Coachella 2018 announce dates, tickets on sale Friday

It took slightly longer than normal but the Coachella 2018 dates have been announced.

Unsurprisingly, the Indio festival kingpin will return in the second and third weekends of April — from April 13 to April 15 for weekend one and April 20 to April 22. We already know Beyonce is one of the headliners for 2018 after she cancelled her 2017 performances due to pregnancy.

There is a surprise, and it isn’t a great one. Three-day general admission tickets now cost $429. This is an increase of $30 and $100 from 2017. In 2014, my first year of attending, tickets were priced at $350. That is a pretty sizable increase in just four years.

Tickets go on sale Friday, June 2 at 11 AM Pacific Time and it is the only time you can sign up for a payment plan.

Coachella 2017 felt much more crowded than any previous year I attended. With a reported increase of about 20,000 and a larger festival ground, that makes sense. If ths price increase means they won’t oversell the fest, I am sure most people would be all about it. But no word whether that is the case.

If you wanted to go into the Sahara Tent after 5 PM, it was a clusterfuck of epic proportions. All of the common areas felt way more packed.

On Sunday of weekend two, many people were unable to park and because the lots were full and many friends of mine turned around and drove home early instead. Perhaps Goldenvoice didn’t take into account how lots of people pull their car out of the campgrounds and into day parking so they can avoid the window where the campgrounds don’t let anyone leave. We stayed in a house this year and our checkout was Sunday, so we parked in day parking on day 3 also.

It is also quite possible Goldenvoice is hiking prices as a way to counter losses from their New York-based Panorama festival, which were noted by The New Yorker in a profile on Goldenvoice boss Paul Tollett in April.

Coachella is the benchmark for U.S. festival experiences. Will other festivals respond by raising their prices or by marketing themselves as an affordable counter?