Coronavirus (COVID-19) postpones annual Coachella music festival


Photo credit: Abigale Lischak

The crowd of 2018 Coachella enjoys day two of the festival. “Going to Coachella is a really fun experience — being oudoors with friends and being able to go to many amazng concerts in just a few days is unlike any other experience,” senior Abigale Lischak said.

By Cydney Johnson, Staff Reporter

With over 99,000 daily festival-goers annually, Coachella is one of the most popular music festivals in the world. Tickets to the event, which began in 1999, sell out within minutes. According to the Los Angeles Times, the festival generates about $403 million dollars of spending in the Coachella Valley area and injects about $106 million dollars in the economy of Indio, California, annually. 

On March 10, entertainment company Goldenvoice announced the rescheduling of Coachella, citing concerns of the local health department due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The event was scheduled for April 10-12 and April 17-19 but has been rescheduled for the fall from October 9-11 and October 16-18. 

“I always say it is one of the best weekends of your life,” senior Sophie Larbalestier said. “Just the music, the people, the vibe. I know that it’s so cliche to say, but it’s so fun.”

The 2020 Coachella lineup included some of the most popular artists of the year, with Billboard-topping stars like Travis Scott, Lana Del Rey, Lil Uzi Vert, Joji and Brockhampton. With artists like Frank Ocean, whose last performance was three years ago, the lineup was highly anticipated for many people.

“I was especially looking forward to seeing certain artists such as Frank Ocean and Lana Del Rey because I have been a fan of their music since middle school,” senior Charlotte Smith said. “I also love the overall vibe of Coachella and how everyone is happy to be there.”

With the start of the seniors’ first semester of university in the fall, many high school seniors are unable to attend the rescheduled date due to starting their freshman year of college. Move-in dates for colleges on the semester system are scheduled for late August and move-in dates for schools on the quarter system are scheduled for mid-September. With the rescheduled Coachella dates so close to move-in dates, incoming freshmen would be just getting settled into college before having to return to Indio, California for Coachella. 

“It’s really, really sad to see them postpone it to the date in October because I don’t think I am going to be able to make it now that I am going to be a freshman in college, and I don’t know where I am going to college yet,” Larbalestier said. “When I do make that decision, I might be going somewhere near LA, so maybe I could end up going, but if I am across the country, it would cost a lot of money to fly home.”

Smith, similarly to Larbalestier, will most likely be unable to attend the event.

“I don’t think that I will be able to go in October because of college starting in the fall, and at this point, I don’t even know if college in the upcoming fall semester will be likely starting considering the circumstances that we are going through with this pandemic,” Smith said. 

Fellow senior Yasi Gohar is able to attend, so she is not as affected as Larbalestier and Smith.

“I genuinely don’t mind it being moved. Yes, it is a bummer because I love going and hearing the music live, but it is what it is,” Gohar said.

The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in the Governor of California to issue a shelter-in-place order.

“Even though I am extremely upset about Coachella being postponed, I think that it was necessary in order to prevent COVID-19 from spreading any further,” Smith said. “Honestly, I would be too busy fearing for my own health and safety than having fun if I were to go to Coachella this year in April.”