Destination / In Residence

Coachella 2020 is officially cancelled: what’s next?

coachella festival

We've just learned the news that Coachella is cancelled for 2020. According to a report on Billboard, the annual music festival will not be going ahead this year.

Coachella normally runs on two separate weekends in April. But due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, plans for the festival were moved from April to October 2020.

And it seems like the festival will not be returning as planned in 2021 either.

Organisers Goldenvoice (a subsidiary of AEG, the global concert promoter) are toying with two possible scenarios for the 2021 event. Coachella could return as planned in April 2021 at a limited capacity or the organiser may wait until October for a higher capacity comeback.

Either way, it will be a long while before many of us see the return of this music festival.

Many ticket holders have already requested a refund for the 2020 Coachella - about 40 per cent so far. But until AEG and Goldenvoice can come to a decision on the final rescheduling, the path forward remains unclear for those still hopefully holding onto their tickets.

The Billboard article also explains that AEG had planned the return of its schedule of concerts and shows around the arrival of a coronavirus vaccine. But the promotor may now look for a quicker, socially-distanced return.

The news comes in the same week that local favourite Splendour in the Grass announced that it would not return for 2020.  While the number of newly reported cases in Australia has been under 20 per day for the month of June, it will still take some time for us to return to normally programming. The festival organisers have chosen to move the anniversary event to a safer time in July 2021.

It's going to be a long and difficult road back until we can develop a successful vaccine for the virus. The USA has recorded over 2 million cases of coronavirus with 541,000 recoveries and 114,000 deaths - the country at large is still struggling to get a handle on its coronavirus situation.

With the effects of coronavirus hitting the live music scene hard, AEG has cut its staff by 15 per cent and furloughed many more. A decision that suggests that live events may not return (at least not as normal) for many more months.