Coachella reverses course on COVID vaccine mandate for 2022 festival

Entertainment

INDIO, Calif. – Organizers of the popular Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival have reversed course on plans to require COVID-19 vaccinations for ticketholders and instead will allow attendees to test negative for the virus within 72 hours of the event.

The announcement was made Tuesday in an Instagram story posted by the festival. It’s a shift from the policy announced in August by Goldenvoice, the music events company that puts on Coachella and the Stagecoach Festival, which required full vaccination for concertgoers and events staff at all of its clubs, venues and festivals.

In a statement posted to Coachella’s website, officials cited low transmission data, rising vaccination rates and safety protocols successfully implemented at other similar festivals as the reason for the shift.

“We feel confident we can safely update our policy for Coachella that allows for (a) negative covid test taken within 72 hours of the event OR proof of full vaccination,” a statement on the festival’s website reads.

Tickets to the 2022 edition of Coachella – taking place on consecutive weekends from April 15 to 17 and April 22 to 24 – sold out within hours of going on sale in June, according to the festival’s Instagram account. Those still interested in attending can sign up on the waitlist for tickets at Coachella’s website.

It’s not yet clear who will land on Coachella’s lineup after the 2020 and 2021 versions were canceled due to the pandemic. The 2020 lineup included some of the biggest names in music, including headliners Travis Scott, Frank Ocean and Rage Against the Machine as well as Megan Thee Stallion, Big Sean, Thom Yorke, Lana Del Rey, and Lil Nas X, among others.

The Los Angeles Times reported Scott and Rage Against the Machine are slated to return next year with Ocean reportedly unavailable next year and scheduled to headline the festival in 2023.

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