Coachella moved to October because of coronavirus

"It’s next to my home and it's windy and that’s just illness blowing in my house.”

by Frankie Dunn
10 March 2020, 10:38am

Image via Instagram

UPDATE: Coachella has confirmed the festival has been moved, with the first weekend now scheduled for October 9–11 and the second weekend October 16–18 2020. A statement from Goldenvoice, the promoter behind the festival, cited advice from the County of Riverside and local health authorities relating to COVID-19 as the reason for the change. All tickets for the festival's original dates will be valid in October and refund information will be sent to ticket-holders this week if they're unable to attend. You can read the full statement below:

After SXSW was cancelled by the Mayor of Austin, based on the advice of public health officials due to the growing number of coronavirus cases in the US, all eyes were on Coachella. Due to take place across two April weekends (10-12 and 17-19) in Indio, California, the 2020 line-up boasts headline acts Frank Ocean, Travis Scott and Rage Against The Machine, along with i-D faves including Charli XCX, Channel Tres, Conan Gray, Dave and FKA Twigs. An estimated quarter of a million people attend Coachella each year. That’s a lot of people in one place.

But according to Rolling Stone, several artist managers have been in talks with Coachella promoter Goldenvoice about the potential postponement of the festival, with one source apparently confirming it with their agency on Monday night. While would-be attendees are still waiting on an official announcement from Coachella themselves, journalist Yashar Ali shared what appeared to be some crucial info from an inside source on Twitter today: Coachella will be moved to October with the same line-up confirmed to play.

Interestingly, there is also a petition created by concerned festival-goers and supported by a whole host of California residents calling for the festival to be called off until the COVID-19 outbreak is under control. "It’s next to my home and it's windy and that’s just illness blowing in my house,” said one local commenter. “I don't want all those people coming to our valley and leaving us all to deal with that illness being brought right to our front door,” said another as they signed in support. “Those people travel from everywhere. Last year it made news over STDs, this year it could be the coronavirus.” Indeed. The petition is fast approaching its 25k signature target.

California, though, is actually already one of the hardest-hit states in the US, with over 110 confirmed cases as of Monday. And last weekend, Riverside County -- which contains the small town of Indio where Coachella takes place -- declared a public health emergency and announced that the number of cases in the county had risen to six.

For some reason, Elon Musk weighed in on the situation too, suggesting that “Coachella should postpone itself until it stops sucking.” The tech entrepreneur added that “too much corporate sponsorship killed the vibe” and that it “was good maybe 5 or 6 years ago”. Coachella's official Twitter responded with a photograph of Jaden Smith’s 2019 set, when he performed on the roof of a Tesla Model X that hung above the crowd. “Ok fine, that was good,” Elon replied.

As we wait on an official announcement from Coachella, all of this leaves us wondering… what about Glastonbury?