Featured photo provided by Coachella
After nearly 24 hours of intense speculation, Goldenvoice (the events company behind Coachella) has confirmed that Coachella 2020 will be shifted from April to October due to growing concern about the spread of COVID-19.
Coachella isn’t the first fest in the U.S. to get hit by a coronavirus-caused change in plans – both Ultra (Miami, FL) and SXSW (Austin, TX) were canceled by their respective cities as the CDC issued updates about international travel and recommended new hygiene and public gathering measures to decrease risk.
Last night, writer Yashar Ali broke the news about Coachella’s reported delay via Twitter, inciting a flurry of rumors, chatter, and “WTFs.”
Coachella’s official Twitter account remained silent until today, with the exception of one well-timed dig at Elon Musk’s comment on the situation. For reference, Musk staged a Tesla takeover at last year’s Coachella, featuring Jaden Smith performing on top of a Model X.
Ultra and SXSW both canceled at the relative last minute (the fests were scheduled to take place in March), but it makes sense that Coachella is announcing its delay more in advance. With this advance knowledge that it’s being delayed rather than canceled outright, Riverside County will likely see much fewer visitors on those April weekends since attendees will have more time to cancel flights and lodging. And with less time to plan, many Ultra and SXSW attendees may keep their upcoming travel plans and head to the Miami and Austin even though the fests aren’t happening.
Coachella will now be held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio over the weekends of October 9 and October 16. Per their official statement, Goldenvoice plans to keep the October lineup as similar to the April lineup as possible – fingers crossed! It will be interesting to see if the big headliners (particularly Rage Against The Machine, whose 2020 comeback tour included the April dates but is supposed to wrap up in September) are able to commit to the October dates, which share a weekend with Austin City Limits.
All tickets purchased for April will apply for the October dates (Weekend 1 transferring to Weekend 1; Weekend 2 transferring to Weekend 2). Additionally, April ticketholders will have the option to obtain a refund if they can’t make the October dates – a lesson Goldenvoice likely learned after the backlash to Ultra and SXSW not offering refunds.
For now, much of Coachella 2020 is still shrouded in mystery. Will the lineup actually stay the same? Will everyone wear Halloween costumes to October Coachella? Will we actually get in shape in time for Coachella with all this extra time to work out before the fest? And the real question – will Airbnb refund my April Coachella booking? Only time will tell!
Stay tuned to Coachella’s socials and website for further updates and news: