For their 2022 events, the Coachella and Stagecoach Music Festivals will not require revelers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, mask up or attend after testing negative for COVID-19. It’s true: the organizers have abandoned all precautions against COVID-19.
Coachella is undoubtedly one of the most renowned music festivals in the United States, if not the world. Before a series of pandemic-related cancellations, the festival last attended 135,000 people in 2019. In 2022, it is scheduled to take place at its usual location of the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California on weekends. -ends from April 15 to 17 and April 22-24. It’s safe to say festival fans are absolutely buzzing for Coachella 2022. Especially with this year’s headliners being artists like Billie Eilish and Harry Styles. But how will the lack of COVID precautions affect festivals this year? That remains to be seen.
Despite the new rules, festival organizers acknowledged the obvious risks. “There is an inherent and high risk of exposure to COVID-19 in any public place or place where people are present and there is no guarantee, expressed or implied, that those who attend the festival will not be exposed to the COVID-19, » said a declaration on the Coachella website reads. The revised rules have also been rolled out for Coachella’s sister festival, Stagecoach, an outdoor country music festival that takes place at the same location the last weekend in April. In a festival admission update on the Stagecoach Twitter account, organizers wrote« As we prepare to spend an incredible weekend together in the desert, we are announcing that there will be no vaccination, testing or masking requirements at Stagecoach 2022, in accordance with local guidelines. »
The firm position of the festival organizers is in keeping with the state of Official California Public Health Recommendationswho advise attendees of « outdoor mega events », i.e. music festivals, food festivals, marathons, parades and car shows,should preferably be fully vaccinated and have obtained a negative COVID-19 test. The recommendations also suggest that said participants provide proof of vaccination via verification options in the CDPH Immunization Record Guidelines and Standards and follow CDPH advice for face coverings by wearing masks when occupying indoor spaces, including restrooms, restaurants and shops. However, these are recommendations, not official rules or requirements. This is why Coachella and Stagecoach have chosen to do without it.
The announcement of the new rules yesterday drew criticism, including on Twitter. Many were quick to circulate memes on how the virus is set to « boom » at the event, with a user saying« Well, I guess now we know where the zero point of the next variant will be. » However, there have been others who have sided with festival organizers, as many other parts of the United States have lifted COVID-19 restrictions. “These comments are weird. Everyone is lifting restrictions and mandates,” one user wrote. There is some truth in this statement. Several US states have canceled mask mandates or announced plans to do so. Even major establishments such as the New York Stock Exchange and Disney World have also recently removed mask mandates.