For the second year running, the Coachella Music Festival has been forced to abandon its usual April-time stranglehold on the time, disposable income, and wristband budgets of music fans, with Billboard reporting that the festival has canceled its planned dates for April 9-11 and 16-18 of this year. This comes after the 2020 iteration of the festival was first postponed to October of last year, and then canceled outright in mid-July. So far, no replacement dates for the 2021 fest have been announced. Stagecoach, the country-focused cousin of Coachella that traditionally follows the weekend after it wraps, has also had its dates canceled.
The news arrives as various large gatherings of heavily breathing people are forced to accept that the COVID-19 pandemic is still, despite hopes, very much a thing here in the first half of 2021, with vaccine rollouts moving slowly in the United States, and all involved staring longingly at the latter half of the year with a wistful “Maybe?” in their hearts. The Cannes Film Festival was already forced to delay its 2021 launch by several months, while Sundance has gone mostly virtual this year. Meanwhile, in the world of music, Glastonbury has canceled its July dates already, while the Pitchfork Music Festival has reportedly, tentatively, secured dates to return in September, but that’s really up to Big Virus to decide, ya know?
Coachella’s April dates were canceled on order of Dr. Cameron Kaiser, public health official for the festival’s native Riverside County. There’s been some minor hope that the festivals might re-organize themselves this October, but so far no one involved in putting them together has issued a statement on any possible rescheduling.