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Everything We Know About Lana Del Rey’s New Album 'Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd'
The pop chanteuse surprised fans by announcing her ninth studio album is on its way. GRAMMY.com has put together everything we know about the project.
Christmas came early for Lana Del Rey fans on Dec. 7, when the pop singer unveiled her upcoming ninth studio album, Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard.
Set to drop March 10, 2023 via Interscope Records, the new collection of songs comes more than a year after Del Rey’s incredibly busy 2021, which saw her release two albums: the spare, intimate Chemtrails Over the Country Club, and its moody sibling Blue Banisters.
Though she’s no longer on Instagram or Twitter, the enigmatic pop sensation born Elizabeth Grant shared a personal, type-written note along with the announcement: "What can I say! I’m so grateful to be present and feeling effervescent today. With a mind full of violets and a forehead warmed by the sun as I pray in the garden."
After taking a moment to thank all of her collaborators, friends and other people who made the forthcoming body of work possible, Del Rey closed the note with a message to her fans. "Thank you to you guys for listening!" she wrote, adding, "The music is for fun and for you and for me and not always free unless you’re streaming ha -but spirited with the best of intentions."
The Album Cover Exudes Brooding Hollywood Glamour
Del Rey channels vintage glam on the ‘70s-esque cover art for Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd. With her chin resting in her closed hand and a giant satin bow in her hair, the superstar poses for a grayscale portrait shot by photographer Neil Krug that’s equal parts pouty and alluring.
Balancing out the close-up, the singer follows recent collaborator Taylor Swift’s lead by including not only the aureolin yellow album title on the cover, but also the list of guest features, producers and other information. The whole affair exudes a nostalgic, throwback feeling.
The Title Track Is Also The Album’s Lead Single
Del Rey saunters into her newest era by asking the very question at the heart of the album’s title. "Mosaic ceiling, painted tiles on the wall," she teases, painting a picture of the hidden, underground space (possibly) beneath Long Island’s Ocean Boulevard before likening its depths to the beauty of her own secret spaces.
All the hallmarks of Lana’s classic oeuvre are thankfully present and accounted for: her mournful, quavering soprano; a torchy, orchestral sonic palette; a sun-baked California setting (with a shoutout to Camarillo), crystalline nods to 1970s touchstones — this time Eagles’ "Hotel California" and an unnamed song by Harry Nilsson; carnality as a mask for pain and yearning and more.
"When’s it gonna be my turn?/ Don’t forget me/ When’s it gonna be my turn?" the singer-songwriter pleads over slow-burning piano as the song’s narrative builds to a gospel finish, replete with a spectral choir backing up her plaintive cries to be remembered.
The Tracklist Is Stacked With Guest Features
Though Del Rey hasn’t revealed a single track besides the first single, the studio set’s vintage-style cover art promises a plethora of collaborations including Jon Batiste, Bleachers, Father John Misty and SYML, the solo project of former Barcelona frontman Brian Fennell.
Interestingly, the list also includes appearances by more off-beat — and seemingly disparate — figures like Hillsong Church pastor Judah Smith and hyper-sexual rapper Tommy Genesis.
She’s Reuniting With Jack Antonoff
After being entirely absent in the credits for 2021’s Blue Banisters — which was largely helmed by Drew Erickson, Kassidy’s Barrie-James O’Neill and others — Jack Antonoff is back as a producer. Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard reunites Del Rey with the superproducer after working together on "Snow on the Beach" — the singer’s fan favorite, Janet Jackson-referencing contribution to Swift’s Midnights.
Antonoff previously oversaw production on a string of Del Rey projects that included 2019’s GRAMMY-nominated Norman F—ing Rockwell!, the 2020 spoken world album Violets Bent Backwards over the Grass and 2021’s Chemtrails Over the Country Club.
However, Antonoff isn’t the sole producer on Lana’s upcoming LP. The credits on the front cover reveal she’s also bringing past collaborators Erickson and Zach Dawes back into her musical sandbox along with film director Mike Hermosa and the cryptically mononymous Benji.
