“We’ve waited years for this!” says Jesús Medina, in front of one of the many food stores serving countless customers this weekend! Coachella, which is back for its first edition after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The massive concert is being celebrated starting Friday for two consecutive three-day weekends at the exclusive Empire Polo Club, in Indio, a California desert with a population of just over 90,000.
This municipality hosts many festivals that generate a direct profit annually, estimated at three million dollars, according to official estimatesHowever, with the health restrictions caused by the pandemic, this source of income has been affected.
“We had everything ready to come in 2020, but everything has been canceled due to the pandemic,” says Medina, owner of Cena Vegana. At the opening, he sold over a thousand burritos at the start of the festival last Friday, April 15. “It doesn’t stop, the lines don’t end, it’s a very good opportunity for us,” he said excitedly.
The festival receives more than 125,000 people every day who come to witness Offers From dozens of famous artists. Thousands of attendees stay in Indio or Palm Springs, or camp at sites near the event where they roam up to 12 hours a day.
Hotels in Palm Springs, which is bordered by the San Jacinto Mountains and famous for its palm trees, golf courses and SpasCelebrating the arrival of thousands of people to the area. “It’s been very quiet for two years, but now we’re full. We’re happy,” said Char Perchend, manager of Zoso Hotel.
Roughly all 162 rooms are occupied by attendees or staff associated with the festival, and nearly everything is sold out the following weekend.
For Pershend, who worked at another hotel in the area in 2019 when the last edition of Coachella took place, this year more people have arrived. “People have stuck around for a long time. They want to go out and enjoy the atmosphere. I think they come for the music but also for more,” he says.
For Mitchell Carr, owner of a vibrant clothing and accessories store classic, Coachella is an additional opportunity to expand your sales. “Often people arrive without supermodel clothes, so they are always on the lookout for something trendy and unique,” says Carr. Its main clients are in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Here they sell uniquely styled jewelry, handbags, shoes from another era, and clothing that exudes color and personality.
At the festival, “look” (the aspect) is something to think about. This year, neon tones abound, as well as ’70s glitter and cutouts on the lawn at the Empire Polo Club. “People come shopping in the morning and then they go to the festival,” Carr said.
But while nearly everyone is pleased with the return of the big festivals, not all sectors say they are benefiting in Palm Springs.
“It’s great for hotels, but visitors eat and party at Coachella [a unos 45 kms de Palm Springs]. “They don’t eat or party here,” says Dan Groff, manager of Oscar’s Restaurant, whose Saturday morning nearly all of its outdoor tables were filled with local customers. “It still looks great, we’re happy. People need it,” Grove said of the festival’s return.
* With information from Agence France-Presse.
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