Two of the country’s most popular music festivals have been canceled once again due to the coronavirus pandemic. Neither the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival nor the Stagecoach Festival will take place on their scheduled April dates, according to a public health order released Friday by California’s Riverside County.
The order describes both festivals as international events that will attract “hundreds of thousands of attendees from many countries, including several disproportionately afflicted by the worldwide COVID-19 epidemic.”
“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,” the order states.
The decision to cancel the events comes as Governor Gavin Newsom lifted the state’s regional stay-at-home restrictions that had been in effect since December. He cited a “flattening of the curve” in a virtual news conference on Monday, and said the state’s hospitalization rate was down nearly 20% in the past two weeks.
“Everything that should be up is up, everything that should be down is down — case rates, positivity rates, hospitalizations, ICUs,” Newsom said Monday.
This is not the first time the festivals have faced setbacks. The 2020 edition of Coachella, which was to feature headliners Travis Scott, Frank Ocean and Rage Against the Machine, was postponed in March from its April 2020 weekends to October. In June, the county canceled it entirely.
The 2021 edition would have taken place on April 9-11 and 16-18.
Stagecoach, with headliners Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church, faced similar postponements in 2020. The 2021 edition would have taken place on April 23-25.
Both festivals are operated by Goldenvoice.
Riverside County has so far seen 271,910 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 3,091 total deaths.
The organizers of the festivals could not be reached for comment.