While few people expected that the Coachella and Stagecoach Festivals would take place in October, it’s now become official.
Riverside County public health officer Dr Cameron Kaiser announced on Wednesday that the festivals will be taking place next year at the earliest.
Promoter Goldenvoice is in the process of informing performers.
Coachella, the biggest music festival in the US, was initially planned for April.
Headlining with Rage Against the Machine, Frank Ocean and Travis Scott, it had been scheduled to return to the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California on the weekends of October 9 and 16, with the country music event Stagecoach happening the following weekend.
“I am concerned as indications grow that COVID-19 could worsen in the fall,” Kaiser said on Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“In addition, events like Coachella and Stagecoach would fall under [California] 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,” Kaiser said.
Sources told Variety that Goldenvoice has long known that October would be unfeasible for the festivals, and is still considering whether to hold the festival in April 2021, with a diminished audience, or October of next year with a full audience.
Coachella, which sprawls across two weekends and is the biggest music festival in the US, regularly sells out its 125,000 per day tickets immediately and nets between $US75 million and $US100 million each year.
US governors and mayors regularly say that concerts and major sporting events are among the last public gatherings that will return to pre-Covid status.