There Will Be Multiple Vinyl Editions Of The Album
Shortly after unveiling the studio set’s cover art, Del Rey dropped another surprise on her unsuspecting fans: there would be four additional versions of the album available on vinyl, complete with unique covers, sleeves, gatefolds and photos.
The news is certainly great for collectors and superfans, but they’ll have to put in quite a bit of work to round up the LP’s many variations. The cherry red version will be exclusively available at retailers like Target and HMV, while indie record stores will receive a mint green vinyl with a saturated color photograph on the cover. The Amazon exclusive is light pink with the singer in a dark green cardigan and her exclusive web store is selling a white LP with an entirely text-free cover.
The Album Is Available For Pre-Order Now
Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ABA
The Psychology Of "Sad Girl" Pop: Why Music By Billie Eilish, Gracie Abrams, Olivia Rodrigo & More Is Resonating So Widely
As Olivia Rodrigo, Tate McRae and more of pop's current leading ladies continue to pour their hearts out in song, three music psychology experts assess what makes their vulnerability so connective.
Olivia Rodrigo probably never imagined that a drive through the suburbs would become a rallying cry for anyone who's ever mourned a relationship. But when she released her debut single, the racing power ballad "drivers license," in January 2021, suddenly she had the biggest song in the world.
"drivers license" broke streaming and chart records upon its release, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and inspiring memes across social media. While it wasn't exactly uplifting — Rodrigo vividly details the devastation of trying to move on from an ex, and laments the milestones they were supposed to celebrate together — the song became universally celebrated, sending listeners into a nostalgic haze of first heartbreaks. Everyone was screaming, crying and dancing at the same time.
"drivers license," one could say, is the latest centerpiece of "sad girl" pop — the specific aesthetic of artists who write songs through a dreamy, yet raw lens of rage, pining, heartbreak or rejection. The music itself creates a spectrum of emotions where you might want to sway at one point, but scream like Zach Braff and Natalie Portman at the rock quarry in Garden State at another.
Though Rodrigo is one of the stars at the center of "sad girl" pop, it had been percolating long before the explosion of "drivers license." After all, artists like Fiona Apple and Alanis Morrisette were the poster girls for it in the mid-to-late '90s. But one could argue that this iteration of "sad girl" pop found its roots in the 2010s, thanks to artists like Lana Del Rey, whose palpable aching and loneliness became inescapable anthems like "Video Games" and "Summertime Sadness"; Taylor Swift, whose first crossover success Red spawned the still-heart-wrenching fan favorite "All Too Well"; Robyn, who created the ultimate crying-at-the-club banger "Dancing on My Own"; and MARINA, care of the depressed-Barbie era of her album Electra Heart.
Even with all of its origins, "sad girl" pop didn't truly begin to form its own sort of subgenre until Billie Eilish and her whispery, gloomy music emerged in 2016. Others have steadily begun following suit: Sasha Alex Sloan emerged with a debut EP aptly titled Sad Girl two years later; Gracie Abrams' intimate, diaristic tracks served as major inspiration for Rodrigo (who later recruited Abrams as a tour opener); Tate McRae has turned her insecurities into aspirational, sad-pop anthems like "she's all i wanna be."
While "sad girl" pop isn't exactly new (most music trends are cyclical, of course), the way that people are clinging to it is. "There's a cliche about pop that it represents a retreat from reality, an escapist fantasy world where listeners get to leave their fears and anxieties in a vision of Katy Perry's 'Teenage Dream' or fun.'s 'We Are Young,'" says Nate Sloan, host of Switched on Pop and assistant professor of musicology at USC Thornton School of Music. "But modern listeners — especially young people — are pushing back against that paradigm, celebrating artists like Billie Eilish, Halsey, and girl in red, who don't shy away from the troubles of the world but sublimate them into their music."
Their music, in turn, helps them cope with their own "lived realities." It's equal parts celebration of the artist and found community for someone who, in a world away, relates.
