Coachella faces another likely delay until fall 2021 as Palm Spring mayor weighs in
While no official announcement has been made on part of the world’s largest and most profitable music festivals, all signs point to the inevitable. Coachella organizers are currently in discussion regarding the postponement of their 2021 edition as public officials weigh in on the feasibility of such a large event occurring in just three months. The festival usually signals the unofficial start of the summer season in Southern California, but April 2021 may mark another delay for the mega-festival. It’s the latest string of evidence pointing to a red flag for Coachella, after a Rolling Stone-supported industry rumor that a 2021 return was just out of the picture.
Year after year, Coachella brings 125,000 people to the Polo Grounds in Incendio, California. Promoted by the Los Angeles-based company Goldenvoice, the 2020 installment was first postponed to last October in light of current events, and then again to April of 2021. By delaying the festival, promoters hoped to keep the line-up intact, while also avoiding having to refund presale admissions. The event is the most important source of revenue for Goldenvoice, who reports dire financial straits imposed by the pandemic already as they have had to reduce in size and scale with employee lay-offs.
The latest updates and speculation are being fueled by Palm Springs Mayor Christy Holstege who revealed to a local radio station that the city has no plans to host or allow the necessary permits for the festival to legally function until the fall of 2021. The mayor expressed optimism for Coachella’s return, and she stressed the importance of maintaining COVID precautions to allow that to happen. The timeline also falls in line with the prognosis given by Dr. Anthony Fauci who recently outlined his thoughts to the APAP (Association of Performing Arts Professionals) about when live theatre and performing arts might return to pre-COVID normalcy. The prognosis is based on the presumption that at least 70% of the general population receives the vaccine, and that herd immunity is reached.
Considering the difficulties exhibited in the vaccine rollout, as well as some public skepticism over-vaccination, nothing is guaranteed. Whether the delay is considered a postponement or a cancellation is still up in the air and won’t be known until Goldenvoice makes the official announcement. A “cancellation” would mean an already-strapped Goldenvoice would be issuing refunds to ticketholders.
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