Health officials have ordered the Coachella music festival scheduled for April to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s the third time the pandemic has forced the annual outdoor festival that draws hundreds of thousands of fans to the California desert to be postponed or canceled.
“The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and the Stagecoach Country Music Festival currently scheduled for April 2021 are hereby canceled,” Riverside County Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said in an order issued Friday. Kaiser’s order also canceled the Stagecoach Country Music Festival, also scheduled for April.
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
“This order is intended to reduce the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19,” the order states. “If COVID-19 were detected at these festivals, the scope and number of attendees and the nature of the venue would make it infeasible, if not impossible, to track those who may be placed at risk.”
Coachella’s 2020 festival was originally scheduled for April 2020, then later postponed to October 2020, before finally being scrapped altogether until April 2021. There’s no word from organizers or health officials about when Coachella will be rescheduled, but Billboard is reporting it may be pushed to October. And if vaccine distribution continues to lag and coronavirus cases keep multiplying, it’s likely we’ll start to see other large spring and summer events postponed or canceled as well.
Coachella organizers didn’t immediately reply to a request for more information Saturday.