Is Coachella Getting Cancelled?

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As the Coronavirus rages on, Coachella could be the next major music festival to cancel.

To the disappointment and frustration of thousands — and perhaps millions — the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic has forced an array of artists and music festival organizers to indefinitely postpone their shows. And with the music industry’s collective concern over the infection continuing to grow, some are speculating that Coachella, which attracted more than 100,000 fans per weekend in 2019, could be the next big cancellation.

Fans are little more than one month out from the multi-weekend festival’s first installment, which is scheduled to begin on April 10th. A bevy of prominent artists, from Calvin Harris to Rage Against the Machine and Lana Del Rey to Travis Scott, have been booked to perform during this opening weekend. Predictably, anticipation — on the part of both artists and fans — is considerable.

However, so too are concerns over COVID-19. An ever-increasing number of artists, including BTSSlipknot, Green Day, Stormzy, and Mariah Carey, to name just some, have been forced to alter their tour schedules in response to COVID-19 concerns and risks. Moreover, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and more have withdrawn from South by Southwest (SXSW) 2020, which will take place despite approximately 50,000 worried fans having signed a petition urging the event’s cancellation.

In the same vein, Tomorrowland WinterUltra Abu Dhabi, and Ultra Miami have also been scrapped this week.

Further fueling the cancellation rumor is the fact that Coachella officials have been conspicuously silent regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

Recent social media posts haven’t so much as mentioned COVID-19, and Coachella’s media team didn’t respond to Digital Music News’ questions about the festival’s response.  Additionally, Coachella’s site doesn’t even mention the issue.

At the end of the day, the decision will be rendered based upon fans’ opinions; Coachella, like other music festivals and the industry as a whole, is, after all, made possible by those who purchase tickets and support artists. Thus, the easiest way to predict the fate of the festival’s 2020 edition may well be to consult the opinions of those who plan to attend and/or have attended in previous years.

Unfortunately, if fans are panicked enough, they simply won’t show up.

8 Responses

  1. Angelito

    It will cut down on STDs and people will still get colds. Cancel it.

  2. Jerry Trophenphal

    Doing the inevitable cancellation sooner than later will help people cut their losses, stubborn, greedy bastards.

  3. Randy

    I think you got it wrong, if it were to be canceled it will be because of local governments mandating it, not fan interest. If events choose to cancel artists could demand to bepaid. if its mandated by law they won’t have to pay them.

    • DW

      Do some research on paying artists for performance. You’ll see that many artists do get prepaid already. Most get at least 50% retainer. In most contracts, if the show gets canceled, the artists keeps the money.

  4. John

    These are only cancelled because government agencies forced the cancellation. While some fans are not wanting to attend, a majority still want to attend despite the over hype that is going on concerning COVID-19. It’s going to spread no matter what. It’s the flu. Wash your hands and take care of yourself. Life moves on. Hope they keep the festivals! I will still travel anyway and meet up with those that still travel.

    • Ramos Macinas

      I’m sure government isn’t the only reason, and you’re guessing on the percent of fans who would still attend. Look…people are gross. Tell them as many times as you like to wash their hands and several people just will not. They will not cough in their inside elbow, but open-mouth into the air. This isn’t just the flu. It is much worse, actually (proven by medical science). Good luck to you.

  5. CRH

    Option 1. Coachella cancels, insurance not covered. They lose financially
    Option 2. County Health force cancellation, then Coachella paid by insurance, but insurance companies then sue County Health
    So County Health & Coachella both waiting to see who blinks first.

    No cancellation. Attendance well down
    Option 3. If not cancelled and virus spreads due to concerts, then members of the public sue both Coachella & County Health dept.
    Option 4. If not cancelled, and no virus issues linked to concerts then Coachella and County Health both avoid law suits

    Key factors:
    Spread of virus over the next 3 weeks. If high puts pressure on County Health dept
    Public opinion on whether concert should proceed
    Cancellation of other national music or local sporting events
    Pressure from booked performers, who would probably have to pay if they withdraw

  6. Michael Stephens

    the organizers should cancel but they have no incentive to do so. Also the leaders of local town /county would lose their next election if they cancelled it. Only the CA state authorities can stop it and then they would have to stop all sporting events and concerts. They will probably do this in late to early April very close to start when infections are getting even higher. Then maybe there is some insurance for the organizers but not the town etc profits