People attending the music festival Coachella will no longer be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“After seeing first-hand the low transmission data and successful implementation of safety protocols at our other festivals this past month, we feel confident we can update our health policy to allow for: Negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event OR Proof of full vaccination,” read a statement shared on Coachella’s Instagram story on Oct. 12.
Instagram stories are temporary and disappear after 24 hours.
“The timing of the policy reversal — not to mention the reversal itself — is puzzling, because the festival is months away and tickets have long since sold out,” noted Variety.
Previously, both the Coachella Valley Music and Arts and Stagecoach festivals announced over the summer that anyone who wanted to attend would need to be fully vaccinated.
In a statement from concert promoter AEG Presents in August, CEO Jay Marciano said:
“We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status. … We realize that some people might look at this as a dramatic step, but it’s the right one. We also are aware that there might be some initial pushback, but I’m confident and hopeful that, at the end of the day, we will be on the right side of history and doing what’s best for artists, fans, and live event workers.”
In addition to Coachella and Stagecoach, AEG Presents owns or partners with New York’s Webster Hall and Brooklyn Steel, The Roxy and El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, The Theatre at Resorts World Las Vegas, Firefly Music Festival, Day N Vegas and The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Now the festivals have changed the requirement: attendees will need to show proof of a negative test.
Face coverings are still encouraged at Coachella “to protect against desert dust,” according to the event’s website. The festival was delayed twice because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both Stagecoach and Coachella are scheduled for April 2022 in Riverside County, California.