Welp, Coachella’s Officially Canceled Now Too After Massive Layoffs

Coachella
Photo: Unsplash.

It’s official: Coachella 2020 is canceled. Some of you were probably still holding onto a sliver of hope that you might still end up skipping through the Coachella Valley and listening to some of your favorite acts come October, but even the promise of a postponement has proved impossible. Sigh.

Coachella didn’t originally have plans to cancel their long-awaited annual festival. Instead, parent company AEG was keeping a close eye on the spread of the novel coronavirus. They first agreed to push back the festival until October 2020, with producer Goldenvoice announcing the decision in March. But the weeks that followed were less than opportune: Public health concerns continued to heighten as much of the world’s business and social life slowed to a halt to quell the spread of COVID-19. While restrictions are slowly loosening here in the United States, finances have still taken a major hit.

As for what that means for Coachella? Layoffs. Billboard reported that 15 percent of Coachella staff were laid off on June 8, with more pay cuts and furloughs expected to be enacted for remaining employees. Meanwhile, as many as 40 percent of ticketholders for the original festival have already requested full refunds. That can’t be great for parent company AEG or production company Goldenvoice. With their pockets hurting, it’s unlikely enough that we’ll be seeing another Coachella this year. But coronavirus itself remains a major worry.

According to one national expert, we probably won’t be seeing massive events like Coachella until late 2021. As in, we Coachella might not even be able to regroup in time for it’s regularly scheduled season in the new year.

“Larger gatherings—conferences, concerts, sporting events—when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility,” Zeke Emanuel, a bioethicist, vice provost for global initiatives, and director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, told New York Magazine in April. “I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”

Welp. Maybe fall of next year will be lit? Fingers crossed.

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