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134 Arrests at Coachella Music Festival Over Weekend

There were only 134 arrests this weekend at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, even though the event attracted 80,000 people a day over three days, police said.

Thirty-five arrests were reported Sunday, the last day of Weekend 1 of the festival, which again will be held next weekend at the Empire Polo Club in Indio.

Indio police spokesman Ben Guitron said around 80 percent of Sunday’s arrests were for alcohol-related offences and 20 percent were drug-related, but one incident involved a man who stabbed his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend in the lower back. The victim did not want to press charges, Guitron said.

Guitron noted there was an incentive for good behavior — the $285 it cost for a three-day pass. “We have a lot of staff and the promoter has a lot of security,” he said. “If people break the rules they get escorted off the property.”

Temperatures well below the norm this weekend may also have helped people keep cool heads. Instead of the usual shorts and T-shirts, concertgoers were sporting jackets or trying to keep warm using plastic garbage bags and beach blankets.

Last year, the festival coincided with a heat wave that pushed temperatures far above normal, reaching the high 90s on April 17, the final day of the event.

The big draws were Bon Iver, Radiohead, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog. Other popular bands included Feist, the Shins, the Buzzcocks, the English post-punk band Pulp and the Black Keys.

Guitron said he heard former Beatle Paul McCartney and actors Danny DeVito and David Hasselhoff were among the celebrities in the crowd. This year, for the first time, the same bands will play a repeat show next weekend. Then, the Stagecoach Country Music Festival will be held at the same venue on the April 27-29 weekend.

Copyright © 2012 City News Service

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