Just 24 hours after Lollapalooza 2020’s cancellation, both Coachella and Stagecoach have been officially cancelled by local officials.
Please note: the following report has been updated to include details of Coachella’s official cancellation. Earlier, we reported on information indicating that a cancellation was ahead — but it was not confirmed until this afternoon.
Earlier this morning, Coachella organizers hadn’t commented on rumors surrounding the status of their much-anticipated music festival, which was tentatively scheduled to take place in October. Now, the cancellation has been made official, both for Coachella and country-focused festival Stagecoach. Both are overseen by mega-promoter AEG Presents.
The cancellation order was issued today (June 10th) by Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser.
“I am concerned as indications grow that COVID-19 could worsen in the fall,” Kaiser stated. “In addition, events like Coachella and Stagecoach would fall under Governor 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.
“These decisions are not taken lightly with the knowledge that many people will be impacted. My first priority is the health of the community.”
Further statements noted that AEG unit Goldenvoice had been consulted on the decision. “After consulting with our public health officer and local leaders from the City of Indio and Goldenvoice, and with continued importance on public health, it was decided that postponing the concert series was appropriate and necessary,” relayed V. Manuel Perez, Riverside Fourth District supervisor.
The multi-weekend festival, which was slated to feature Rage Against the Machine, Frank Ocean, and Travis Scott as headliners, was initially arranged for April, though the domestic onset of the COVID-19 crisis prompted a delay.
AEG Presents also postponed Stagecoach until October.
The cancellation is a huge letdown for fans, but wasn’t unexpected. Earlier, we reported that 2020 headliners were being asked to push back their performances until 2021.
Similarly, details pertaining to a rescheduled Coachella event lent more credibility to the rumors. AEG Presents was reportedly choosing between a limited-capacity Coachella iteration in April and a full-scale Coachella 2021 event in the fall. Now, Riverside County has made that decision unnecessary.
AEG announced on Monday that it intends to make substantial cuts to its many divisions, including its live-event wing, AEG Presents, because of the fiscal impact and operational hurdles associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money-saving initiative may well be part of a long-term strategy that bets on the live event market’s returning somewhere around Q1 2021 – and accounts for the corresponding 10-month window until then.
Tesla founder Elon Musk, who recently lent his name to a letter calling for the repeal of New York’s “50-A” police-secrecy law, previously suggested an innovative – and logistically involved – replacement for Coachella 2020 if it was nixed.
An array of music festivals and crowd-based happenings, including Glastonbury, Tomorrowland Winter, Burning Man, and Ultra Abu Dhabi, have been canceled due to complications stemming from the coronavirus pandemic and its lockdown measures. Some, including Lollapalooza and now Coachella, had been forced to initially postpone before outright cancelling their events.
More as this develops.