Coachella reverses COVID vaccine mandate

The music festival announced a vaccine-mandate for entry into the live music festival back in August of this year amid concerns surrounding the Delta variant

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The Coachella Valley Music and Arts and Stagecoach festivals have reversed their vaccine mandate, announcing that ticket holders will instead be required to show proof of a negative test.

In August, festivals like Coachella and Made in America announced that they would be requiring proof of vaccination prior to entering the live shows. Jay Marciano, COO of AEG and Chairman and CEO, AEG Presents, shared in a statement at the time, “We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status. Just a few weeks ago, we were optimistic about where our business, and country, were heading…our hope is that our pro-active stance encourages people to do the right thing and get vaccinated.”

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Festival atmosphere at the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival – Weekend 2 on April 21, 2019 in Indio, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for Coachella)

Now, it seems Coachella is walking back that decision, according to a statement made on Tuesday afternoon. The surprising announcement was made in a story post on the official Coachella Instagram account.

The story post reads, “After seeing first-hand the low transmission data and successful implementation of safety protocols at our other festivals this past month, we feel confident we can update our health policy to allow for: Negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event OR Proof of full vaccination.”

AEG Presents is the second-largest live music company in the country, which is what made their initial announcement such a big deal. Marciano acknowledged at the time that the decision may seem dramatic to some, but insisted it was the right one.

“We realize that some people might look at this as a dramatic step, but it’s the right one,” Marciano shared in June. “We also are aware that there might be some initial pushback, but I’m confident and hopeful that, at the end of the day, we will be on the right side of history and doing what’s best for artists, fans, and live event workers.”

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Festival atmosphere at the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival – Weekend 2 on April 21, 2019 in Indio, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for Coachella)

While this reversal does go against the policy announced in August, Variety points out that along with the initial announcement, the company allowed that, “the vaccination policy will be implemented as an open-ended one, with any changes or reversals informed by updates relating to infection rates, transmission data, variant developments, and local and federal regulations.”

Coachella 2022 will be held on April 15-17 and 22-24, and tickets sold out almost instantly when they went on sale in June.

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