[UPDATE, 11 June]
Local government officials have officially cancelled Coachella 2020.
California's Riverside County public health officer, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, announced that the risks of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic puts the community health at risk, especially if major events like Coachella would continue.
“I am concerned as indications grow that COVID-19 could worsen in the fall. These decisions are not taken lightly with the knowledge that many people will be impacted. My first priority is the health of the community, said Kaiser, according to a news report by the Los Angeles Time.
This update follows Billboard Magazine confirming Coachella 2020’s cancellation after lay-offs by the festival’s parent company.
According to a report by Billboard, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the company behind promoting Coachella, has been critically hit by the coronavirus pandemic and is now laying off 15% of its employees and instilling major cutbacks in salaries.
“Every employee worldwide will be impacted in one form or another. It is an agonizing decision, but sadly, a necessary one,” reportedly writes AEG Chief Executive, Dan Beckerman, in an email to employees.
Beckerman continues on to say that major live events ‘will not resume for many months’. This means that concerts and shows, even those that were originally postponed which includes Coachella, are unlikely to take place this year.
Despite this, the festival has yet to make an announcement on social media.
The California desert event was one of the first major music festivals to announce postponement due to COVID-19. It was originally slated for two weekends in April but then moved to 9 - 11 October and 16 - 18 October, before getting officially cancelled.
pic.twitter.com/ppPdu7WX9b— Coachella (@coachella) March 10, 2020
Coachella joins other highly-anticipated music festivals, including Tomorrowland, Lollapalooza, and Fuji Rock Festival, to cancel this year.
As for Coachella 2021, AEG believes that it still won’t return in full-force early next year. Officials working on the event are trying to determine between a limited-capacity return in next April or a larger festival in October 2021.
The festival, which turns 20 this year, intended to have a massive, star-studded lineup, with headliners in the likes of Frank Ocean, Travis Scott and Rage Against The Machine. The 2020 edition of Coachella was also supposed to be their 20th anniversary, which even saw the of a documentary to mark the occasion.
Check out Coachella's '20 Years in the Desert' documentary here:
Cover image credit: Coachella Official Facebook Page