Coachella Traffic In Full Swing As Festival Begins

2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 1

INDIO (CNS) - Thousands of fans will flock to Indio today and create a city within a city for the start of the Coachella Valley Music & Art Festival.

They'll be greeted this morning by partly cloudy skies, although mostly sunny conditions will prevail later in the day. Highs will be in the mid- 80s today, the high 80s Saturday and the low 90s Sunday.

Childish Gambino, Janelle Monae and The 1975 are the headliners who'll kick off the much anticipated festival, with Tame Impala, Kid Cudi and Billie Eilish serenading festivalgoers on Saturday. Sunday will be capped off with performances from Ariana Granda and H.E.R.

Festivalgoers, each paying anywhere from $400 to $900 apiece, are expected to flood the city to catch all of these acts, and despite the availability of the Any Line Shuttle that can carry visitors between the festival grounds and area hotels, major congestion is expected on multiple routes. The festival will offer around 160 acts this weekend and next weekend at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, where capacity crowds of 125,000-a-day are expected.

The first edition of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival began Oct. 9, 1999.

Indio city officials said motorists should expect traffic delays starting today and continuing through Sunday on the following stretches:

-- southbound Jefferson, Washington and Monroe streets from the 10 Freeway to Avenue 52;

-- Avenue 48 between Jefferson and Jackson streets;

-- Highway 111 at Jefferson and Monroe streets; and

-- eastbound 10 Freeway exits at Jefferson, Monroe and Washington streets.

Several significant road closures are also planned Friday through Monday:

-- Avenue 49 between Hjorth and Monroe streets;

-- Avenue 50 between Madison and Jackson streets;

-- Hjorth Street between Avenue 49 and Avenue 50; and

-- Madison Street between Avenue 49 and Avenue 52

City officials recommend that north- and south-bound motorists use Washington, Jackson and Calhoun streets as well as Golf Center Parkway; while east-west travelers were advised to use Highway 111, Fred Waring Drive, Miles Avenue, Dr. Carreon Boulevard and Avenue 54.

Once the festival ends this weekend and next, nearly 40,000 campers are expected to be leaving the festival site, causing significant traffic on the 10 Freeway, authorities warned.

Caltrans officials said the 10 and 60 freeways are both expected to be extra congested through the festival's run.

“Motorists who plan to use Interstate 10 between Beaumont and Indio or State Route 60 from Moreno Valley to Beaumont during these events will experience traffic delays during peak travel times,” Caltrans spokeswoman Terri Kasinga said.

Traffic is expected to be heaviest today for eastbound traffic, while Sunday will be the most congested for those heading west.

“Avoid delays by leaving early mornings on those peak travel days or wait to travel the day after the peak travel day,” Kasinga said.

A special traffic warning was also issued for those coming from Temecula using the 15 Freeway since state Routes 74 and 243 are closed for repairs, Kasinga said. Instead, she said motorists should exit the 15 Freeway at Interstate 215 northbound and then travel east on either the 10 or 60 freeways.

Indio officials strongly encouraged festival-goers to take advantage of the Any Line Shuttle, which costs $80 for the entire weekend and services hotels in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells and other local resorts.

Information on the Any Line Shuttle is available here.

Photo: Getty Images

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