Which is why the rise of "sad girl" pop feels synonymous with the current state of the world. To varying degrees, we've all endured the trauma of a pandemic that hasn't ended, particularly the mental and emotional toll of isolation and anxiety that has transpired. There's also been the weight of police brutality, school shootings and the impending death of democracy for people to bear. Finding comfort in nostalgia — especially within pop culture — was natural for many.
Some retreated to the music, TV or films they listened to when they were teenagers, while others sought relief in music that evoked the feeling of being young and carefree. It's also why recent vulnerable, melancholy pop tracks became such a balm — and ultimately solidified the power of "sad girl" pop.
But the group that seems to be drawn to this niche pop aesthetic are teenagers. It makes sense: Gen Z is coming of age at a time when there's less of a stigma around discussing mental health. Celebrities and artists are arguably more open than ever about their struggles — Shawn Mendes, for instance, has often shared his battle with anxiety, sharing a super honest message with fans in April; Selena Gomez opened up about her bipolar diagnosis in 2020, and launched a multimedia company dedicated to mental health this year.
And it isn't just young women dominating this niche area of pop. Male artists like Conan Gray, Dean Lewis, Jeremy Zucker and Lewis Capaldi are delivering bedroom pop anthems ranging from angsty to wistful, overall unafraid to showcase raw vulnerability. Their music has proven to similarly resonate, with Capaldi's pained breakup ballad "Someone You Loved" hitting No. 1 on the Hot 100 in 2019 and Dean Lewis' "Be Alright" reaching No. 1 on Billboard's Adult Pop Songs chart that same year.
"Shame is gradually being removed, so people are talking more about their feelings and their mental health — and audiences can relate to it," says Jodi Milstein, MA, LMFT, LPCC, music therapist.
When their emotions are reflected back to them in a song by a public figure, sometimes that's the key to getting help and seeking therapy. "A lot of times, we can't tell people, 'you need to do this, this and this to feel better.' We just have to set an example," Milstein explains.
Gen Z is much less filtered than other generations, and more candid about their own mental health struggles, as a 2018 survey by the American Psychological Association and a 2019 report by the American Psychiatric Association showed. And it's not uncommon to see them pouring their hearts out on TikTok or Instagram. But their connection to hyper-vulnerable music is also the result of where they are in their lives. Because their brains are still developing, they "tend to have a more difficult time modulating their emotions," says Sloan.
"At the same time, they feel things more deeply than adults might, especially music," he continues. "Studies have shown that the developing brain creates strong neural pathways between music and emotion in the teenage years, so that the music we listen to at that phase of our lives tends to stay with us, no matter how far we get from that period.".
Despite the lyrics — or even the mood — of the artist, "sad girl" pop is no different than other subgenres of music. "What's true of 'sad girl' pop is true of all music: it's essential to try and hear a piece of music as expression, not fact," Sloan adds.
In other words, girl in red may be singing about depression in "Seratonin," but it doesn't mean that the listeners themselves are depressed. They could be, but they could also find catharsis or joy in hearing someone detail a similar experience. And at a young age, especially, there's so much power in being seen and heard by a song.
"Several studies have shown that when listeners listen to sad music, they can experience [it] as if it was kind of empathizing with them," says Jonna Vuoskoski, associate professor in music cognition at the University of Oslo. "Music is almost like a virtual friend."
But while the music is resonating, there is a flipside to "sad girl" pop. The label, which has helmed the conversation around this music, can be diminishing to the artists who are pouring their feelings into these songs. Despite all of the aforementioned artists whose vulnerability has helped their listeners heal, filing music under "sad girl" writes off a person's — particularly a woman's — emotional trauma as something not to be taken seriously.
It can also glorify the idea that it's "cool" to be sad, which is rarely the intention of these artists. When it comes down to it, their songs are about as personal and vulnerable as one could get. They're creating deeply moving material — and an importantly deep connection with those who listen.
