Coachella Postponed Due to Coronavirus Fears

Poetic Kinetics, Overview Effect_Coachella - Getty - H 2020
Natt Lim/Getty Images for Coachella

Goldenvoice has officially moved the music and arts festival to the weekends of Oct. 9 and Oct. 16.

The 2020 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has been postponed due to the coronavirus.

The Indio, California, fest has been pushed back to the weekends of Oct. 9-11 and Oct. 16-18 from its original dates of April 10-12 and April 17-19, promoter Goldenvoice announced Tuesday. Its country counterpart, Stagecoach, will also be moved to Oct. 23-25.

"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," read a statement from Goldenvoice. "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."

The statement continued: "All purchases for the April dates will be honored for the rescheduled October dates. Purchasers will be notified by Friday, March 13, on how to obtain a refund if they are unable to attend."

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Wednesday in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. As of Monday, six cases were announced in Riverside County, with four of those specifically in the Coachella Valley; the county health chief declared a local emergency on Sunday. The virus, which has symptoms including coughing and fever, has reached at least 30 states with at least 16 cases in Los Angeles County.

Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean were set to headline Coachella. It's unclear which headliners or acts will still perform in October.

About 100,000 people reportedly attend each day of the festival, which earned about $114 million in revenue in 2017. The only instance in the 21 years that Coachella, founded in 1999, has not occurred was in 2000, due to financial struggles.

Billboard reported Monday that Goldenvoice was aiming to move both Coachella and Stagecoach to October and was in talks with talent agents and city officials since Sunday night about the new plans. 

Notably, the first-ever Coachella was held in October, a month when temperature highs now average about 92 degrees compared to 88 degrees in April in Indio. 

Coachella has trended on Twitter as attendees worried the desert bash would be canceled or postponed to the fall. Several ticket holders began trying to sell their tickets last week as the virus spread, and more than 20,000 people signed a petition to cancel the fest.

The news follows last week's cancellation of SXSW in Austin, Texas, which would have begun Friday. Elsewhere, Miami's Ultra Music Festival was delayed until 2021 due to the coronavirus, which has caused the deaths of at least 22 people in the U.S. including one in California. France's Tomorrowland Music Festival was canceled on Thursday, too, and Miley Cyrus, Pearl Jam and Madonna are among the musicians calling off some concert performances. 

The coronavirus has caused several other fashion and entertainment industry events to be pushed back or scrapped altogether, including Gucci's San Francisco Cruise show, Armani's Dubai fashion show and MIPTV. DC pulled out of its March Comic Con appearances, and the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California, near Coachella, was postponed as well. New York's Met Gala in May was said to be proceeding as planned as of early March.