California’s Coachella Music and Arts Festival is reportedly sitting out again this year, postponing the event until 2022.
As reported by Variety, two industry sources have told the publication that the 2021 instalment of the festival won’t be going ahead, and it’s likely that the country music-themed iteration Stagecoach will also be postponed.
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The speculation is yet to be confirmed by the festival’s promoter Goldenvoice, or its parent company AEG, who declined Variety‘s requests for comment.
According to the sources, the decision to reschedule the event is due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and uncertainty about the logistics of holding a large-scale event during this time. While other festivals across the US such as Governers Ball and Outside Lands have been promoting their events, putting together Coachella – which sells 125,000 tickets a day across both weekends – would require navigating a large number of COVID-safety challenges.
“There’s a big difference between having two weekend of Coachella in California and throwing a country festival in Florida,” one of the sources told Variety.
If the reschedule is confirmed it’ll be the fourth postponement of Coachella in 12 months. Last year, the festival initially moved from its original April dates to October amid concerns over the growing COVID-19 pandemic.
Months later in June, it was announced that the event’s 2020 iteration had been axed entirely and new dates were proposed for April 2021. Rumours then began circling that the event was again being postponed until October 2021, although these were never publicly confirmed by promoters.
In January this year, Riverside County public health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser signed a cancelation order, which scrapped any hope for the April 2021 dates.
“This order is intended to reduce the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19, thereby slowing the spread of COVID-19 in communities worldwide,” he said at the time.
“If COVID-19 were detected at these festivals, the scope and number of attendees and the nature of the venue would make it infeasable, if not impossible, to track those who may be placed at risk.”