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Coachella Festival Canceled In 2020, Says Public Health Commissioner

Photo caption:

Photo by Valerie Macon AFP via Getty Images

A man stands in front a poster advertising an "at home" streamed Coachella event in April in Hollywood, Calif.

The popular annual music festival Coachella and its country music sibling, Stagecoach, have both been canceled for 2020. While the events' promoter, Goldenvoice, has not yet made a public announcement, the cancellation order was released Wednesday evening by the public health officer of Riverside County, Calif.

In March, the festivals' organizers announced that both Coachella and Stagecoach would be delayed until October. However, the order from Dr. Cameron Kaiser warned of a possible spike in COVID-19 infections this fall. He also noted that the festivals attract "hundreds of thousands of attendees from many countries," and that if an outbreak were to occur at Coachella or Stagecoach, it would be "impossible to track those who may be at risk."

NPR has reached out to Coachella's promoter, Goldenvoice, which did not respond immediately to a request for comment. On Tuesday, however, Billboard reported that the company was looking to reschedule the festivals next year. It is still unclear whether or not Goldenvoice could feasibly present the festivals in April, the month in which they traditionally take place — and probably sell fewer tickets to meet social distancing requirements — or if they would have to move them to fall 2021 in a bid to increase audience capacity safely. It's also unclear at this point which marquee artists would commit to performing either month.

Nearly 600,000 tickets were sold for the 2019 edition of Coachella, which was held across two consecutive weekends. This year's planned headliners included Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean for Coachella and Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church for Stagecoach.

Goldenvoice is owned by the massive live event company AEG Presents. Variety reported on Monday that AEG Presents is instituting a variety of layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts across all areas of the organization as of July 1.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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