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Is Coachella Next? Canceled Ultra Festival, SXSW Has Fans Worried About Coronavirus

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Coachella in 2019. Fears about the coronavirus have caused worry about this year's festival being canceled. (Goldenvoice)

UPDATE, March 9: According to reports, Coachella organizers will soon announce that the festival is rescheduled this year to October.

Coachella fans worried about a canceled festival this year due to the coronavirus got a new reason to be nervous Friday.

Officials in Austin canceled this year’s South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas on Friday, just two days after organizers canceled this year’s Ultra festival in Miami.

Both festivals draw over 100,000 people, roughly the per-day attendance of Coachella. And with coronavirus fears on high alert, petitions have circulated both for and against canceling Coachella.

But officials so far have given only standard statements about monitoring the situation.

“It is still over five weeks before visitors will make their way to Indio to attend a series of concerts here,” reads a statement issued by Indio, the city where Coachella is held. “The City of Indio is actively monitoring input from local, state, and national health officials to assess the health risks of COVID-19 and update those risks to stakeholders.”

As if to quell fears, Goldenvoice, the organizers of Coachella, released set times for the country music Stagecoach festival on Thursday. Like Coachella, Stagecoach is also held at the polo fields in Indio.

Many of Coachella’s attendees drive from other regions of California and beyond. Meanwhile, those flying to Coachella have worried not only about festival ticket refunds but airfare refunds and transfers.

As reported by Vox, several airlines are waiving some cancellation fees and change-of-travel fees. American, Alaska, Delta, JetBlue and United have all made adjustments for the coronavirus. However, as Vox notes, those waivers are subject to limited terms and conditions and the time of the tickets’ purchase, which may affect Coachella attendees.

As for the festival itself, which runs for two consecutive weekends in April? Time will have to tell.


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