For over two years now, Southern California’s beloved desert festivals have been canceled or postponed indefinitely. Now in 2022, Stagecoach and Coachella will finally return to their respective stomping grounds with live music, Art displays, food, and more.
Last fall, when the return of these festivals was being confirmed, the event regulations stated that vaccinations would not be required for entry and those who tested negative before arriving to the festival would be welcomed. Fast froward a few months, and Coachella and Stagecoach have now stated that there will be zero barriers or requirements related to COVID for entry, not even the initial negative tests. With zero COVID-related restrictions, no masking, and no testing, this has raised the question of other festivals following suite.
Recently, the Stagecoach twitter account stated “Festival Admission Update: As we prepare to spend an incredible weekend in the desert together we are announcing that there will be no vaccination, testing or masking requirements at Stagecoach 2022, in accordance with local guidelines.” Though no public announcement has come directly from its sister festival Coachella, both events work under the same Goldenvoice policies and adopting the same guidelines is inevitable. Upon further digging, Coachella’s health and safety page does include new updates regarding restrictions and states that the event will be “presented in accordance with applicable public health conditions as of the date of the event and which may change at any time.” The page also provides a necessary warning regarding the possible exposure while attending events, which is a much more honest approach.
Many have claimed that publicizing the lack of restrictions is more important for the Stagecoach audience, based on the demographics. While health and safety is an important factor at these events, selling tickets and preventing any hostility or confusion regarding restrictions, masking, or vaccinations the day of the festival is a top priority. Both festivals seemed to have lucked out with the lessening of cases in recent weeks as well as the obvious lack of masking at other large events such as the Super Bowl. As the months go on, it will not come as a surprise if other outdoor festivals and events remove all COVID-19 restrictions and allow the attendees to decide for themselves if participating is a feasible.