For the second year running, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and the Stagecoach Country Music Festival were canceled, according to a release posted by their promoter, Goldenvoice. The festival promoter posted an order from the health officer of Riverside County citing the “worldwide epidemic of Covid-19 disease.” The order referenced the worldwide appeal of the festivals and influx of “hundreds of thousands of attendees from other countries.”
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
In 2020, the spring events were postponed to October as Covid-19 became a global health crisis. Both events, held annually at the 78-acre Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA, were eventually canceled entirely for 2020. Interestingly, some of Friday’s press release announcing the 2021 cancelation seems to be copied and pasted directly from the 2020 document.
“This order is issued based on concerns of a fall resurgence of Covid-19,” it reads. Such a resurgence was a big concern in spring-early summer of 2020. Not so much in January 2021, where what the coming fall will look like is anyone’s guess. The “new” order also says it is “issued in accordance with the March 4, 2020 Proclamation of a State of Emergency issued by Governor Gavin Newsom.” That order has, of course, been superseded since by other of the governor’s directives.
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At the time the 2020 dates were nixed, Goldenvoice announced this year’s dates, saying all tickets from the previous year would be honored. Reading the new order closely, it cancels “Coachella and Stagecoach on dates currently scheduled,” but says nothing about the shows being canceled for all of 2021, or rescheduled to 2022. In fact, the tweet from Riverside County’s Public Health director says, “We look forward to when the events may return.” Last year’s announcement was more certain.
“Coachella weekend one will take place April 9-11, 2021 and weekend two will be April 16 – 18, 2021,” the 2020 release read. “Stagecoach is set for April 23-25, 2021. We look forward to sharing our new lineups and more information. We can’t wait to be together in the desert again when it is safe.”
Whatever the case, the decision is probably a good one. Riverside is one of the hardest-hit counties in California, which itself has become the epicenter of the pandemic. At the time of last year’s cancelation, the county had 9,590 total confirmed coronavirus cases and 365 deaths. On Friday January 29, 2021 alone, Riverside County recorded 1,805 new cases and 33 new deaths.
The canceled 2020 edition was to have included headliners like Rage Against the Machine, Megan Thee Stallion, Run the Jewels, Calvin Harris, Travis Scott, Thom Yorke, 21 Savage, Danny Elfman, Frank Ocean, Lana Del Rey, Lil Nas X, FKA Twigs, Fatboy Slim and others.
This year’s lineup had not yet been announced.