Coachella likely to be postponed over coronavirus fears

The festival joins an growing list of events including Ultra, SXSW and Tomorrowland Winter that are being axed or postponed


Words by: Billy Ward

The 2020 edition of LA’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will likely be postponed until winter, due to fears surrounding the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Although the festival has not outright cancelled, sources have told media publications Variety and Billboard that agents are now looking to re-book artists for the event.

There have already been four confirmed cases of coronavirus in Riverside County where the Coachella site is located, with the festival unlikely to go ahead as planned.

The Californian festival is the most high-profile music event in the US and it is estimated that, if pulled, it could leave a $1bn hole in the economy.

Last week news emerged that Miami’s Ultra would not go ahead this year, making it one of the first major festivals to cancel as a result of the disease.

Shortly after, a note posted on the South By South West website indicated that the City of Austin had also cancelled the dates for SXSW which was due to go ahead March 13-22. The statement read: “We are devastated to share this news with you. ‘The show must go on’ is in our DNA, and this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place”.

The French government has followed in the footsteps of the Swiss Federal Council, placing bans on all events with more than 1,000 attendees.

This move has caused disruption for local clubs and promoters who have had to shut off large sections of their venues to adhere to the new capacity laws. France’s Tomorrowland Winter is one of the country’s bigger events to now be cut.

Starting March 10 Italy are increasing their lockdown conditions imposed on Northern Italy to the entire country, effecting around 60 million people. The lockdown will include the closure of nightclubs, venues, gyms and other gathering spaces and will prohibit all non-essential travel.

Most events and festivals within the UK are yet to be affected by COVID-19, although as Europe and the US move to cancel an increasing amount of mass-gatherings, this could soon be set to change.

In February, Stormzy announced he would be postponing his tour of Asia which was set to start on March 27 due to fears surrounding the illness. British singer Yungblud also called off an Asian tour which was due to kick off in South Korea.

Glastonbury Festival have responded to cancellation fears, telling Somerset Live: “Glastonbury Festival thoroughly plans each year’s event, and puts in place all necessary measures to protect the public and maximise safety”

“With this in mind and with our 2020 festival still 16 weeks away, we continue to plan and prepare for the event, whilst at the same time closely monitoring developments with the coronavirus situation.”

UPDATE (11/03/20): Coachella has confirmed it will be postponed until October, taking place over the weekends of 9-11 and 16-18.

Read the official statement posted below from Goldenvoice, Coachella’s promoter.


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