The Latest Addition To The Coachella Lineup: Drones

Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images.
Drones are coming to Coachella. Festival organizers Goldenvoice and AEG are taking the approach that more is better with security this year. For Coachella, that means making forays into security measures that are more experimental as well as enhancing the traditional.
For the first time, they have contracted a third-party company to use drones as a new form of security to be at the disposal of the Indio Police Department. While you probably won’t see drones whizzing by in the background of your favorite influencer’s festival outfit posts or Instagram stories, their use could prove helpful considering the size of the festival grounds.
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Between the first and second weekend, it is estimated that approximately 250,000 people are expected to attend the world renowned festival in Indio, CA. With this many people in one place, state of the art security is a necessity. Coachella is ramping up its security measures in response to mass shootings at large public events like the ones that occurred at the Harvest Music festival in Las Vegas, the bombing at Ariana Grande’s show in Manchester, and the shooting at the Bataclan theatre in Paris.
Standard forms of security are in place as well, including police dogs, metal detectors, bag searches, and security teams. The most important security they have in place, according to Goldenvoice president and CEO Paul Tollett, is extensive planning.
“It takes all security professionals to work together with federal, state and local partners, private sector security companies,” explained Ashour Ebrahim, the director of health and safety at Goldenvoice’s partner AEG Presents, in an interview at the XLIVE conference, where companies come together to devise better ways to make large events safer. “How are we going to try to prevent these [mass shooting] events from happening? That takes a lot of proper planning in order to see what the needs are.”
Some security measures are more subtle, such as moving the EDM-filled Sahara tent further away from the mid-sized Gobi and Mojave tents to reduce congestion from foot traffic, reports USA Today. With more people attending every year, even well-planned pathways and spacing can contribute to a safer environment. According to Tollett, security has evolved each year to include more public and private organizations working together.
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While some measures, like the drones, are more experimental, event organizers are getting more creative in the ways they keep people safe. The whole point of a festival like Coachella is to be able to make memories with friends, hear amazing music, and hopefully not get a sunburn. The more companies like AEG and Goldenvoice plan ahead, the more attendees can relax and enjoy the events everyone is working so hard to put on.
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