for at least two hours waiting.  They go through your makeup kit, make you pull away your top and shake, make sure they look in your hood.  It's crazy, but the good part is I saw a lot of bomb sniffing dogs and that made me especially with Boston, it made me feel more secure," said Dahlmeier.


But we found people sneaking things in, these pictures were taken of Coachella goers using large food containers to hide alcohol, making some people wonder what else people could be hiding.

"I didn't even think about it like that, it does make me nervous.  It's sad that people have to do that," said Fryman.

"I think its definitely a safety issue and concern that I wouldn't have probably though about had the Boston bombings not happened a few days ago," said Victoria Venkatramann.

Police are encouraging people; if you see something say something.  Police can only see so much, but when you add in 80,000 pairs of eyes, that really helps police keep this festival a safe one.