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Lift to Rise launches billboard campaign calling for raising wages of local workers as music festivals approach

Lift to Rise launches billboard campaign calling for raising wages of local workers as music festivals approach

With the Coachella Valley’s annual spring music festivals fast approaching, Lift to Rise has launched a billboard campaign to raise support around a living wage for the local workers that make the festivals and other major events a huge success and driver of the valley economy.

Two billboards placed along Interstate 10 during April reference different headliners appearing at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Tyler the Creator and group No Doubt. The festival, taking place over two upcoming weekends in Indio, brings hundreds of thousands of visitors to the valley. It’s followed by the Stagecoach county music festival, also in Indio.

Local workers make the festival happen, the billboards say. “Raise their wages.”

A third billboard along Dillon Road in Coachella states, “There’s no Coachella fest without Coachella’s best.”

Heather Vaikona, Lift to Rise CEO and President, said the primary intent of the billboards is to spark a conversation.

“In our culture we sometimes bully people away from talking about wages,” Vaikona said. “One thing we’ve learned at Lift to Rise is that we can take on complex things, where we may ideologically disagree, if we are first willing to sit down and work together to find creative solutions.”

Visitors to the Coachella Valley spent $7.1 billion in 2022, according to Visit Greater Palm Springs. Yet workers in leisure and hospitality earn the lowest average pay of of any local job sector, just $37,504 per year, according to the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership’s 2023 Economic Report.

With the median monthly rent in the Coachella Valley approaching $2,700, many local workers in hospitality, retail, and agriculture have little left over after paying for housing.

The festival billboards are in addition to others Lift to Rise has placed throughout the Coachella Valley since 2023 that feature resident leaders and draw attention to collective efforts to create better opportunities for local residents by increasing affordable housing options and workers’ wages.

Valley residents wanting to voice support for a living wage can sign a petition on the Lift to Rise website.