The blockbuster Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is being pushed back six months to October due to concern over the spread of coronavirus.
One of the world’s largest music events, this year’s festival was originally set for two successive weekends, kicking off April 12 and April 17 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. But the event has been postponed until the weekends of Oct. 9 and Oct. 16, the festival tweeted.
Stagecoach — another music festival put on by Goldenvoice at the polo fields in April — will be moved to Oct. 23-25.
Those who already have tickets will be able to use them in October. Refund information will be released by Friday, Goldenvoice said.
Riverside County public health officials say they ordered the events’ cancellation.
“This decision was not taken lightly or without consideration of many factors,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county’s public health chief, said in a statement. “No doubt it will impact many people, but my top priority is to protect the health of the entire community.”
The announcement comes a day after public health officials confirmed three new coronavirus cases in Riverside County, bringing the number of people being treated there to four. The first patient, announced Sunday, is believed to have contracted the virus within the local community.
A countywide state of emergency is expected to be ratified by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.
On Sunday, the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells was canceled over the outbreak, one day before the massive tennis tournament was set to begin.
Coachella is the fourth major music festival to be impacted by the virus, following the cancellations of South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, Ultra Music Festival in Miami and Tomorrowland in France.
The Austin event’s organizers told the Wall Street Journal on Sunday that the move could wind up costing them millions.
“I am most worried about my people and what this means for their future, and I don’t know what that is yet,” Chief Executive Ronald Swenson told the newspaper. “We are planning to carry on and do another event in 2021, but how we’re going to do that I’m not entirely sure.”
On Monday, organizers told the WSJ’s reporter they had to let go a third of their full-time staff.