Well, it looks like we’ll officially be postponing our major festival coverage until next year with the news from Billboard today that organizers behind the Coachella music festival will most certainly be cancelling the festival and moving everything to next April (at the earliest) even though it was originally rescheduled to October. In a new report today, the AEG team is suffering from the pandemic and is cutting back across the board.
AEG, the global concert promoter and entertainment facility manager, instituted its deepest staff cuts in the company’s history Monday, laying off 15% of its workforce, furloughing more than 100 employees across multiple divisions at the company and instituting 20–50% pay cuts.
We had a feeling that Coachella 2020 was a maybe based on the Bloomberg report, and it was maybe obvious once we started to see how hard Gavin Newsom was locking down California, but still, it’s a wildly huge blow to the industry as a whole that none of the amazing music we had hoped to see during 2020 will happen. I was really hoping to see that Rage Against the Machine set.
It’s also unlikely rescheduled events will take place this year, starting with Coachella, which won’t be returning in October as originally hoped, Billboard has learned. Officials with Goldenvoice are still trying to determine whether the two-weekend, 125,000-person-per-day festival will make a limited-capacity return in April 2021 or a larger, higher capacity comeback in October 2021. About 40% of ticket buyers have requested refunds for this year’s festival and AEG officials think they could probably pull off the festival in April at 60% capacity, but are holding off on making a final rescheduling decision until there is more clarity on the pandemic’s overall trajectory.