Remember events? Nah, me neither. It’s been about three months since we started taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously in the US, and pretty much every large-scale event in the spring or summer was canceled or postponed long ago. But even as many states have begun to reopen, things like concerts and sporting events with fans present are looking less and less likely for the remainder of the year. Today, Billboard reported that Coachella, originally postponed from April to October, will not be happening in 2020.
That’s right, you can officially hang up your flower crown for this year, pack away your festival clothes, and cancel that Airbnb in Palm Springs (good luck getting your deposit back). This week, AEG, the parent company of Coachella promoter Goldenvoice, made some drastic cuts, and announced in an internal memo that they’ve essentially canceled everything for 2020. Along with laying off 15% of their staff and furloughing over 100 employees, the memo stated that it is “clear” that live events, including Coachella, will not return until 2021.
The bad news doesn’t end there. The memo suggests two options for Coachella 2021: either an April festival in “smaller form,” or a full capacity festival in October. So it’ll either be next spring, and tickets will be impossible to get, or there won’t be a Coachella for 16 more months. Honestly, I’m not really a music festival person, so it makes no difference to me, but for all those people who shape their personality around their Coachella Instagrams, this is rough news.
While lots of people are sure to be disappointed that they won’t get their ferris wheel pics this year, AEG’s decision not to have a festival at all in 2020 is probably a solid public health decision. After all, it’s not hard to imagine that 100,000 people crammed into a field daily for two weekends in a row could be a nightmare in terms of a potential second wave of coronavirus. Just imagine trying to get all the people
doing drugs having a great time in the Sahara tent to cough into their elbows. A nightmare!!
While several states have seen spikes in COVID-19 cases in recent days, it’s impossible to predict where things will be a few months from now. So far, there’s no word on whether the 2020 lineup will be carried over to next year, but maybe they can use this time to find room for a headliner who’s not a man? Idk, just a thought.
Images: @andrewruiz / Unsplash
UPDATED: Goldenvoice released a statement Tuesday evening confirming that Coachella is being postponed, writing, “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. While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously.” They added that Coachella 2020 will now take place October 9-11 and October 16-18; Stagecoach will take place October 23-25, 2020. All April tickets will be honored for the October dates, which again, makes things difficult for me, a person who cannot plan out three days in advance, let alone seven months. Ticketholders will receive information on how to receive a refund by Friday, March 13.
Well, fam, it looks like it’s happening: after a weekend speculating whether or not Coachella 2020 would go on amidst the rapid spread of coronavirus, Billboard has reported that that Coachella is being postponed to the weekends of October 9 and 16, 2020. Unfortunately, that means you’ll have to keep your flower crowns packed away for another few months, and you’ll have to settle for posting TBT pics from last year’s festival, since no influencers will be making the pilgrimage out to Indio this spring. Pour one out for all the missed Instagram likes, as well as 99% of Revolve’s profits for the year.
While it hasn’t been confirmed by Goldenvoice yet whether or not Coachella is being postponed, Billboard said “high level sources” should know within 48 hours whether Coachella can be saved or not. Similarly, they are seeing if Stagecoach can be moved to October as well. While I’m glad that rich white people may still hopefully be able to catch headliners Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, and Eric Church, if Stagecoach doesn’t happen until October, that means there will be no storylines about the festival on Bachelor in Paradise. Guess Blake is going to have to resort to Bumble for his hookups, like us plebeians.
my main coronavirus fear is that if Stagecoach gets canceled there won’t be any storylines for Bachelor in Paradise
— Dylan Hafer (@thedylanhafer) March 6, 2020
On Sunday, Riverside County declared a public health emergency after its first case of the virus had been discovered. The patient in question was reported to be treated at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage and was in isolation. On Monday, three more cases were confirmed.
Coachella 2020 was gearing up to be a big year, with headliners including Travis Scott (who, also this past weekend, officially got back with Kylie Jenner), and Frank Ocean, who finally got let out of whatever basement Def Jam has been keeping him in for the past three years. If anyone from Def Jam is reading this, though, I still need proof of life from Frank. Throw me a free Cameo video and I’ll call it even.
Then news that Coachella is canceled comes right after Ultra announced they were canceling this year’s festival, also because of coronavirus concerns. Originally scheduled for March 20-22, 2020, it has been moved to March 26-28, 2021. Flume, Major Lazer, and Zedd were supposed to headline, although it’s not yet clear if they will still headline the festival next year. I can’t even make plans for next weekend and feel confident I’ll stick to them, so planning an appearance a full year in advance sounds near impossible. SXSW was also canceled, and I predict more festivals will continue to fall while the coronavirus panic reaches a high. My advice? Don’t go buying any Bonnaroo tickets just yet, and hold off on booking any nonrefundable flights.
Canceling Coachella was probably for the best, considering last year, the festival ended up in the news for the rampant transmission of a different virus: herpes. HerpAlert, an online diagnosis and treatment website, reported almost 250 inquiries within the first two days of weekend one last year. Now, that doesn’t mean that herpes was spreading like the coronavirus (too soon?) but it does mean that enough people were having sketchy sex and worried they could have herpes. Yeah, probably not the best idea to throw hundreds of thousands of millennials who are hooking up, not showering, and sharing
drugs drinks and sh*t in close quarters in the midst of a global freakout. Not to mention, any hand-washing station at any given festival is unusable within like, the first four hours—so it would take like, one die-hard Frank Ocean fan to f*ck up everybody’s sh*t.
Coachella can’t get canceled bc I need a group of universally hated people to make fun of for 2 weeks straight
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) March 8, 2020
Coronavirus has already messed with a lot of random things, and it looks like festival season is its latest casualty. Damn it, and I was totally going to score an invite to Revolve Festival this year!!
We’re still waiting for an official update from Goldenvoice, but dare I say that even if the show does go on, nobody in their right mind would attend? Actually, who am I kidding, people will do literally anything for Instagram—putting themselves at risk for an infectious disease actually ranks pretty low on the list.
Everybody go wash your hands, and check on your influencer friends to make sure they’re ok.
Images: Aran Mntez / Unsplash; dylanhafer, betchesluvthis / Twitter