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Why Coachella and Stagecoach may not happen this year

Coronavirus has thrown a wrench in everyone's plans, including big events that were scheduled throughout California. Coachella, Stagecoach and White Party are all Coachella Valley events that were postponed to October 2020.

Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the state Tuesday, and spoke on what it could look like as things begin to return to normal in the future. However, there are several changes that we could all expect.

"The prospect of mass gatherings is negligible at best until we get to herd immunity and we get to a vaccine. Large scale events that bring in hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of strangers all across every conceivable difference, health and otherwise, is not in the cards based upon our current guidelines and current expectations," Gov. Newsom said.

Palm Springs Mayor talks about the possible future of local mass gathering events

The Coachella Valley banks on festivals that were supposed to happen in April.

Coachella has since rescheduled for the weekends of October 9 and 18. The following weekend is reserved for Stagecoach. Both will be at the Empire Polo ground in Indio.

"It would be a huge detriment to our economy here in the Coachella Valley," Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez said.

Hernandez has seen what these large-scale events bring to the valley, including small businesses and property owners who rent out their space to partygoers.

"Their lives and their economies change personally and so right now to those families, I would suggest they really think about how they can save and prepare for an unexpected cancellation of the events if they don't happen. Now that's not to say that they're not going to happen, but you got to prepare the worst," Hernandez said.

The impacts of Coronavirus have created a new set of norms for thousands of people throughout the country.

"If the concerts didn’t happen in October it would mean a lot, not just financially but employment. The concerts employ a lot of people not just in the city of Indio but all over the Coachella Valley," City of Indio Director of Communications and Marketing, Brooke Beare said.

Beare said Stagecoach and Coachella alone garner $3 million in revenue for the city. She said that October is a long way off, and it's still hard to tell what could happen in the future.

"If big events, conventions, festivals, are not allowed to reopen by the fall, it’s going to increase the economic harm to our businesses, our workers, our residents and our cities in a major way," Palm Springs Mayor Geoff Kors said. "But we understand we have to do this slowly and safely because the last thing we want after all the work that everyone’s done is to see a spike in infections and have to go back to closing everything again. That would be the worse scenario that any of us could imagine.

Meanwhile, Governor Newsom said we could see a radical change with the ability to have therapeutics and testing to scale. Until then, however, he projected a slow progression of getting back to normal.

He mentioned Tuesday that officials will revisit the subject in two weeks to determine what is next.

"It would be hugely disappointing to a lot of people if these types of celebrations were not able to affirm, but ultimately public health is what's most important and people do want to be able to get back to normal. If putting off some of these activities allows for everyone to remain healthy, then that's what's most important," Beare said.

"We have to do our part that we ensure that we don't return back to this," Hernandez said.

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Shelby Nelson


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