Mega concert
McCartney, Stones to appear on same bill
The Coachella Valley has an October Surprise 1 of its own planned for this year, with six all-time rock-and-roll icons coming together on one stage at the site of the annual Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals.

Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, the Who, Neil Young and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd will be headlining the Oct. 7-9 event at the Empire Polo Field in Indio. The cheapest ticket is $199 so you'll want to set aside some cash to take part in this rare event.

People in the music industry who follow such things say this will be one of the biggest concerts ever. The level of talent and fame all in one location will be hard to duplicate again.

Paul Tollett of Golfenvoice, the company putting on the event, said his aim was to include artists who helped shape rock music but were still touring, writing and recording new material.

An older crowd is expected at the concert so the seating will be more accommodating than you find at the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals. Seating will be available in the stands and on the grass, whereas those festivals require attendees to stand or sit on the grass.

Tickets start at $199 for single-day general admission passes, and top out at $1,599 for reserved seats for all three days.

The event features just two acts per day, each playing full sets. The action begins after sundown and the performers will give complete performances rather than the abbreviated sets you see at most festivals. The performers will use a single stage in the northeast quadrant of the Empire Polo Fields grounds.

Indio is located near Palm Springs and accommodations are located nearby as well as in Palm Springs. Out on the eastern edge of the Coechella Valley cities, Indio is now undergoing a major transformation with several new housing developments that feature modern, spacious homes set alongside man-made lagoons and canals, all five minutes from the freeway.

It is in this same area that a major resort complex - the Resort at Indio - was built. This group of condo-style buildings includes 453 units altogether, built around what almost looks like a water theme park full of swimming pools, whirlpool spas, giant sprinklers for the kids, ponds, canals and even a man-made river to float down on a resort-provided inner-tube. There are a couple of huge swimming pools - the largest being almost 5,000 square feet.

 1The resort also includes tennis courts, a basketball court, a recreation center with pool, ping-pong and other games, and a modern workout gym. Golfers need go no farther than the Terra Lago golf course adjacent to the resort.

While in the area, there are several attractions worth seeing including the Pinkham Canyon Trail, within the Joshua Tree National Park, only a 20-minute drive from the resort.

Another 15 miles east from the Pinkham Canyon Trial on Interstate 10 there is a great place to see some military history first-hand: the General Patton Memorial Museum at Chiriaco Summit. The museum is a testament to General George Patton, one of the military heroes of World War II, and also to his specific involvement with creating the Desert Training Center, a vast desert landscape set aside for tank training when U.S. troops needed to prepare for warfare in North Africa. While Patton only ran the center for four months when it opened in 1942, he was instrumental in choosing the site where it was located.

The museum tells the story of the training center, but it also is a collection of artifacts from several wars including World War II. It's not in a fancy building and doesn't compare, for example, with the World War II Museum in New Orleans, but it is a fascinating group of exhibits that brings visitors closer to the realities of war. Through its collection of photos and documents, the museum offers a historical account of Patton and his contributions to the U.S. military. There is a large assortment of items actually used in war, from German Lugar pistols to machine guns to gas masks to uniforms and gear worn by our troops in several past wars.

Outside the museum are several tanks and other Army vehicles that help visitors envision what tank warfare must have been like in World War II. And it was easy to imagine hundreds of these tanks doing mock battle in these miles and miles of open desert a little more than a half-hour away from today's glitzy Palm Springs.
PHOTOS: Top, Empire Polo Fields in Indio; bottom, floating on innertubes at Resort at Indio
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