Worker killed in fall while setting up stage at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

A view of the Empire Polo grounds through the Spectra, a tower of colored panels at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio in 2018.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

A worker died while setting up a stage for the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in the Southern California desert.

Goldenvoice, which puts on the popular festival in Indio each year, said in a statement that the man was a lead rigger who died in a fall while working on a stage at the Empire Polo Club. The statement did not identify him by name but said he had been on the Coachella team for 20 years.

The six-day festival, spread over two weekends in April, is scheduled to begin Friday.

The statement said that all at Coachella are “grieving this loss.” It said the worker was “doing what he loved.”


Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino and Janelle Monae are among the acts who will perform at Coachella this year.