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Beyonce performing at the 2018 staging of the Coaxhella Music Festival. (Photo: grammy.com)

Coachella organisers delay festival to October

Beyonce performing at the 2018 staging of the Coaxhella Music Festival. (Photo: grammy.com)

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival organisers are aiming to delay the event in California after the confirmation of a coronavirus case prompted local health officials to declare a state of emergency, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Festivalgoers during the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 21, 2019.

Under the plan, Coachella — slated for April 10-12 and April 17-19 — would be rescheduled for October, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the change hasn’t been made public yet.

Goldenvoice, which organises the festival, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

“It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighbouring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak.”

– David Agus, professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California

The move would attempt to preserve an event that’s become the world’s highest-grossing festival in recent years, generating more than $100 million annually, according to live-entertainment data provider Pollstar. This year’s lineup includes Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean.

Earlier this week, organisers of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament cancelled that event, which would have gotten under way in the same vicinity this week. The tournament has drawn as many as 475,000 fans to the area, about 120 miles east of Los Angeles.

Recording artiste Travis Scott was one of the festival’s announced acts. (Photo: billboard.com)

“There is too great a risk, at this time, to the public health of the Riverside County area in holding a large gathering of this size,” David Agus, professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California, said in a statement after the tennis event was cancelled. “It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighboring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak.”

Last week, organisers of South by Southwest cancelled the celebration of technology, arts and music in Austin, Texas, citing concerns from city officials about the continuing spread of the coronavirus.

The Coachella Festival, co-founded by Paul Tollett and Rick Van Santen in 1999, takes place at Indio’s Empire Polo Club in the desert of California’s Inland Empire region.