[UPDATE 6/1/21]: Organizers of The Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival have broken their silence with the announcement of new festival dates for 2022. The iconic cross-genre gathering will take place April 15th–17th and 22nd–24th, 2022 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA.
Coachella was one of the first major cancellations in 2020 that formed the initial tidal wave of pandemic-related concert cancellations. Since then event promoter Goldenvoice, and its parent company AEG, have seen the dates move to fall 2020, spring 2021, and now finally to spring 2022. As many large-scale festivals around the country plan to occur in summer and fall 2021, the hope is that the mega festival—which sells out at 125,000 people per day—will be able to take place sans restrictions in spring 2022.
“We are optimistic and planning for the festival based on nationwide trends of declining COVID-19 cases and increased vaccinations as well as input from local health officials,” organizers write on the festival website’s COVID FAQs tab. “However, we continue to monitor the situation and will only proceed with the festival if it is safe to do so. Please continue to visit this website for updates relating to the festival.”
“It’s too early to tell exactly what precautions will be in place at the festival. However, your health and safety remain our top priority, and we continue to monitor the evolving health regulations and are working closely with state and health officials to develop COVID-19 protocols for the festival. We will follow all COVID-19 related mandates applicable to the festival and will provide more information as the festival approaches so you know what to expect.”
Pre-sale registration is now open on the Coachella website, with the advance sale beginning on Friday at 10 a.m. PT. Those who cannot make the new 2022 dates can request a refund through their ticket purchase account by June 11th. Organizers did not include a lineup with the new date announcement.
[3/18/21]: The Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival—as well as the country-centric Stagecoach festival which follows—will be postponed once again, this time to 2022, two industry sources with knowledge of the situation told Variety. If true, this would mark the fourth time Coachella has been rescheduled in barely 12 months.
Representatives from the event’s promoter Goldenvoice, and its parent company AEG, either declined or did not respond to requests for comment from the entertainment industry magazine.
Coachella, originally scheduled for April 10th–12th and 17th–19th, 2020, made waves last year as one of the first major festivals to postpone as COVID-19 decimated the live events industry in the United States. Promoters were overly optimistic as they announced new October 2020 dates, which were ultimately scrapped in favor of the festival once again taking back its usual April dates in 2021.
Vaccine rollouts across the country notwithstanding, health officials in Riverside County, CA—home of the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA—announced back in January that the festival would not take place in April. Earlier reports had indicated that Goldenvoice was planning to host the events in fall 2021, though no dates were ever officially announced.
As states begin to slowly reopen live events—some states slower than others—festival announcements have come trickling in. Though many are socially distant pod affairs, it still shows a sign of hope for summer concerts. Even with these positive steps forward, however, sources noted that hosting the sold-out, 125,000-person per day crowd that Coachella typically brings in simply is not feasible, even with the supposed October dates still seven months away. Add on top of that California’s much more stringent COVID-19 regulations versus other states where concerts are popping up.
“There’s a big difference between having two weekend [sic] of Coachella in California and throwing a country festival in Florida,” one source told Variety.
[1/30/21]: Health officials in Riverside County, CA where both Coachella and Stagecoach festivals take place have confirmed the two major music events will no longer happen as scheduled in April 2020.
The latest cancellation of Coachella, which was set to return on April 9th-11th and April 16th-18th, and Stagecoach (April 23rd-25th) was confirmed on Friday afternoon by Dr. Cameron Kaiser, a public health officer for Riverside County, who shared via his Twitter, “Due to the pandemic, Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser today (Jan. 29) signed a public health order canceling Coachella Valley Music and Arts, Stagecoach Country Music festivals planned for April 2021. We look forward to when the events may return.”
No rescheduled 2021 dates for either event have been confirmed by the festivals’ producers AEG/Goldenvoice, Billboard also confirmed. Earlier reports shared back in October 2020 revealed Goldenvoice was already planning to reschedule its spring events again to sometime in fall 2021.
Friday’s announcement marks the third time Coachella has had to scrap its planned dates since first postponing in March 2020. While some major music festivals in North America like New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival have already rescheduled their spring 2021 events to the fall months, it’s not clear at the moment whether Coachella and Stagecoach will try to do the same for the second year in a row.
Earlier this month it was reported that Goldenvoice is reportedly in talks with Riverside County health officials to help set up a mass vaccination site at its 500-acre Empire Polo Club in Indio where the two festivals take place each spring.
[10/7/20]: Executives at Goldenvoice and AEG Presents are reportedly planning to reschedule the dates for Coachella (and likely Stagecoach) again, to sometime in the fall of 2021, Rolling Stone reports.
According to the report, unnamed sources who have been in direct communication with Coachella organizers have told the media outlet they have been asked by those organizers to prepare for another reschedule to the fall 2021 months, although no specific dates were included.
“Frankly, they were supposed to announce [the change] over Labor Day,” the industry source told Rolling Stone. “They hadn’t. And they were supposed to announce at the end of September — they hadn’t.”
The report shared on Wednesday comes after organizers for arguably the largest and most successful pop and country music festivals in North America have already been forced to reschedule their events not once, but twice since the emergence of COVID-19 in the early months of 2020. Goldenvoice first rescheduled the two spring 2020 festivals–which both take place on the same location in Indio, CA–to October 2020, but by mid-summer organizers were ultimately forced to push both events back even further to spring 2020. As of Wednesday, Coachella is still scheduled to take place on April 9th-11th, 2021 (weekend one), and April 16th-18th, 2021 (weekend two), with Stagecoach set for April 23rd–25th, 2021.
Another credible source, Mark Scott (city manager of Indio) tells Rolling Stone that his office is working on a “Budget option” for a possible third date postponement, but didn’t confirm any specific plans or dates.
“We know Goldenvoice is driven by a desire to deliver a quality experience,” Scott said, “So safety is a huge part of what they do … It would not surprise me if they had to defer again.”
The potential third postponement would match the pandemic timeline of a similar high-profile music festival, Bonnaroo. Like Coachella, it was among the first spring 2020 festivals to push dates to the fall. Organizers later announced new June 2020 dates, only to once again push the festival back, this time to September 2021.
This Story Is Developing…
[H/T Rolling Stone]