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Coachella and Stagecoach festivals canceled for 2021, after being postponed in 2020, because of COVID-19

2019 Coachella Festival
A view of the festival grounds through the plexiglas “Spectra” during day one at the 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on the Empire Polo Club grounds in Indio, CA. The 2021 edition of the festival has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

There is no word on when the festivals, which were to be headlined by Frank Ocean, Rage Against The Machine, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church, will be rescheduled

There will be no Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival or Stagecoach country-music festival in 2021.

After twice postponing its 2020 editions because of the coronavirus pandemic — first from last April to last October, then to this April — both festivals have now fallen through altogether for this year.

No new dates have been announced as yet for Coachella, which was scheduled to take place this year on the weekends of April 9-11 and April 16-18, or Stagecoach, which was scheduled for April 23-25. Both events are held on the field of the Empire Polo Club in Indio and typically draw 20 percent of their audience each year from San Diego County.

The announcement of the cancelations was made Friday afternoon Twitter by Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the public health officer for Riverside County, after his office issued a cancellation order to Goldenvoice, the Los Angeles-based producer of both festivals.

The order reads: “The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and the Stagecoach Country Music Festival currently scheduled for April 2021 are hereby cancelled.

“This Order is issued as a result of the worldwide epidemic of COVID-19 disease, also known as ‘novel coronavirus,’ which has infected at least 100,418,923 individuals worldwide in 192 countries and is implicated in over 2,161,547 worldwide deaths as of this order. Riverside County has 266,849 confirmed cases and 2,970 deaths.”

The decision to cancel was prompted by concerns that both festivals could have been super-spreader events for coronavirus, if they were permitted to take place as scheduled.

“This Order is intended to reduce the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19, thereby slowing the spread of COVID-19 in communities worldwide. If COVID-19 were detected at the festivals, the scope and number of attendees and the nature of the venue would make it infeasible, if not impossible, to track those who may be placed at risk.”

The 2017 Coachella festival, the last year for which Goldenvoice released figures, drew a combined two-weekend audience of 750,000 and grossed a record $115 million. The three-day 2019 edition of Stagecoach drew 80,000 people per day.

As of Friday afternoon, Goldenvoice had not yet disclosed its refund policy for the 2021 festivals. The cancellation of Coachella comes after other major festivals postponed from 2020 to 2021 have been pushed back, including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which is produced by AEG Worlwide, the parent company of Goldenvoice.

There is no word yet on the status of the 2021 KAABOO San Diego festival at Petco Park which was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic. The Ohana Festival in Dana Point, postponed its 2020 edition and is scheduled to resume Sept. 24-26 with a lineup headed by Pearl Jan, Kings of Leon and Eddie Vedder. A co-producer of San Diego’s Wonderfront festival, which debuted in 2019 and was dark last year because of the pandemic, told the Union-Tribune on Jan. 21 that “Wonderfront is planning to be back in November 2021!”


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