Coachella is planning to reschedule its next festival for a third time due to the coronavirus crisis, it has been reported.
The 2020 edition of the Indio, California festival had been set to take place across two consecutive weekends back in April, but was pushed back to October 9–11 and 16–18 in March as the pandemic began to disrupt live music.
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Organisers confirmed in June that the 2020 edition would not take place while also announcing Coachella’s prospective return for April 9–11 and 16–18, 2021.
According to Rolling Stone, however, the festival will be postponed again until October 2021. Sources who have been in direct contact with the promotors behind the event – AEG and Goldenvoice – revealed they had been told to prepare for a move to the autumn.
One source claimed that Coachella is “100% moving” again. “Frankly, they were supposed to announce [the change] over Labor Day [September 7],” the source said. “They hadn’t. And they were supposed to announce at the end of September — they hadn’t.”
The insider told Rolling Stone they had heard from Goldenvoice CEO and Coachella founder Paul Tollett’s office that the new dates would be at the start of next October, “but they are holding the first three weeks to be safe” as they remain uncertain over artists’ availability.
Goldenvoice confirmed in June that Coachella 2021 would go ahead with a different line-up to this year’s, which included Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean as headliners.
However, the source said that the ongoing setbacks will make it “really challenging” for bands and artists to make plans for touring next year, “because multiple factors always come in”.
“What does the pay check look like, what does the moment look like? Most, if not everyone, are watching what Coachella does. A lot of people are going to wait to see what they do before they really solidify their plans and either have to compete with artists or renegotiate.”
Another insider said they would “not be surprised” if Coachella didn’t return until 2022 due to the current situation in the US. Mark Scott, the city manager of Indio, meanwhile, revealed that his team were working on a “budget option” for a postponement.
NME has contacted Coachella for comment.
Upon the cancellation of this year’s event, organisers said: “A year without Coachella and Stagecoach is hard for us to comprehend, but we have every intention of returning in 2021.”