As panic over the coronavirus outbreak reaches a fever pitch, the future of this year’s Coachella music festival—a large gathering if there ever was one—seems increasingly up in the air. So far, three cases of the virus have been confirmed in the Coachella Valley, the festival’s titular California home. (One patient is being treated in a local hospital, while the other two are self-quarantined.) But that might even be beside the point: There were no confirmed cases of the virus in Austin when South by Southwest announced the cancellation of its 2020 edition, which was set to take place later this month.
According to Rolling Stone, talks to postpone this year’s Coachella are indeed underway. On Twitter, the journalist Yashar Ali claimed that its current dates—the weekends of April 10 and 17—are set to shift to the weekends of October 9 and 16. Coachella has yet to confirm the speculation, though the festival staff hasn’t gone entirely radio silent. As reports of the postponement began to circulate on Monday night, Coachella’s official Twitter account posted a riposte to Elon Musk, who took it upon himself to declare that the festival sucks.
Of the 250,000 people estimated to attend this year’s edition, those who caught sight of the tweet were not amused. “Make a statement, bro,” one Twitter user responded. Others could only express their frustration via memes.
But for the most part, the response on Twitter has been positive. After all, for many, Coachella is more about documenting the experience than, well, actually experiencing it. And what with all the pressure to win the content war, the news is being heralded as something of a welcome surprise.
Naturally, the implications a postponement would have for festival style are top of mind. But only a few are fearing a Christian Girl Autumn; others are eagerly contemplating the possibilities of embracing the Halloween spirit. (Not to mention living out the fantasies they’d tabled for the storming of Area 51.)
Of course, there’s been one other main topic of conversation: Frank Ocean, who’s this year’s most highly anticipated headliner. Within a few hours, enough people who didn’t manage to get tickets had tweeted their Schadenfreude that even Ocean’s mom took note.