Coachella said it will no longer require vaccinations for attendees, a change that comes two months after the popular music festival said concertgoers would need to show proof of a COVID-19 shot to gain entry.
Instead, this week Coachella said proof of a negative test for the virus will suffice for people who want to attend the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival or Stagecoach, which are set to take place in late April and early May.
"Thanks for coming along for the ride as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times so that we can get back to having ourselves a good time," tweeted Stagecoach organizers.
"After seeing first-hand the low transmission data and successful implementation of safety protocols at our festivals recently, alongside the rising vaccination rate of eligible Americans, we feel confident that we can safely update our policy for Coachella that allows for negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of the event or full proof of vaccination," said a statement on Coachella's website.
Coachella promoter AEC on August 12 announced a mandatory vaccination policy for staff and fans at future shows, citing "the dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases as the Delta variant spreads throughout the United States." This week's announcement comes less than two weeks after that policy took effect on October 1.
New cases of the coronavirus are on the decline in the U.S., with about 89,000 identified each day and the country averaging about 1,800 deaths daily for the past week. Since two weeks ago, the number of daily cases has declined more than 20%, according to the New York Times.
Coachella occurs over two weekends, with 2022's event slated for April 15-17 and April 22-24 after. The lineup for the festival, held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, has not been announced yet.
Country festival Stagecoach is scheduled for April 29-May 1 with Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett headlining the event.
The state of California does not require but strongly recommends verification of vaccination and pre-entry negative tests for all those attending large outdoor events. Venues are free to impose stricter rules.
California is requiring large indoor venues to check for vaccination at events like sports games with crowds bigger than 1,000 people.
for more features.