Coachella organizer Goldenvoice and Riverside County government officials are reportedly discussing the possibility of working together to open a massive COVID-19 vaccination site.
Local reports pertaining to the potential mass-vaccination effort surfaced earlier this month, but Goldenvoice and Riverside County haven’t publicly announced whether they will in fact coordinate on the initiative. V. Manuel Perez, who is currently supervisor for Riverside County’s fourth district and was previously a Coachella, California, councilman, stated that Goldenvoice’s experience in logistics and planning could prove useful in terms of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
Additionally, Perez’s communications director, Darin Schemmer, mentioned Indio’s El Dorado Polo Club as a viable vaccination site. Worth noting is that vaccination centers have already been opened elsewhere throughout Riverside County, including in Beaumont’s San Gorgonio Middle School.
And yesterday, following reports that the County had depleted most of its COVID-19 vaccine doses, Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari said, “It’s a matter of vaccine supply that really slows us down.” Riverside County has administered approximately 130,000 novel coronavirus vaccinations (of the more than 190,000 shots that it has received) to date.
But as additional COVID-19 vaccine doses become available in the approaching weeks and months, it’s possible that Goldenvoice’s proposal will benefit Riverside County – and expedite the local return of non-socially distanced live music. Building upon the point, while many festivals that were canceled in 2020 (including EDC Las Vegas, Bonnaroo, and others) are slated to take place in the summer or fall of 2021, Coachella remains scheduled to begin just 71 days from now, on Friday, April 9th.
Although anonymous sources with knowledge of the matter previously stated that Goldenvoice and AEG intended to delay Coachella until later in 2021, it bears emphasizing that the corresponding reports emerged in October – before news of Pfizer’s successful COVID-19 vaccine trials began circulating.
The conspicuous absence of a formal announcement in the interim may suggest that AEG – which publicly offered to assist the federal government and individual states with vaccine distribution earlier this week – is still holding out hope for an early-April Coachella. (Coachella’s most recent Instagram and Twitter posts are dated December 4th, and the festival’s team last posted to Facebook on November 19th.)
Last month, Lupe Fiasco announced that he would require fans to show that they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend his concerts. Plus, Ticketmaster in November unveiled a series of “SmartEvent” tech solutions, including a “social distance seating tool,” designed to help venues safely welcome back audiences and “enhance the overall fan experience.”