The high-probability guess that Coachella might get cancelled due to coronavirus fears goes back more than a week, and after the cancellation of South by Southwest it became more of a screaming rumor.
Now, according to Billboard, we should know within 48 hours if some last-ditch talks between promoter Goldenvoice and Riverside County officials have been successful to reschedule both Coachella and the Stagecoach Country Music Festival to October. County officials as well as those from the town of Indio are rumored to be negotiating the possible rescheduling to the fall, though they may also just decide to pull the festival's permit altogether, per Billboard.
The new Coachella weekends, if confirmed, would be October 9 and October 16. Stagecoach would then happen on the weekend of October 23.
Update: The news has been confirmed by Goldenvoice, though they have not confirmed if the lineup of Coachella will be exactly the same.
New York Magazine journalist Yashir Ali appears to have first broken the news around 7 p.m. Monday on Twitter. He says that the same lineup is already confirmed to perform. (Though Billboard notes the huge logistical challenge of rescheduling the entire lineup.)
Scoop: A source familiar with the arrangements tells me that the Coachella festival will be postponed due to Coronavirus concerns and moved to the weekends of October 9 and 16.— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) March 10, 2020
As of now, the same lineup is confirmed to perform.
There are now six confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Riverside County as of Monday, after three new ones were just announced. The escalating crisis in California is moving quicker than in Texas, where the mayor of Austin declared a local emergency and forced the cancelation of SXSW before a single case had been reported in the city. Today, though, a Dell employee who had just visited Austin tested positive for the virus upon returning to India — and there are almost two dozen confirmed cases elsewhere in Texas.
Coachella, which occurs over two weekends in April, is scheduled to start in four weeks. It reportedly brings $1 billion in revenue to the region — $400 million to the Coachella Valley, and $700 million to the metro area.
A petition went up a week ago trying to get the festival cancelled, with Riverside County residents citing the high proportion of senior citizens in the area. That currently has over 17,000 signatures.
This post will be updated as we learn more.