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Coachella Officially Postponed to October Due to Coronavirus

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Coachella at sunset.  (Goldenvoice)

[Updated March 10, 4:00pm]

Due to concerns about the coronavirus, the Coachella music festival will move to two weekends in October, festival officials confirmed. Coachella’s new dates are Oct. 9–11 and Oct. 16–18.

The postponement of Coachella, California’s largest music festival, was originally leaked by booking agents and managers who received calls from festival organizers to confirm artists’ availability for the new dates. The official announcement came Tuesday afternoon from Goldenvoice, which presents Coachella each year.

Speculation about Coachella being canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus ramped up on Monday, when three cases of coronavirus were found in Riverside County, where Coachella is held. Last Friday, officials in Austin canceled this year’s South by Southwest festival, citing public health concerns. Just days prior, organizers also canceled the Ultra music festival in Miami.

Both festivals draw over 100,000 people, roughly the per-day attendance at Coachella.

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According to Billboard, organizers on Monday speaking with county officials “hope[d] to know within the next 48 hours if the move is possible.”

Meanwhile, Goldenvoice’s Stagecoach festival, which, like Coachella, is also held at the polo grounds in Indio, is postponed and rescheduled to October as well.

Though October is generally hotter in temperature than April, it isn’t unprecedented to hold a festival in the month at the Coachella grounds. In 2016, Coachella organizers in October presented Desert Trip, a three-day festival marketed to the baby boomer generation featuring the Rolling Stones, the Who, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Roger Waters and Paul McCartney. The first-ever Coachella, in 1999, was also held in October.

Meanwhile, those flying to Coachella are scrambling for airfare transfers. As reported by Vox, several airlines are waiving some cancelation fees and change-of-travel fees. American, Alaska, United, Delta and JetBlue 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 ticket’s purchase, which may affect Coachella attendees.

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