INDIO, Calif. - Just two days until the music festival season officially kicks off in the valley. Weekend one of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival begins Friday. Tens of thousands of fans will make their way to the desert this week, which means lots of business and lots of traffic for locals.
Workers put the finishing touches on fencing, while signs stand at the ready all around the Empire Polo Club. The City of Indio's getting ready for the thousands of cars set to arrive throughout the month of April. Jim Curtis manages the huge event for the city. He wants to keep traffic moving. "You know we get better every year and we want to make it even better than last year," said Curtis. "We just had a meeting and said, let's make it better than last year, and things went pretty well."
The city's made traffic flow better several ways: more shuttles running throughout the valley, widening roads around the venue, and adding more signage, including color-coded signs to help festival-goers find their way.
"now they'll know exactly where they park. There'll be certain sections of colors, so if you can remember a color, you'll remember where your car is. We just don't want people walking around not really knowing where they're going."
In addition to the signs by the venue, a different kind of sign greets the music lovers on their way to the venue, billboards. Advertisements for album releases, parties in Las Vegas, and different types of drinks line the I-10 freeway. All of them just trying to take advantage during a high traffic time for the valley. "They're targeting the people coming to Coachella and to Stagecoach," said Jeff Levine, the sales manager for Lamar. "There's hundreds of thousands of people coming during the month of April, and it's a great opportunity to specifically target market their advertising product."
While the signs could translate to big sales for the advertisers, Lamar comes out on top either way. "This is just a great way to end the season, it's kind of like our political type advertising situation," said Levine. "We get this every year though, which is great."
While some may not think the huge crowds for the next three weeks are so great, Curtis offers this final advice. "There's a lot of people coming into town right now so just be patient and it'll all work out."