Coachella, one of the largest annual music festivals in the US, has been postponed due to concerns about the novel coronavirus. The Indio, California-based event will be pushed back from April to October, organizer Goldenvoice announced Tuesday.
Another Goldenvoice festival, the country music-oriented Stagecoach, has also been postponed.
“At the direction of the County of Riverside and local health authorities, we must sadly confirm the rescheduling of Coachella and Stagecoach due to COVID-19 concerns,” Goldenvoice said in a statement. “While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously. We urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials.”
Coachella 2020 was originally set to run for two weekends, April 10-12 and April 17-19, with the same talent lineups performing both weekends.
It will now run October 9-11 and October 16-18. Stagecoach 2020 has been pushed back from April to October 23-25.
Goldenvoice said that passes purchased for the original April dates of Coachella and Stagecoach will be honored on the October dates. For those who would prefer to receive a refund for their tickets, Goldenvoice will make refund information available on March 13. Goldenvoice has not commented on whether it will make any special accommodations for people who have already booked travel.
Coachella is often the kickoff to the spring and summer music festival circuit. It expanded from a single three-day event to a two-weekend, six-day event in 2012.
But with the 2020 edition now rescheduled for six months later, it is unclear whether all the same artists will be able to perform on the new dates. That could be especially upsetting to ticket-holders who planned to attend specifically to see some of this year’s acts.
The popular Korean boy band BigBang, for example, announced it would be making a comeback this year — and it would kick off that reunion at Coachella. Frank Ocean is a top-billed act, and he’s ever elusive; his last album came out in 2016, and he’s rarely toured since.
And for many of the smaller bands on the bill, Coachella is something of a huge coming-out party. Potentially having to forfeit a festival spot due to scheduling difficulties introduced by the postponement could have an impact on the growth of their careers.
Coachella is not the first music festival to be canceled or postponed due to the spread of coronavirus since January. Miami’s Ultra Music Festival and Calle Ocho have been canceled. Both were set to take place later this month. And the mayor of Austin, Texas, announced last week that South by Southwest would be canceled, just ahead of its March 13 kickoff. It’s the first time in SXSW’s 34-year history that it has been canceled, and Austin businesses are already feeling the financial impact.