Early last week, North America’s most influential music festival, Coachella, revealed via its Health and Safety rules that it would not require attendees to wear masks, show proof of vaccination, or provide negative COVID-19 test results for its upcoming 2022 event.
Following in Coachella’s footprints that same day, country music festival Stagecoach, also staged by Goldenvoice, announced via Twitter that it would also be dropping its COVID protocols ahead of its April event.
Both events draw massive crowds – Stagecoach attracts 85,000 attendees yearly, while Coachella draws upwards of 250,000 attendees.
In Coachella’s Health and Safety rules it reads: “COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. There is an inherent and elevated risk of exposure to COVID-19 in any public place or place where people are present and there is no guarantee, express or implied, that those attending the festival will not be exposed to COVID-19.”
Coachella also pointed out that its rules and regulations “may change at any time.”
Many health experts have spoken out against the festival organizers’ choice to drop all protocols.
Richard Carpiano, a public health expert and public policy professor at the University of California, Riverside told Pitchfork the choice for the festivals to drop safety requirements is, “in denial of everything we’ve been through the last two years,” and “it’s almost acting like the pandemic never happened and the virus will magically go away come April.”
In addition, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Rochelle Walensky, told Reuters “now is not the moment” to drop mask mandates in public places around the U.S.