"They're speaking up for themselves — they're setting limits or setting boundaries," says Milstein. "On Instagram and Tik Tok, people get on there and will say, 'Hey, this happened to me, and I'm not gonna deal with this anymore.' People have been more expressive. You see other people actually talking about [this] stuff, which before you didn't see that."
From Abrams to Rodrigo, these artists aren't singing about their insecurities and pain for cachet: They're simply young women (and men) trying to navigate young adulthood. What they're sharing is courageous — and should they decide to move out of the "sad girl" box they've been placed in, we should be ready to grow with them.
Photo: Chelsea Lauren/WireImage
For The Record: Why Lana Del Rey's 'Born To Die' Is One Of Pop's Most Influential Albums In The Past Decade
The sound and aesthetic of 'Born To Die,' released in January 2012, created a blueprint for numerous artists and cultural movements during the 2010s — and beyond
When Lana Del Rey released her sixth album Norman Fucking Rockwell! in 2019, it felt like a coronation. Beyond the immediate critical approval, the album was nominated for a number of GRAMMYS, including Album of the Year, and appeared on major publications’ “Best of the Decade” list. It was a fitting reward for a pop mainstay, but it didn’t happen in a vacuum — and it doesn’t quite capture just how influential she has been for an entire decade.
Upon the release of her major-label debut, Born To Die — released 10 years ago today, on Jan. 27, 2012 — Lana Del Rey arrived as a game-changer for pop and music as a whole. With an orchestral production flair and a deep sense of melancholy in her lyrics, she planted the seeds not only for her own success, but for the sounds that would guide some of the decade’s biggest pop stars.
While it’s not Del Rey’s first album (she digitally released a self-titled album under the spelling Lana Del Ray in 2010), Born To Die did serve as her sort of formal introduction to the world. At the time, though, the pop landscape wasn’t exactly ready for her gloomier vibe: Dominated by the likes of Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, a young Justin Bieber, and a newly minted One Direction, early 2010s-era pop was defined by brightness in sound and optimism in spirit. Sure, they sometimes sang of heartbreak and pain, but the pain was temporary, and usually backed by uptempo beats and bright, open synths. The stars and their music might have been sad for fleeting moments, but they were not necessarily sad at their core.
In comes Lana Del Rey, who was freshly signed to a deal with Interscope Records, and wasted no time shifting the perspective of pop music with the Born To Die lead single “Video Games.” The slow, sparse intro of chimes and harp — which opens into a symphonic flood — was unlike anything happening in pop at the time; there’s not even percussion until a snare drum comes in over the second half of the track. And while Del Rey’s voice has undeniable power, she lets it shine through a controlled and steady march, never belting.
The rest of Born To Die sticks to this sound, never straying from Del Rey’s vision of baroque pop. The title track begins the album with prominent strings, a common thread throughout the album — from the crescendoing roar of “National Anthem” to the eerie, haunting “Dark Paradise.”
It was a bold and unexpected choice in the context of pop music at the time. What’s more, it wasn’t just done in a single song: Here was a full album that could embrace the trends of where pop was headed, drawing more from hip-hop than rock — deftly weaving hip-hop’s influence into the record with ad-libs and perfectly placed beats — while still making it sound like a full orchestral suite.
Beyond sounding different, Born To Die felt different. There was no veneer of melancholy layered amongst danceable beats; all 12 tracks radiate a deep, profound sorrow. More than just mourning superficial breakups, Del Rey’s anguish reaches farther, whether it’s a world designed to pit women against each other in the name of “love” (“This Is What Makes Us Girls”); the commodification of beauty and womanhood (“Carmen”); or a profound nihilism and loneliness (“Summertime Sadness”).
