Coachella, which was originally postponed from its usual April dates to October due to the coronavirus pandemic, has now been cancelled following orders from local public health officials.
Riverside County’s public health officer, Dr Cameron Kaiser signed an order on Wednesday that cancelled Coachella as well as its smaller sister festival, Stagecoach, amid fears of the damage that would do due to the current pandemic.
“Events like Coachella and Stagecoach would fall under [California] Governor [Gavin] Newsom’s Stage 4, which he has previously stated would require treatments or a vaccine to enter. Given the projected circumstances and potential, I would not be comfortable moving forward,” Kaiser 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.”
This comes after Billboard revealed that AEG (the Anschutz Entertainment Group) has laid off 15 per cent of its staff, as well as furloughing 100 employees and has cut pay by up to 50 per cent. In an email to staff, which has been obtained by Billboard, CEO Dan Beckerman said the move will affect staff across the world.
“It is an agonising decision, but sadly, a necessary one,” Beckerman said. “The world is slowly re-opening, and our industry will re-open later and more slowly than most.”
Event organisers Goldenvoice are reportedly deciding between running a smaller Coachella event in 2021 in the hopes restrictions have eased by then and then throwing a full-scale festival in October next year.
“It is clear now that live events with fans will not resume for many months and likely not until sometime in 2021,” Beckerman said.