Coachella has been cancelled by health officials in California's Riverside County due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival, and its country-music counterpart Stagecoach Country Music festival, had been scheduled for April 2020, before being postponed and pushed back to October 2020. They were then rescheduled again for April 2021, but both events have now been shut down "based on concerns of a fall resurgence" of coronavirus.
Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr Cameron Kaiser confirmed in a tweet: "Due to the pandemic, Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser today (Jan. 29) signed a public health order canceling Coachella Valley Music and Arts, Stagecoach Country Music festivals planned for April 2021. We look forward to when the events may return."
Due to the pandemic, Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser today (Jan. 29) signed a public health order canceling Coachella Valley Music and Arts, Stagecoach Country Music festivals planned for April 2021. We look forward to when the events may return. https://t.co/YAIn8uTea9
— Dr. Cameron Kaiser (@RivCoDoc) January 29, 2021
Coachella's headliners were to set to include Frank Ocean, Rage Against the Machine, and Travis Scott. Stagecoach's line-up included Carrie Underwood, Eric Church and Thomas Rhett.
Event producer Goldenvoice has yet to comment on the cancellation, so there's currently no information on whether the festivals will be rescheduled.
When the festivals were previously postponed, Goldenvoice announced that all passes for the 2020 festivals would be honoured in 2021. Current pass holders were to expect an email with "further instructions to request a refund or to roll over to next year."
In the wake of its closure, America's top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony S. Fauci has said he believes concert venues could reopen "some time in the fall of 2021", depending on the effectiveness of the vaccination rollout. He also suggested that audiences may have to wear masks and practice social-distancing, hinting that pandemic precautions could be in place for some time.
According to USA Today, Coachella and Stagecoach are believed to generate at least $400 million (£300 million) in local economic impact.
California recently relaxed regional lockdown orders that covered much of the state, although local health experts are said to be concerned that it could undo the recent drop in cases and hospitalisations.
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