Coachella, Stagecoach walk back COVID vaccine proof policy, saying attendees can also enter with negative test

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Festivalgoers attend the 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 13, 2018, in Indio, California. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella)

Festivalgoers attend the 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 13, 2018, in Indio, California. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella)

The Coachella and Stagecoach festivals announced this week that they will require concertgoers to either show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test — reversing an earlier policy that made being vaccinated the only option for entry.

The initial policy, announced Aug. 12 by music events company Goldenvoice, required guests to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, with the alternative testing option only available to children under the age of 12 and those who need an exemption due to a medical condition, disability or religious belief.

At the time, the company told guests that those without proof of vaccination won’t get in.

“After seeing first-hand the low transmission data and successful implementation of safety protocols at our festivals recently, alongside the rising vaccination rate of eligible Americans, we feel confident that we can safely update our policy for Coachella that allows for negative covid test taken within 72 hours of the event OR proof of full vaccination,” the Coachella website reads.

Under California state rules, verification of full vaccine and pre-entry negative test results is strongly recommended for all attendees of large outdoor events, and not required. But venues can impose stricter restrictions.

The state is only requiring large indoor venues to check for vaccination at events like conventions, sports games and concerts with crowds greater than 1,000 attendees.

Like many other major events scheduled during the pandemic, both Coachella and Stagecoach had been postponed several times due to COVID-19 risk.

Coachella is now scheduled for April 15-17 and April 22-24 next year, while Stagecoach is scheduled for April 29-May 1.

“Thanks for coming along for the ride as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times so that we can get back to having ourselves a good time,” Stagecoach organizers tweeted.

Goldenvoice’s website as of Wednesday still said that venues will only accept proof of vaccination for entry.

But a spokesperson for AEG Presents, owners of Goldenvoice, told Rolling Stone magazine that “the company was aligned on this change.”

Our initial announcement two months ago addressed the fact that we would be looking at the landscape moving forward and adjust as necessary,” the spokesperson told the magazine.

Goldenvoice operates several venues throughout the region, including the El Rey Theatre, the Fonda Theatre, Fox Theater, Microsoft Theatre, the Shrine Auditorium and the Roxy Theatre. 

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