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Coachella Talks to Move to October Due to Coronavirus

It’s not a done deal but organizers should know in about 48 hours if the festivals can be saved, say high level sources.

Officials with promoter Goldenvoice are working on a plan to try and move the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California, to the weekends of Oct. 9 and Oct. 16 in an attempt to save the event from cancellation amid concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, according to high level sources. The AEG-owned concert promoter is also working to move the Stagecoach country music festival to October as well, possibly to Oct. 23.

Fearing that Riverside County officials will have to pull the 20-year-old event’s permit to bring 250,000 fans over two weekends to Indio, California, conversations with city officials and talent agents began late Sunday as the hope for staging the festival in April began to diminish. Earlier Monday (March 9) three more cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Riverside County where the festival takes place.

Postponing the massive festival series until October is a huge endeavor involving hundreds of artists and their representatives, as well as hundreds of contractors and vendors and tens of thousands of employees. Artists are frequenting touring during the fall months and while organizers aren’t likely to get all the performers to agree to move, sources say that if enough of the big headline acts — this year’s Coachella headliners include Frank OceanRage Against the Machine and Travis Scott — then the festival can be moved. Stagecoach is being headlined by Thomas RhettCarrie Underwood and Eric Church.

Organizers hope to know within the next 48 hours if the move is possible. If not, the 2020 versions of Coachella and Stagecoach will likely be canceled.

Coachella is one of the largest music festivals in the world, with north of a half-million people descending on the desert each year. It was originally set to take place over two weekends next month, starting April 10 and wrapping up April 19.