LOS ANGELES • Organisers of the world-famous Coachella music festival, due to be held in April, have been forced to cancel the event because of coronavirus concerns - the second year in a row it has been shut down.
Mr Cameron Kaiser, a public health officer for California's Riverside County, where the massive event is held, said last Friday the order to cancel was based on concerns of "resurgence of Covid-19 both within the county of Riverside and worldwide".
He said the Coachella and Stagecoach music and arts festivals attract "hundreds of thousands of attendees from many countries, including several disproportionately afflicted by the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic".
"If Covid-19 were detected at these festivals, the scope and number of attendees and the nature of the venue would make it unfeasible, if not impossible, to track those who may be placed at risk," he added.
Festival organisers have not said if they would attempt to find a later date for this year's event.
Coachella and Stagecoach are usually held every year on two weekends in April in the California desert.
Last year, the festival had been postponed until October because of the pandemic, but the authorities later decided to scrap it altogether. The line-up was meant to include headliners Rage Against The Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean.
According to media reports, the economy of the Coachella Valley suffered a drop in revenue of up to US$700 million (S$930 million) due to the cancellation of last year's festival.