Coachella Could be Delayed to October Over Coronavirus Concerns
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
March 10, 2020
Less than one week after organizers of the 2020 South by Southwest conference canceled their event amid the growing novel coronavirus outbreak, Goldenvoice, the organization behind the Coachella Music & Art Festival and the Stagecoach Festival are reportedly 'in talks' to move those events to October.
According to a report from Billboard, Coachella could be moved to the weekends of Oct. 9 and Oct. 16 in lieu of canceling the festival altogether. The Stagecoach festival would be also be moved to October as well, with organizers eyeing Oct. 23 for that event. Nothing is finalized, but organizers began preparing for the possibility of rescheduling the event late Sunday, working with city and county officials as the outbreak spread across the country.
On Monday, worries that Riverside County officials could pull the event's permit increased following a report that 3 additional cases of the novel coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19, had been confirmed in the Coachella Valley area.
Coachella, held every spring in Indio, California, was scheduled to run for two weekends in April and feature musical acts such as Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott, and Frank Ocean. Sources tell Billboard that if enough of the headline acts can reschedule for October, the festival is likely to be moved.
Health officials have been warning people that large events might be canceled amid the outbreak and have been encouraging 'social distancing' in addition to frequent hand-washing in fighting the disease. Coachella sees more than a half-million people from all over the world visit the Southern California area to attend every year.
In addition to South by Southwest, other major events in the U.S. have been canceled amidst concerns over COVID-19, including the first leg of Pearl Jam's North American tour, which included two performances in Southern California. Miami's Ultra Music Festival was also officially canceled on Friday (March 6).
So far, health officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed more than 400 cases of the coronavirus in the United States and 21 deaths. Globally, the virus has infected more than 108,000 people and killed more than 3,800.
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