New York, NY (March 2, 2017)—Coachella may be one of the premiere festivals in the world, but that high profile also means that organizers Goldenvoice and parent company AEG Live are scrutinized all the more closely when they face challenges—like the multiple ones tackled this week. First a major headliner dropped out, and once that slot was filled, it was discovered that a Coachella database had been hacked, with personal information of account holders stolen.
When this year’s festival was announced, the headliners for both weekends—April 14-16 and April 21-23 at Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, CA—were Beyoncé, Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar, joined by other acts such as New Order, Madeon, the XX, Lorde, Warpaint, Bon Iver, Future and dozens of others. The Saturday-night headline slot by Beyoncé was all the more notable because the festival hadn’t booked a female headliner since 2007’s appearance by Björk.
On February 23, however, Beyoncé’s representatives announced the singer would be bowing out of this year’s event, opting to return next year as she is currently pregnant with twins and would be in her third trimester by mid-April. Within five days, Lady Gaga announced that she would be taking over the empty headliner slot on both weekends. The shows are now expected to be a preview of sorts for her upcoming world tour, which starts in August.
The data breach was another story, however, as rumors surfaced March 1 that Coachella’s website had been hacked. Soon, rumor became fact as the story was corroborated by the festival via an email sent to Coachella.com account holders.
The alert email explained that Coachella.com data had been stolen. Various forms of personal information, including names, email addresses, phone numbers and birthdays were taken, but organizers insisted that no financial data had been accessed. The accessed accounts are not involved in the ticket-purchasing process and are instead used by ticket holders for activating wristbands and accessing the website’s message forum. Nonetheless, the warning email suggested that account holders change their passwords and be wary of any phishing emails that come their way from entities claiming to represent Coachella.