Coachella and stagecoach festivals relax vaccination requirements to allow negative COVID testing
Those who hold tickets to Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and Stagecoach, California’s Country Festival, in April and May 2022 will not be required to prove they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 when they meet in the California desert. South in April and May, a reversal from a policy announced in August by producer Goldenvoice.
Instead, the new policy allows festival-goers to enter Coachella and Stagecoach grounds with a negative COVID test within 72 hours of entry or proof of vaccination, according to statements posted on the two websites of the event on October 12.
Goldenvoice updated the previous policy after taking into account data from festivals that took place over the summer, according to its article.
âAfter seeing firsthand the low transmission data and the successful implementation of safety protocols at our festivals recently, as well as the increasing vaccination rate of eligible Americans, we are confident that we can safely update our policy for Coachella which allows a negative covid test taken within 72 hours of the event OR proof of full vaccination, âthe statement read.
Desert festival health and safety policies are “regularly updated with our fans, artists and event planners in mind based on our ever-changing circumstances,” Goldenvoice adds, suggesting that further changes to the policies are possible as events approach.
The updated policy reverts to a mandatory vaccination policy for Goldenvoice and AEG parent staff as well as for viewers of other shows taking place after October 1. It’s not clear if the change affects shows between October 1 and Coachella kicks off on the weekend of April 15. -17. Coachella’s second weekend is April 22-24 and Stagecoach runs April 29-May 1.
Both festivals have been forced to postpone twice due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. Coachella’s initial postponement, from April to October 2020, was to feature lineup with Rage Against The Machine, Travis Scott, and Frank Ocean. When the dates of April 2022 were announced, no programming was included.
Stagecoach has endured much of the same challenges, but has announced lineup that, at least at the top, remains intact from 2020 with Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Luke Combs headlining. Unlike Coachella, it only lasts for a weekend.
Despite a busy season of COVID reports, outbreaks of infection and, in some regions in particular, resistance to vaccinations, the relaxation of demands is significant because where Coachella goes, much of the festival ecosystem follows. With hits like the cancellation of Bonnaroo due to Hurricane Ida, rather than the pandemic, in September, the policy update looks like a vote of confidence for next year’s festival season.
In addition, Riverside County, home to the Empire Polo Club of Indio, Calif., The site of festivals, has lifted previous restrictions on large public gatherings, unlike neighboring Los Angeles County, which has put set up a public health department. Ordinance requiring operators of “large outdoor events” to cross-check vaccination evidence or negative COVID-19 tests with valid photo ID, as of November 1.
When Coachella and Stagecoach, became among the first mega-festivals on the 2020 calendar to be postponed due to the then-emerging coronavirus pandemic, other major festivals fell like dominoes.
Coachella has always been North America’s top-grossing annual one-mile festival. It grossed nearly $ 114.6 million on 250,000 tickets in 2017. Stagecoach grossed nearly $ 25.4 million on 72,000 tickets in 2016.
Spokesmen for neither Goldenvoice nor AEG were available to comment or clarify further, leaving their statement online to speak.