Hello, sir. On behalf of myself and the rest of your message board--I place I'm happy to call my favorite hangout on the internet--I want to say that we really do appreciate everything you've done. Well, at least those of us who aren't miserable jerks appreciate everything you've done. I think I admire what you've accomplished with the Coachella festival as an environment to experience music more than I even admire the work of the legendary musicians who perform. You have made an event that becomes the most important weekend of the entire year to a lot of the people who attend, many of us knowing from that very first year that we'd never want to miss your festival again.
I know you get a lot of complaints every year it sells out from people who just have a knee-jerk reaction to the fact that they couldn't get tickets and want to blame you. In fact, I came to this board originally in 2007 specifically because I WAS one of the left out and I felt bitchy about it. After securing a ticket and hanging around a bit, I gained an appreciation for the fact that you can't make everyone happy. I've witnessed a wide array of very, very dumb suggestions by angry ticket-less newcomers with some half-baked idea about how the ticketing could be improved in some way that would have prevented the great injustice of their own personal failure to get a ticket. With full acknowledgement of the fact that I'm joining their ranks by typing this, I'd like to make a suggestion...
Each year you've been trying to develop more and more tactics to create a more united, dedicated population of attendees. The move to three day passes helps ensure that people going are truly there for the full Coachella experience, not just driving out for the day because they like a band or two. The drastic increase in ratio of campers to non-campers boosts the feeling of camaraderie and a shared experience. In response to the unfortunate circumstances of 2010, you switched to a wristband system that made it much more difficult to crash the gate or forge copies or scalp the passes at all. Then last year, the RFID chips were introduced and the accounts to register your wristband along with those various check-in sites around the fest not to mention forced car camping passes to be used by the purchaser only, I assume again to help reduce the chance of these passes falling into the hands of people who don't really want to attend.
Well, with all these systems you've put in place it seems to me that you could easily create a much more motivating reason to register one's wristband: some limited advanced pre-sales for anyone who already has a coachella.com account from previous year's attendance. Some might call it elitist, say that it's unfair to try to give an advantage to those who have already been to Coachella, that it's selfish to believe we deserve any kind of priority instead of a bright-eyed virgin Coacheller. Why should our good time be any more important than theirs?
I can't completely refute that sentiment, honestly. There's a point in there, but at the same time you have created something that means the world to a small part of the population, something that only very recently exploded in popularity to the degree that even though you doubled the number of tickets available it's now selling out faster and faster every year. And those of us who were there loyally back when a sold out Coachella was a shocking event are getting frighteningly unlucky buying tickets 11 months in advance without even seeing the lineup. We'd sign up for tickets through the end of the decade if there was an option, we just want to get to see our favorite place.
I'm not trying to say that you owe us anything for the years we've put in. I'm not trying to say that we're in any way better people than those who haven't attended. But if all these changes you've been making are intended to try to preserve the purity of your fest and us your grateful fans, why not provide a pre-pre-sale where those of us with coachella.com accounts can get a crack at a small piece of the ticket allotment before the rest of the world? Is there anything that wrong about taking a small step to try to help guarantee as many of your tickets as possible are getting to only people who really want to attend, who you know already appreciate it in fullness?
Lots of bands have fan presales. They realize that as they get extremely popular it becomes harder and harder for their most diehard and loyal followers to get decent tickets because there are so many casual fans vying for the same spots and the ticketing systems just can't handle the load in any way that consistently helps freaks like us who wait until EXACTLY 10 Am to hit refresh and made our frontgate accounts in advance and took every precaution possible, but still ended up instantly in a never-ending wait.
Your festival has gone from being The Pixies to The Beatles in all of three years. Could you maybe consider throwing a little something our way? We were there for you when you were still playing club shows and touring in your van.
Randy F. Wang
P.S. I got a ticket actually, but I still think this is a good idea.