Coachella and Stagecoach festivals drop vaccination requirements

By Sophia Franz, Apr. 12, 2022

After two years of cancelled festivals due to the pandemic, Coachella and Stagecoach are set to return April 15. With COVID-19 requirements beginning to relax, Coachella and Stagecoach have decided that concert goers will no longer to follow COVID-19 guidelines such as proof of vaccination, a negative test and wearing masks at their events.

With both Coachella and Stagecoach attracting hundreds of thousands of people, many attendees are worried about the health risks attached to this decision. Members of the Cal Poly Pomona community shared their differing opinions on this subject, with some students supporting the mandate being lifted and others still being wary about attending such a large gathering.

Cynthia Cervantes, a biology student who attended Coachella in 2019, said, “I’m not sure I would feel completely safe surrounded by that many people who might not be vaccinated.”

When the announcement was made on Feb. 16, the official Stagecoach Twitter page released a formal statement saying, “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.”

Students are cautious to attend the festivals due to having loved ones with compromised immune systems or are at a higher risk of getting the virus.

“I have a little brother, so I would feel really bad if I accidentally got him sick just because I was around people who went to Coachella and weren’t safe about it,” said Cervantes.

Sharon Wu | The Poly Post

In Indio, California where both festivals take place, the state’s mask mandate officially ended on March 1. California Gov. Gavin Newsom cited the state’s decreasing rate of cases and hospitalizations when he announced the news.

Even though some are afraid it is too soon to drop these vaccine requirements, not all students feel this way. Music student Avery Galerkin, who will be attending the 2022 Coachella festival shared that he is “happy we get to reunite again; I’ve missed Coachella so much!”

Both festivals will offer rapid 15-minute antigen COVID-19 testing services provided by Guardian Testing available at several booths in case of an emergency.

According to its website, Coachella has been around since 1999, and Stagecoach since 2007, with annual festivals until the pandemic hit. These festivals are an opportunity for students to see their favorite artists, hang out with friends and meet new people.

Coachella’s lineup will be headlined by The Weekend, Billie Eilish, Harry Styles and Swedish House Mafia. Coachella’s sister festival, Stagecoach, will feature artists Luke Combs, Cody Johnson and Carrie Underwood.

As Coachella and Stagecoach approach and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, the decision to renounce pandemic guidelines has caused much debate among the CPP community. Some students welcome the opportunity to escape and see their favorite artists.

“I feel pretty comfortable attending Coachella because I’m fully vaxxed with the booster and it is outdoors.” said business marketing student Victoria Aiello. “I would feel more comfortable if they made you get a negative COVID test or check for vaccinations but that isn’t a factor on whether I will go or not.”

To learn more about the COVID-19 rules set at the concerts, students can visit their website.

Feature image by Sharon Wu. 


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