Festivalgoers kick up a sandstorm in the desert for the first time since 2019 at Coachella

Festivalgoers kick up a sandstorm in the desert for the first time since 2019 at Coachella

California’s Coachella has kicked off for the first time since 2019 with a star-studded weekend of music for hundreds of thousands of people flocking to the desert to enjoy the mammoth event.

The festival, which takes place over two three-day weekends, features headliners Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, The Weeknd, and Swedish House Mafia, as well as Justin Bieber, Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion.

Traditionally the event kicks off the summer concert circuit in the US, and after a three-year hiatus, Coachella is back without requiring any Covid vaccinations, tests, masks or social distancing – but there will be two testing areas on festival grounds and even more nearby.

Some 125,000 revellers cluster in the desert region of Indio, California, which as a city receives roughly $3 million each year in direct revenue from Coachella and folk and country event Stagecoach, including ticket-sharing dollars and transient occupancy taxes from campers.

Nationwide, Covid-19 cases are down sharply from where they were in January but recently have started ticking up, with the United States averaging approximately 38,000 cases a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jose Arballo, a senior public information representative for the public health department of Riverside County, where Coachella takes place, said: ‘Any time you have large groups of people gathering in public settings there’s some issues there, but we’re hoping that more people will be vaccinated… and that more people will wear masks anyway.

‘If people aren’t feeling well, even if it might cost them something financially, we hope they can forgo going.’

When the coronavirus pandemic hit the US two years ago, the festival rescheduled from April 2020 to October of that year, before being outright cancelled for the first time in 20 years that June.

After being pushed back due to the pandemic, the festival announced its long awaited return on New Year’s Day 2021 with a simple tweet that read: ‘See you in the desert. Coachella returns 15-17 & 22-24, 2022’.

But regardless of the uptick in cases, morale remains high at the colourful festival where partygoers attended in their best pieces in celebration of Coachella returning for another year since it was first held in the Spring of 1999.

California's Coachella has kicked off for the first time since 2019 with a star-studded weekend of music for hundreds of thousands of people flocking to the desert to enjoy the mammoth event

+15
View gallery

California’s Coachella has kicked off for the first time since 2019 with a star-studded weekend of music for hundreds of thousands of people flocking to the desert to enjoy the mammoth event

The festival, which takes place over two three-day weekends, features headliners Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, The Weeknd, and Swedish House Mafia, as well as Justin Bieber, Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion

+15
View gallery

The festival, which takes place over two three-day weekends, features headliners Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, The Weeknd, and Swedish House Mafia, as well as Justin Bieber, Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion

Traditionally the event will kick off the summer concert circuit in the US, and after a three-year hiatus, Coachella is back without requiring any Covid vaccinations, tests, masks or social distancing

+15
View gallery

Traditionally the event will kick off the summer concert circuit in the US, and after a three-year hiatus, Coachella is back without requiring any Covid vaccinations, tests, masks or social distancing

↯↯↯Read More On The Topic On TDPel Media ↯↯↯