Sorry Influencers, Experts Reckon Coachella Could Get Cancelled ‘Coz Of Coronavirus
It’s the event that celebrities and influencers wait all year for, but this year’s Coachella festival could be facing the chopping block as the spread of coronavirus continues.
Though nothing official has been released yet from Coachella organisers, those in the industry have been speaking out about the spread of the virus and what that means for big, multi-day festivals like Coachella; where the number of people in confined spaces, drinking and partying together, could leave everyone at risk. The announcement that Ultra in Miami have cancelled their music festival in late March (don’t worry, the Aussie Ultra festivals in Melbourne and Sydney this weekend are still on) also puts questions marks around Coachella's future too.
if Coachella is getting cancelled they better announce it before I buy these fuckin outfits
— ‧͙⁺˚*･༓☾Tamia ☽༓･*˚⁺‧͙ (@miavictoriaa) March 5, 2020
Rolling Stone did a deep dive on the situation as it stands now, speaking to Aaron Goldsten, an American partner in a global law firm about how businesses are handling big events in the face of the growing number of cases of coronavirus around the world.
“We’re in this gray area right now where events are getting cancelled pre-emptively — before we know how widespread the problem is,” Aaron told Rolling Stone. “Events like major music festival usually carry some kind of insurance. But I can definitely see insurance companies pushing back if a festival cancelled, then the situation got less severe the next week, or it turned out the illness wasn’t as dangerous as people thought,” he said. “Yet there’s also a phenomenon with decision-makers where no one wants to be the one person who underestimated the risk. No one wants to be the person blamed for spreading coronavirus to thousands.”
If Coachella gets cancelled I’m taking my ass over there with a speaker and putting on my own show in the desert... coronavirus can’t stop me
— Dakota Abbott (@Dakotaabott) March 5, 2020
Here’s the thing, though: Coachella, and other music festivals like it, are huge money-makers, and there will be a lot of cash at stake if they do decide to cancel. Dave Brooks, senior director of live and touring for Billboard, spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the impact coronavirus could have on the music industry as a whole.
“This was going to be one of the busiest summers ever for festivals and stadium shows, so any disruption is going to have an impact. If there are cancellations, and if it’s a down year for the industry, [top concert promoters] Live Nation and AEG [which owns Coachella] could probably weather it, but it could be a death knell for some independent promoters.”
Coachella most likely to get cancelled tho. Brb, crying.
— . (@blowupdumpling) March 5, 2020
Another possible outcome: acts could start pulling out of Coachella. This wouldn’t be unprecedented, either. Already, Green Day, Avril Lavigne, Stormzy, and Ruel have pulled out of the Asia legs of their upcoming tours, with more concerts expected to be called off as coronavirus fears continue.
So, Coachella-goers, don’t return your flower crown just yet – but we’d watch this space.