In unsurprising news, Coachella 2020 has been cancelled. The Californian desert monolith was one of the first music events to announce their postponement amid the coronavirus pandemic — postponing its usual April dates to October.
In the months that followed, it became glaringly obvious that a festival of this proportion would not be able to go forward with no cure for the virus — we were all just waiting for the announcement. Now, as Billboard confirms, Coachella will not go ahead in 2020.
The festival may return in limited capacity in April 2021, or parent company Anschutz Entertainment Group may hold out for the full experience in October 2021. It largely remains up in the air.
There’s more to the story than just the event being cancelled. As Billboard reveals, amid the coronavirus pandemic AEG set in motion significant personnel cutbacks — laying off 15% of its workforce, furloughing over 100 employees across multiple sectors, and instituting 20–50% pay cuts.
“Every employee worldwide will be impacted in one form or another,” AEG CEO Dan Beckerman allegedly wrote in an email to employees Monday. “It is an agonizing decision, but sadly, a necessary one.”
The company has expressed hope that they will be able to bring back the furloughed employees once the live concert enterprise begins to recover.
“The world is slowly re-opening, and our industry will re-open later and more slowly than most,” Beckerman wrote. The company supposedly expects to start throwing reduced-capacity shows at its vast network of venues either in the final quarter of this year or the first quarter of 2021.
The news of Coachella 2020’s cancellation comes on the same day that iconic Byron Bay festival Splendour In The Grass, and Lollapalooza both announced that the 2020 instalment of their events would not happen.
In a statement sent out today, Splendour in the Grass Co-Producers Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco announced that “with a heavy heart and after a great deal of consideration, Splendour In The Grass will move the 20th Anniversary event forward to July 2021.”
“Like most we have been monitoring the situation closely for the past few months and while Australia is now moving into the recovery phase, there is no timeline yet around the opening of international borders,” the statement continued.
“As a result, and with our audience interests front and centre, we must announce the reschedule to 2021.”