The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary this year (2019). Coachella takes place every year in Indio, California, which is located in the Coachella Valley of Southern California’s Colorado Desert region. The sold-out festival was held between weekend 1(4/12-4/14) and weekend 2(4/19-4/21). Headliners this year included Childish Gambino, Zedd and Ariana Grande, with *NSYNC and Justin Bieber both making surprise appearances during Grande’s performances.
Hundreds of other artists performed across the eight stages during the two weekends. Festival-goers could also enjoy activities such as dance classes, yoga, pilates, giant foosball and giant connect four.
Since Coachella attracts such a large and diverse crowd each year, we thought it would be interesting to conduct a foot traffic analysis and look at attendee trends and behaviors at the festival.
Location Intelligence Methodology
At Skyhook, our location network and partners provide us with access to massive amounts of anonymous, precise mobile device data. This data allows us to generate valuable insights into anonymized behaviors of mobile users as they move throughout their day.
For this analysis, Skyhook mapped out all of Coachella, including the individual stages, camping areas, and sponsor locations to see foot traffic trends at the festival.
Here are some highlights from our location analysis:
Most Popular Weekend & Performances
Our analysis showed that Weekend 1 had the most attendees out of the two weekends. This could have been a result of Weekend 2 falling over Easter weekend, but we found it surprising since Kanye West performed Sunday Service on Easter Sunday that weekend.
One thing that stood out was how popular the Sahara stage was during both weekends compared to the other stages. On Sunday the 14th, attendance peaked around 6pm when Playboi Carti was on stage and again around 8-9pm when Gucci Gang was performing. On Sunday the 21st, attendance peaked just before Dillon Francis took the stage at 9:35pm.
Sunday, April 14th
Stage attendance on Sunday, April 14th
As for the Coachella stage on Sunday the 14th, attendance started to pick up around 7pm until it peaked at 9pm. This aligned with the time Zedd and Khalid were on stage that night. On Sunday the 21st, Ariana Grande and Khalid were the top performances on the Coachella stage when it was busiest between 8pm-10pm. However, while attendance was still high, it started to decline around 10pm when Ariana Grande was about to go on stage.
Sunday, April 21st
Stage attendance on Sunday, April 21st
Interestingly, the Mojave stage saw the biggest spike of people during Denis Lloyd’s performance on both Sundays at 5pm.
Where They Visited From & Their Location Derived Demographics
The festival attracted people from all over the United States. We approximated the home areas of anonymous mobile devices that attended Coachella by homing them to census block groups, providing insights into where those devices came from and the related demographics of their users.
Unsurprisingly, most attendees traveled from within California to attend. Nevada and New York were the second and third most traveled from state, respectively.
Graph shows where people traveled from to attend the festival. Darker shades represent more people attending from those states.
Quick Demographic Facts
More than half of festival-goers either had no college degree or some college experience. About a quarter held a bachelor degree.
About 25% of attendees had a household income of $100,000+. This percentage can also account for festival-goers, like college students, that live with their parents. This is still quite a bit higher than California’s median household income of $71,805. This figure isn't surprising given the tickets for Coachella start at $429 for a weekend pass and go up to $9,500 for a luxury Safari Tent and weekend tickets for two people.
This said, almost half of them we approximate had a household income between $0-$40,000.
Where They Stayed & How They Traveled
By geofencing the camping and pick-up/drop-off areas at the festival, we found that about 43% of Coachella attendees camped or“glamped” out. We found the most people camping out on Saturday the 13th.
About 14% of total festival-goers arrived or departed from the Uber pick up/drop off area during both weekends.
Sponsors & Other Findings
Our data showed that about 20% of total festival-goers visited the Antarctic dome while at Coachella over both weekends. The dome was powered by HP, who was the festival’s official technology sponsor. The 360-degree display of digital art created the experience of being submerged underwater, with visuals moving in sync with music from RÜFÜS DU SOL. This finding may not come as a surprise as the dome was air conditioned,
so festival-goers couldturn up while escaping
the desert heat.
NYX Professional Makeup's onsite activation was also a popular destination. Their“glitter playground” provided festival-goers with an area to touch-up, play with glitter makeup, charge their phones, and enjoy some air conditioning and Wi-Fi. NYX Professional was a new sponsor and was the official and exclusive makeup sponsor of Coachella, possibly replacing Sephora who sponsored last year.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, we found Heineken’s locations to be very popular during the festival. Heineken was the official beer sponsor of Coachella and clearly sees the benefit of sponsoring the festival as they returned for the 18th consecutive year. This year, Heineken offered a sampling of their alcohol-free beer, Heineken 0.0.
Amazon lockers were also a hit, Amazon was also a new sponsor this year at Coachella.
The Bottom Line
Location data and foot traffic analysis reveal many unique insights about a specific event or venue. At an event as large at Coachella, the data tells an interesting story about who attended the festival and what they did while they were there. Festival planners can benefit from this information and use it to create better fan experiences, like partnering up with sponsors whose target market and interests align with attendee demographics.