The COVID-19 outbreak claims yet another festival as Coachella officially canceled their already postponed 2020 dates. As one of the very first major music events to put a pin in their usual April dates, we’ve been dreading this day. No longer will the month of October reign supreme for the first ever #spookychella, yet one more bitter pill. Over the past three months we’ve patiently awaited news on our favorite desert adventure as our chances slimmed with each new COVID-19 case. Now in a Billboard report we’ve received final confirmation, Coachella will not return in 2020.
Generally you’d assume Coachella’s cancellation would come off as heartbreaking news to all fans, but for some it delivered relief. Specifically, the residents of California who have been gravely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. At the pandemic’s onset California residents formed a petition that quickly gained traction, currently holding over 50,000 signatures. Taking their responsibility to protect the lives within their community the petition aimed to cancel Coachella. The petition brought to light the down-playment of COVID-19, and encouraged residents to sign and help raise awareness.
On a positive note there are talks for Coachella to potentially return with limited capacity as soon as April 2021. As of now over 40% of ticket buyers have requested refunds. Doing a little math leaves us with 60% of attendees left over, in which AEG wishes to invite to a Coachella experience going down April 2021. Whether or not depends on Coachella’s parent company, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). The loss of Coachella will deeply impact AEG and their employees on a worldwide scale, as they must now make personnel cutbacks.
Nearly 15% of their workforce will experience layoffs, 100 will take a furlough as well as institute 20–50% pay cuts. Dan Beckerman, AEG’s CEO wrote in an email to employees Monday, “It is an agonizing decision, but sadly, a necessary one.” The electronic music scene is an unstoppable force and will return once it’s safe to do so. One bright light coming from AEG is their confidence to begin throwing limited capacity events before the year ends. Until that happens AEG will track the pandemic closely while working with government health officials to prepare for an epic return.
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