About 100,000 people will be leaving the Empire Polo Club in Indio this morning following the first weekend of the Coachella Music Festival, and officials warn they could tie up traffic much of the day.
Much of the crowd put on bandannas and sunglasses in the face of high winds Friday and Saturday and endured temperatures of up to 87 degrees when the winds died down Sunday, said Indio Police Department Sgt. Dan Marshall.
“We had a little dehydration requiring medical aid,” Marshall said. “When it’s windy here we have allergies and breathing treatments.”
Marshall said he did not have figures on the numbers of people treated.
“With 100,000 people you get the same amount of medical calls as a city the same size,” Marshall said.
Marshall said arrest numbers would not be released until Tuesday morning.
The grand finale of the first weekend of the Coachella Festival was Scottish DJ, singer and songwriter Calvin Harris. Harris is the boyfriend of Taylor Swift and she was photographed at the festival. But he brought Rihanna on stage during his set, which followed a performance by Sia.
Among the weekend’s other performers were Guns N’ Roses, Ice Cube, Snails and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.
A Highland woman was killed Friday night while crossing Avenue 52 east of Monroe Street near the Empire Polo Club. Eighteen-year-old Michala Freeland was crossing Avenue 52 at 8:13 p.m. when an eastbound Jeep Grand Cherokee hit her. She was taken to Eisenhower Medical Center where she died. The driver of the SUV was cooperative with the investigation police said.
The festival clogged Coachella Valley streets and freeways through the weekend and those roadways are expected to be jammed again this morning when festival attendees break camp and head for home, Marshall said.
“Anybody westbound on Interstate 10 through Indio and all the way to Los Angeles should expect delays,” Marshall said.
The California Highway Patrol planned to put extra officers on the roads to help keep traffic moving, Marshall said.
Caltrans suggested detours on other area highways including state Route 62 via Twentynine Palms.
The cycle of traffic, crowds and music repeats next weekend when the Coachella Festival returns, followed the next weekend by the Stagecoach country festival, Marshall said.