Coming in as one of the last events to officially get canned, Coachella and its Stagecoach festival are now officially the latest events to fall victim to coronavirus (COVID-19) cancellations. It comes after Coachella was initially postponed from April to October.
Coachella was slated to be a huge one, as it usually is, with headliners like Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean. While Stagecoach had lined up Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church.
Cameron Kaiser, public health official in Riverside County, where the events would’ve taken place, said he wouldn’t feel comfortable with the festivals continuing. Pointing to fears the pandemic could worsen in the United States later this year, and their two million positive tests.
“I am concerned as indications grow that Covid-19 could worsen in the fall,” Kaiser sais. “Given the projected circumstances and potential, I would not be comfortable moving forward,” he said.
“These decisions are not taken lightly with the knowledge that many people will be impacted. My first priority is the health of the community.”
Rumours that Coachella would be cancelled have been swirling around for a little while now. Mostly due to logic, but on Wednesday there were reports that Coachella’s parent company AEG had laid off a bunch of staff and placed others in furlough.
There are reports event organisers Goldenvoice have been considering a smaller event in April. The idea is that restrictions may be slightly eased by then, while the typically-huge Coachella would be able to go ahead in October 2021.
The festivals join Splendour in the Grass 2020, which was cancelled on Wednesday, as well as Download Festival, Groovin’ The Moo, and Bluesfest.
UPDATE 12 JUNE: Coachella organisers, Goldenvoice, have now issued an official statement confirming the festival’s 2020 cancellation.
“Under the continuing health guidance of the County of Riverside, Coachella and Stagecoach 2020 will not take place this October as previously rescheduled. This is not the future that any of us hoped to confront, but our main focus remains the well-being of our fans, staff, artists, desert partners and everyone involved in the festival.
“A year without Coachella and Stagecoach is hard for us to comprehend, but we have every intention of returning in 2021. As of now, Coachella weekend one will take place April 9 – 11, 2021 and weekend two will be April 16 – 18, 2021. Stagecoach is set for April 23 – 25, 2021. We look forward to sharing our new lineups and more information. We can’t wait to be together in the desert again when it is safe.
“All 2020 passes will be honored in 2021. Current pass holders will be sent an email by the end of the day on Monday, June 15 with further instructions to request a refund or to roll over to next year.”