By Shad Powers | Desert Sun
One national expert says ‘realistically, we’re talking fall of 2021’ due to coronavirus.
The Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival, along with its country cousin Stagecoach, have already been postponed from April to October due to the coronavirus pandemic and associated public health concerns. But recent developments are casting doubt on the viability of autumn shows.
The announcement of the postponement of the concerts that bring in close to 100,000 music-lovers each year was made by producer Goldenvoice on March 10. Since then, public health concerns have heightened with much of the nation slowed to almost a halt under shelter-in-place orders in an attempt to slow the spread of the deadly virus. And experts are starting to caution that the return of large concerts like a Coachella or Stagecoach is unlikely to happen in 2020.
The first indicator came last week, when Burning Man, a large convergence of fans of artistic self-expression in a desert in Nevada, announced that it was canceling its 2020 version (though an online version will still happen). That event was scheduled for Aug. 30 to Sept. 7. The new Coachella dates had been set for just one month later, Oct. 9-11 and Oct. 16-18.
Is it realistic to think Coachella will happen in October? One national expert on how the United States will rebuild after coronavirus fears lessen said not a chance.
“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,” said bioethicist Zeke Emanuel, vice provost for global initiatives and director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, told New York Magazine. “I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”
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