Location Data Spotlight: Coachella 2017 Visitation Trends

Location Data Spotlight: Coachella 2017 Visitation Trends


Festival season brings out people from all walks of life. Music lovers, media socialites, Instagram celebrities, actual socialites, brands and people who just want to enjoy the late-April weather of Southern California’s Coachella Valley.


Coachella Valley hosts three weekends of jam-packed music festivals: two weekends of Coachella, and one weekend of Stagecoach. These festivals are more than just music — they’re opportunities for brands to get in front of thousands of people in one centralized place.


However, marketers should ask themselves a few questions before throwing on their flower headbands and joining the silent discos: Who exactly are they reaching? Is their music festival marketing effective? What is the economic effect of bringing a huge influx of people to a normally less populated area?


To help answer these questions, we analyzed anonymized and opted-in mobile device signals in Coachella Valley during these three events: Coachella Weekend 1, Coachella Weekend 2, and Stagecoach.


To start, we mapped out the concert, parking and camping venue boundaries for these events. We then looked at visitation to these locations against a local benchmark – the iconic La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs – to see if we were accurately measuring festival visitation. As you can see in the chart below, the music festivals are clearly identified.




But our goal is not to just spot these festivals – we already know they occurred! It’s to better understand the people going to them, and identify marketing opportunities. We therefore created a segmentation of devices that were observed attending the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals, which could be analyzed.


So, what did we find?


Glamping is Great, but Many Prefer Hotels

Although more and more people are opting to stay in home rentals or camp grounds than resorts, higher-end hotels see a significant spike during the two weekends of Coachella. However, part of this spike may be due to the pool parties. The Hilton was the ‘winner’ in terms of quantity of visitors, seeing a major spike during weekend two of Coachella during the Madeon and Dillon Francis hotel pool party.


Stagecoach saw a smaller spike in hotel foot traffic than Coachella perhaps due to the fact that people visiting for Stagecoach are not traveling as far on average as people visiting for Coachella.




Stagecoach saw a smaller spike in hotel foot traffic than Coachella – perhaps because Stagecoach attendees are not traveling as far on average as Coachella attendees.



Attendees Have Expensive Taste

SoCal hotels are not the only places getting a bump in visitation due to the festival season. Health food and specialty grocery stores such as Sprouts and Whole Foods saw a major uptick in visitation during festival season. This spike in foot traffic is especially apparent during the first weekend of Coachella, which is known to attract more celebrities and socialites.



Stagecoach attendees, on the other hand, opt for munchies over kale and convenience over health. This weekend saw a higher spike at convenience stores and Big Box stores like Walmart and Kmart.



Brand Loyalties Are All Over The Map

These festivals do not only vary by top performer – the brand loyalties and demographic make-up of festival goers vary drastically. It would behoove relevant brands to know which concerts their loyalists over-index for, and even which concerts their competitive consumers attend. This would give brands the chance to conquest them in a new environment where your brand may be the only option, or the more convenient one.


In analyzing the other places Coachella and Stagecoach visitors go when they are not at festivals, we found these concert goers over-indexed for visiting certain locations. Check it out:


The Coachella Visitor over indexes in visiting:

  • MGM Resorts
  • LAX
  • NFL Stadiums
  • Theme Parks
  • Ski Areas
  • Casino


Key Takeaway: Coachella attendees consist of high-end travelers, considering the frequent airport visits and tendency to choose expensive hotels.


The Stagecoach Visitor over indexes in visiting:

  • Chevrolet
  • Patagonia
  • Country Inn and Suites
  • Race Tracks
  • Best Western


Key Takeaway: Stagecoach attendees are practical travelers, choosing to stay at cost-effective hotels while rocking their Patagonia.


For more cool data stories like this, check out our blog!