Coachella Event Faces Calls for Shut Down

A growing petition for cancellation of the 2020 Coachella Festival is casting uncertainty over the holding of one of California’s major events.

The petition, started by one Stella Young, appeared at change.org last Tuesday, and quickly received more than 4,000 signatures by Friday morning. As of Monday, March 09, 2020, the number of signatures signifying support for cancellation is already in the 13,000 mark.

In raising concerns that the Covid-19 outbreak has already hit California, Ms. Young’s call cited not only the extreme danger of attending a large music festival in which participants come from all over the world. Ms Young wrote:

“We are responsible to protect each and every community member, including the elderly, the fragile, or those who suffer from chronic diseases, immune system diseases, cancer, and other forms of disabilities.” “Their lives should not be down-played nor risked, since they have a higher chance of catching COVID-19.”

A Riverdale County Resident Returning from a Diamond Princess Cruise Tested as Covid-19 Positive

The Coachella Music Festival is slated to take place in April 11-13 and 17-19, 2020, but fears over coronavirus infection heightened as there are now 53 confirmed cases in California.

The tension rose further after reports came out that one of the passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship recently held at bay, is a Riverside Country resident. The resident, who is said to be confined at a North California medical facility has tested positive of the Covid-19 disease. Currently, the Riverdale County public health department has not reported any case that would indicate the virus has been transmitted locally.

Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County’s Health Officer said that they stand ready to make decisions in relation to the risks presented by the Coachella Festival to the public, However, Dr. Kaiser said he is not inclined to take a decision to cancel lightly, saying

“We would rather work with the organizers rather than impose cancellation on them.”

Coachella 2020 Plans Still Moving Forward

So far, there are no indications that a cancellation or a postponement is being considered by the festival promoter Goldenvoice or by parent company AEG. As it is, tickets to the festival have already been sold out, which gives rise to expectations that about 125,000 Coacehlla fans per day will attend the annual celebration. Tents are now being set up at the Empire Polo Club, in Coachella Valley at Riverdale County.

A national festival executive, not directly connected to the Coachella festival, aired his piece but spoke on conditions of anonymity. He said that unless the order to shut down comes from the government, plans for this year’s Coachella festival will still move forward.

Apparently, economic reasons are holding back Riverside County authorities from ordering the cancellation. Recent studies disclosed that the city of Indio, realizes as much as $3 million in revenues from the Coachella ticket sales alone. The report also states that tourism in the Greater Palm Springs area is a $7-billion industry, to which the Coachella Music Festival supports one (1) out of every four (4) jobs.

Nonetheless, Dr. Kaiser assures the public that if ever the coronavirus situation gets worse, they will arrive at a decision to cancel with as much lead time as possible to keep all Riverside County residents and festival attendants safe. At the same time, he also acknowledged that the Coachella Festival is a vital component of the region’s economy.

He added that measure must be taken to  ensure that if ever a cancellation is decided for this year, the annual event will still be able to take place in the coming years.