Festivals

Coachella and Stagecoach Will Return in April 2022

Coachella
Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella

Festivalgoers are seen during the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 21, 2019 in Indio, Calif.

An October 2021 comeback is officially off the table. "We look forward to being in the desert next April with all of our friends," says Goldenvoice president Paul Tollett.

Coachella and Stagecoach will return in April 2022 after a two-year pandemic pause, officially ending speculation that North America's largest multi-genre music festival and its largest country music festival would attempt an October comeback.

"We look forward to being in the desert next April with all of our friends," festival founder and Goldenvoice president and chief executive Paul Tollett told Billboard in a statement.

Today, festival organizers Goldenvoice announced that both Coachella and Stagecoach are returning next spring, with the first weekend of Coachella scheduled April 15-17, the second weekend scheduled for April 22-24, and Stagecoach scheduled to take place April 29-May 1.

Lineups have not yet been released and organizers tell Billboard the reason for today's announcement was simple — they wanted to open up Coachella's payment plan program for fans looking to pay for their tickets in installments. Presale and payment plan tickets for Coachella go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. Pacific.

Coachella was first pushed March 9, 2020 to October 2020, only to be canceled for the year when it became clear the COVID-19 pandemic was showing no signs of slowing down. Plans to host the festival in April 2021 were scrubbed during the early weeks of January, without a new date being set. While Goldenvoice officials considered trying to bring back the festival in October 2021, Variety reported in March that the plan was no longer on the table and that the festival would not return until 2022.

The decision not to return in October will likely disappoint Palm Springs businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector, but the shortened time frame created too much uncertainty for Goldenvoice. California health officials didn't announce that festivals would be allowed to return in 2021 until late March, giving Goldenvoice less than six months to plan, book and sell tickets for two festivals that typical take at least 12 to 18 months of planning.

Coachella was first launched in October 1999 and lost so much money, organizers were almost bankrupted. The second Coachella took place in April 2001 and it has been staged in April a total of 18 times, making it the unofficial kickoff event for the contemporary music festival world. Only two major national events — South by Southwest in Austin, Texas and the EDM-focused Ultra in Miami — take place before Coachella. Stagecoach was launched in 2014.

That pole position placement for Coachella, coupled with its massive paid daily attendance of 125,000, makes the festival highly influential in the live music business and serves as a preview for which acts are playing major festivals that summer.  Presales and payment plan tickets go on sale 10 months before the festival and Goldenvoice gives fans six months to pay for their $429 tickets. After an initial deposit is made in June, $67.33 is deducted from fans accounts monthly from July to December.

Once those tickets are sold, Goldenvoice announces the lineup for the festival in January and puts its general admission and VIP ticket packages on sale for the April event.

More at Coachella.com and Stagecoach.com