Coachella and Stagecoach Honcho Paul Tollett

One of the great masterminds of music who most moves me has to be one Paul Tollett, president and CEO of mega promoter-producer Goldenvoice, and the man who gave us not only the Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival (whose twin weekends will soon bask under our swaying, sunny palms on April 10 to 12, and 17 to 19) but Stagecoach (Coachella’s country cousin, whose spurs follow on that larger affair’s considerable heels April 24 to 26). I mean, the guy has arguably put our Palm Springs Valley back on the melodic map of tourists young and old. And it’s not just visitors but locals whose ears, boogieing booties, and stomping feet are indebted to him!

This time of year, Tollett must be one busy body. Perhaps that’s the reason he couldn’t commit to answering one of my most preferred questions: “What are the top five things you love about your job?”

With all due respect to this spectacular Music Man, I’m going to go out on a limb, pretend I’m the maestro himself, and answer in his stead. Now, remember. This is a work of fiction. Fun fiction. Fan fiction. This is me putting myself in Tollett’s dancing shoes. So, here goes:

Number one has to be just being able to spend time in our sensational Palm Springs Valley at a time of year where the weather is simply sublime.

Number two might be creating the lineups of these two tuneful behemoths—especially with each passing year. In booking talent with each incarnation, Tollett has to decide which revered veteran acts to pay tribute to, which newbies to elevate to sudden star status, all while making the amalgamation of personalities and styles make sense.

My number three would certainly be watching the events sell out almost instantly, and realizing that my brainchild brings so much joy to so many—celebrities like Katy Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Rihanna included.

Fourth might be pulling off the majestic logistical feat not only of juggling so many stages at once but making each piece of the puzzle fit perfectly—from constructing concessions and VIP areas to planning security and plotting mammoth art installations. Not to mention the simple virtuoso task of moving some 100,000 attendees and support staff in and out of the Empire Polo Club grounds in Indio each day.

The fifth and final fave, to my mind, has to be being able to attend these concerts once all the hard work’s been done. I’m assuming Tollett gets a free pass. A VIP one at that! No one deserves it more…

Coachella and Stagecoach Honcho Paul Tollett

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