To the surprise of no one who has paid attention to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach Festival, scheduled for three consecutive weekends in April at Indio’s Empire Polo Club, have been canceled.
According to an announcement by the Riverside County public health official released Friday afternoon, the events were closed “based on concerns of an autumn resurgence” of COVID-19.
“This order is intended to reduce the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19, thereby slowing the spread of COVID-19 in communities around the world,” wrote Dr. Cameron Kaiser in the festival cancellation order. “If COVID-19 were detected at these festivals, the scale, number of attendees and the nature of the venue would make it impossible, if not impossible, to keep track of who could be put at risk.”
Coachella and its country music cousin Stagecoach were both originally scheduled for April 2020 and were among the first festivals canceled during the initial throes of the coronavirus pandemic. They were then rescheduled for October, then rescheduled again for April 2021.
Travis Scott, Frank Ocean and Rage Against the Machine were Coachella’s scheduled headliners. After previous pandemic-related cancellations, Goldenvoice assured ticket holders that their passes would be honored at the rescheduled festival and that refunds were subsequently offered for a set period.
The concert industry was completely wiped out during the pandemic. The global live events industry is estimated to have taken a $ 30 billion hit since March 2020, according to industry trade publication Pollstar. Coachella, the most profitable music festival in the United States, typically grosses between $ 75 and $ 100 million over its two weekends.
Meanwhile, other festivals have begun to suggest possible returns later in the year. Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival applied for permits to host an event in September this year, and Bonnaroo is currently booked for the same month in Tennessee. Several major festivals in Europe such as the Spanish Mad Cool are, for now, still scheduled for the summer.
AEG, which owns the festival promoter Goldenvoice, declined to comment on the cancellation or to offer information on rescheduling or refunds. Goldenvoice representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Times staff writer August Brown contributed to this story.
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