With fears around the spreading coronavirus heating up, Goldenvoice has officially announced it will reschedule the 2020 Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals.
The new dates are Oct. 9-11 and Oct. 16-18, 2020 for Coachella, and Oct. 23-25 for Stagecoach. There is no word yet on whether the original festival lineups will remain in place.
“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,” said the company in a statement. “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.”
All tickets purchased for the original April dates will be honored for the rescheduled dates in October, while those unable to attend will be notified by Friday on how they can obtain a refund.
On Monday, Billboard reported Goldenvoice was scrambling to reschedule the festival in light of the ongoing outbreak. Earlier that day, three more cases of the virus were confirmed in Riverside County, where the festival takes place.
As of Tuesday (March 10), confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide have surpassed 113,000, with reported deaths numbering over 4,000. In the U.S., cases now number over 900, including 30 deaths. California has a total of 157 confirmed cases, with potentially thousands more having been exposed, according to California Governor Gavin Newsom, who declared a state of emergency last Wednesday.
In 2016, an economic impact report estimated that Coachella and Stagecoach generated an estimated $704 million in overall economic activity combined, with $403 million of that being spent in the Coachella Valley area specifically. According to Goldenvoice, Coachella hosted 99,000 attendees per day over the course of the six-day festival in 2018, while Stagecoach hosted 70,000 per day.
Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO Scott White issued a statement to Billboard on the cancellation, saying the organization understands and supports Goldenvoice’s decision to reschedule the festivals to October. He cited the promoter’s 2016 Desert Trip music festival — which featured the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and The Who — as a previous success in the region during the autumn month.
“The climate here in the fall is very similar to April’s, and key flights like Jet Blue begin their nonstop service to the Palm Springs International Airport from New York,” White’s statement continued. “We are optimistic, due to Easter and Spring Break taking place, that we can reduce the local economic impact that the Coachella and Stagecoach schedule shift will bring for us. Greater Palm Springs is in high demand throughout the spring, and the rescheduling of the music festivals will open up opportunities for travelers to experience our Southern California oasis. The health and safety of the community and visitors is always our top priority, and we will continue to work with local and regional officials to ensure our visitors have the latest information.”
Coachella and Stagecoach are just the latest festivals to be affected by the spreading coronavirus. On Monday, Miami’s Winter Music Conference was canceled following an emergency declaration by Florida Governor Ron Desantis. Last week, Miami’s adjacent Ultra Music Festival was called off after festival organizers were forced to shut it down by Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Commissioner Joe Carollo.
Perhaps the biggest cancelation came Friday, when Austin’s South by Southwest festival was canceled after Mayor Steve Adler declared a local disaster. In 2019, SXSW’s total economic impact was estimated to be $356 million.
Internationally, Tomorrowland Winter in France and Ultra Abu Dhabi have been shut down over coronavirus concerns, while concerts and tours by the likes of Stormzy, Khalid, BTS, Madonna, Pearl Jam, Miley Cyrus, Green Day, Avril Lavigne, Yungblud, Maluma and Luis Tomlinson have also been canceled or postponed.
— Coachella (@coachella) March 10, 2020