The Coachella music festival’s makeshift post office saw unexpected traffic this weekend, as festival-goers scrambled to file their tax returns last minute from the campground.
Coachella, which kicked off on Friday, brings nearly 200,000 attendees to Indio, California, whose population is normally 83,000. The festival’s temporary campground is equipped to handle thousands of campers and their alcohol, but didn’t anticipate a rush of tax procrastinators.
At least 10 people tried to snail-mail their taxes through the campground post office, the station’s manager told the Riverside Post-Enterprise.
“No, I can’t ‘just take it,’” Megan Hampton who runs the Coachella campground’s makeshift post office told the Post-Enterprise. “How do they have their taxes here? I don’t know.”
Coachella’s post office isn’t even an official post office; it’s more like a halfway house for mail, which is later collected and dropped off at a proper mailbox. One of the nearest legitimate post offices is a short, 12-minute drive away. But that office’s postmaster said the nearby music festival has little impact on their daily operations.
“We don’t get much traffic from Coachella,” postmaster Delroy Walters told The Daily Beast. “They’re five, six miles away.”
The Coachella grounds have WiFi, allowing festival attendees to file their returns on web-based services like TurboTax while gently tripping on LSD before a Calvin Harris set, their W-2 forms and bank statements spread out before their laptops in the dry California grass. Yet one man complained on Twitter that this year’s Internet service was slow, possibly the result of several thousand people simultaneously Snapchatting.
Festival-goers could also file their last-minute returns from a tax preparation office like H&R Block, which has an outpost in Indio, California, some 11 miles away from the festival ground. The Indio offices are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. during tax season, conflicting with a significant portion of the Coachella concert sets. (Although tax filings might have been more enjoyable than slogging through Guns N’ Roses’ painful Coachella comeback set.)
“We’re not having a lot of people from out of town coming in to file, if any,” Monica Voltares, a representative from the Indio H&R Block, told The Daily Beast. “If anyone’s coming from Coachella, it’s to file extensions.”
The Coachella festival usually straddles Tax Day, although Hampton told the Post-Enterprise that their post office normally handles smaller items like postcards.
Coachella did not return a request for comment on whether more than 10 people had attempted to mail their taxes from the campground. But while any large gathering of people is bound to contain some power-procrastinators, it’s difficult to imagine Coachella elites like Kylie Jenner and Rihanna hauling their 2015 tax forms between campground WiFi hotspots.
For next year’s Coachella-goers, the festival has one plea: File your taxes online, or beforehand, but please, don’t mail them from the Indio post office.