Coachella to expand across two weekends

As promised last week, COACHELLA made its "big announcement for 2012" this morning, and no, it's not a Smiths reunion. California's already-massive spring music and arts festival will double in size next year, expanding across two weekends under the blazing Indio sun to accomodate increasing ticket demand. But don't bust out that entended-stay camping gear just yet -- organizers promise to replice the same festival over both weekends -- same bands, same lineup, same threat of heat stroke, but separate ticket -- so folks just need to pick what weekend works best for them and not worry about missing out on anything (Note: of course you'll miss something -- zomgz gotta get tickets for both weekendz!!!1).

(Also see: Coachella builds a sweaty buzz over three days in the California desert)

The whole "two separate festivals over two weekends" is nice and all, but with a few hundred bands stranded for eight days out in the desert (a few ungodly hours outside Los Angeles, no less), the real party is bound to happen midweek during the April 16 to 19 break. There are only so many CVS runs a band like Arcade Fire can make before going crazy from the heat, and we're guessing British bands like Suede aren't the golfing type. So what will everyone do? Head back to LA and create the Best Week Ever for shows and parties? Climb the mountains on peyote? Chillax with us at the WFNX Sapporo House?

Here's official word from Coachella HQ, including some early-bird ticket news:  

We're excited to announce Coachella 2012 will be held over TWO WEEKENDS.

In an effort to try and accommodate everyone who wants to experience the festival, COACHELLA 2012 will be two separate events, held over two consecutive weekends. We will attempt to produce two identical festival weekends. That means same lineup, same art, same place, different people.

We know many of you were unable to attend this year's festival because passes sold out much sooner than anticipated. We were truly surprised by the overwhelming response and remain honored by your passion and enthusiasm. We also know some of you purchased through non legitimate sources and were inconvenienced, gouged or totally scammed. We hope that these changes will give everyone the opportunity to purchase directly from

Passes go on sale beginning this Friday, June 3, 2011, at 10am PST until the following Friday June 10th, 2011, at 10pm PST. This advance sale will be the only opportunity to take advantage of the Coachella Payment Plan. Passes will be available through a payment plan of 10% down and 8 equal monthly payments OR by payment in full. The price of three-day passes remains at $269 plus fees for the sixth consecutive year.

Coachella Weekend 1 - April 13-15, 2012 | Coachella Weekend 2 - April 20-22, 2012

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