If you grew up listening to these bands from the last century, you won’t want to miss this chance to see some of these bands perform what surely must be close to their last hoorah, before they shuffle off to the nursing home. The line-up for both weekends is – The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters & The Who.
Weekend 1 – Fri Oct 7, Sat Oct 8 and Sun Oct 9.
Weekend 2 – Fri Oct 14, Sat Oct 15 and Sun Oct 16.
Venue – Empire Polo Club, Indio, California.
The bad news is that all tickets for both weekends sold out within hours of the tickets being released. The good news is that tickets are available on the secondary market and TicketListers have a good selection, but market forces have pushed the prices over face value. This does not appear to have had any effect on sales, as tickets are still in high demand and prices will probably increase further as the shows draw nearer.
Tickets available include 3 day pass, single day pass, hotel and ticket package and parking.
The Guardian Reports
The Desert Trip festival featuring the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and the Who sold out all its 70,000 three-day tickets for each of the festival’s two weekends in under three hours, Billboard reports.
Although the festival’s organisers Goldenvoice and AEG z have not made an official announcement about how quickly all tickets for the event have sold, Billboard reports that its sources say both Desert Trip weekends 9-11 October and 16-18 October sold out in less than three hours.
Billboard estimates the gross revenues from ticket sales at $150m (104m). Last years highest grossing festival was Coachella run by the same people who are putting on Desert Trip, on the same site near Palm Springs, California which made $84.26m over two weekends, according to Forbes. Desert Trip would be, comfortably, the highest-grossing event in music history.
As well as ticket sales, the organisers will be making money from ancillary activities such as selling licenses for catering and luxury camping. Desert Trip promises over 30 culinary masterminds providing food, as well as assorted catering packages starting at $129 per person per day.
Desert Trip, with its likely appeal to a prosperous audience of baby boomers, has charged premium prices. The 35,000 reserved seats for each weekend sold for between $699 and $1,599, while general admission was $399. The last tickets to sell out were the $199 day passes.
However, the cost of booking the six acts who are appearing would have been colossal. One source familiar with the logistics of booking huge acts, and who had worked with some of those appearing at Desert Trip, suggested to the Guardian that Desert Trip might well be paying between $6m and $9m to each of the six acts.
The recently announced baby boomer music festival called Desert Trip, set for the beginning of October at the same venue as Coachella, the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California has been billed as once in a lifetime. That’s a real cute slogan, since most of the acts involved are pushing 80, and I don’t mean the miles per hour on their car either, they all probably drive rather slow, if you think about it. If they drive at all. After the untimely deaths of rock icons David Bowie and Prince, it stands to reason that we’re going to start losing more beloved musicians. Such is the frailty of human existence.
Every time someone of that stature dies, its a loss collectively felt by fans all around the world. Inevitably, you or one of your friends will say: Golly, I wish I had just dropped a few hundred dollars to go see [Dead Musician X] when I had the chance. When the news of Princes death broke, I certainly muttered a similar refrain to myself. I’d skipped his month-long residency at the Forum in Inglewood, California, because at the time I was broke and eating pasta for every meal. It’s easy to take for granted that these people will always be around to entertain you, and sobering when you realize they won’t be.
The subtle marketing genius of “once in a lifetime” is a dog-whistle reminder that Paul McCartney might keel over at any moment, and every second you are not watching him perform Blackbird is a complete and total waste. For $399, you can cross see Neil Young off your bucket list, and if you are in the target demographic for this event, you definitely have a bucket list.
The only justification I can think of for attending Desert Trip is that it allows the nostalgia-addicted baby boomer the chance to see all these bands in one shot. Adding up the cost of a single ticket for the Rolling Stones, the Who, McCartney, Neil Young and the rest would probably equal or surpass the amount of a pass to Desert Trip, depending on which tier of opulence you choose. If you look at it that way, it’s totally worth it.
By the time the weekend is over, you won’t even have a bucket list left. I just wish there were a tier even lower than the general admission price, because as someone who missed seeing one of his favorite artists perform because of lack of funds, I empathize with the struggling Bob Dylan fan who just can’t get it together to go out to Indio.