The latter track introduced Lana Del Rey to a more mainstream audience 18 months after Born To Die's release, when French DJ Cedric Gervais dropped "Summertime Sadness (Remix)." The GRAMMY-winning remix amped up the downtempo original with synth-laden production and punchy beat drops, ultimately turning the track into a sleeper hit — and Del Rey's biggest to date — by landing at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Yet, the albums that followed Born To Die showed that tasting commercial success didn't steer the singer away from her unique stylings. And even if the "Summertime Sadness" remix had something to do with listeners catching on, Del Rey's sad-to-the-core music clearly made an impact: Born To Die went platinum in January 2014, five months before its follow-up, Ultraviolence, debuted at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 albums chart. (Not only is BTD now certified 3x Multi-Platinum by the RIAA, it has also spent 400 weeks — more than 7 years' worth — on the Billboard 200.)
The truth that Del Rey unveiled has pervaded throughout pop in the decade since. It's hard to imagine something like Lorde's intimately vulnerable Melodrama or the divorce-inspired tales of Kacey Musgraves' star-crossed or Adele's 30 resonating quite as deeply without Born To Die coming first.
Sonically, it hasn't been uncommon for some of the biggest pop stars on the planet, from Kesha to Ariana Grande, to incorporate string arrangements into their tracks. Del Rey herself continued to pioneer the symphonic sound over the years, most heavily on 2015's Honeymoon.
Taylor Swift herself, whose sister albums folklore and evermore share a similar somberness to the softer moments on Born To Die, has acknowledged Del Rey's monumental place in the world of pop. While accepting the Billboard "Woman Of The Decade" award in 2019, Swift called Del Rey "the most influential artist in pop," adding that her vocal stylings, lyrics and aesthetics have "been repurposed everywhere in music."
Born To Die also ushered in plenty of cultural influence, too. As Tumblr sees a resurgence, so does the sad-girl persona that is "Tumblr Girl," largely a mirror of Lana Del Rey's aesthetic. In fashion, flowing dresses, frilled jackets and flower crowns (which are now festival staples) can all be traced back to Born To Die's single art and music videos.
Though turning West Coast Americana into an art form is not a new phenomena, Del Rey popularized it on an unprecedented scale while also utilizing it to further her lyrical message. She flipped symbols of the American Dream — flags flowing, muscle cars speeding down the highway — from images of triumph into portrayals of sadness, like the male protagonist carrying Del Rey's bloody body from the wreckage in the "Born To Die" video.
Del Rey adds to those themes within her lyrics, smartly criticizing the rose-colored glasses that have tainted American history. Take Born To Die single "National Anthem," whose patriotic imagery builds up a dream relationship before revealing the pitfalls of a manifest-destiny mindset in the bridge. "We're on a quick, sick rampage/ Wining and dining, drinking and driving/ Excessive buying, overdose and dying/On our drugs and our love and our dreams and our rage," she sings.
The singer/songwriter has refined this approach since Born To Die, eventually perfecting it on Norman F</em><em></em><em></em><em> Rockwell!, an album named after one of the most recognizable American artists and searing in its cultural criticism. Del Rey first continued her Americana disillusionment with 2021's Chemtrails Over The Country Club, which sonically delved into sparser folk elements. Her second 2021 LP, Blue Banisters, brought back the emotional intensity of her early Born To Die days with even greater maturity and lyrical flair.
Ten years in, Lana Del Rey has gone from boundary pusher to trendsetter within music and culture. She allowed pop to be sad, further pushed it towards its future of hip-hop and orchestral sensibilities, and crafted powerful imagery as poignant as it was memorable.
As she charted a path for something different, she also cemented herself as a critically and culturally adored pop star. Born To Die didn't just introduce the world to Lana Del Rey — it allowed her to mold it for years to come.
Photo by Ollie Millington/Redferms
How Contemporary Musicians Are Embracing The Spoken Word Album
From Mike Posner to Dave, popular artists across genres are leaning into the art of spoken word like never before
The Best Spoken Word Album GRAMMY category has typically provided an opportunity for figures outside the music industry to get their hands on one of those coveted gold-plated trophies. In recent years its winners have flitted between the fields of ex-White House figures (Michelle Obama, Jimmy Carter) and beloved showbiz veterans (Joan Rivers, Carol Burnett, Carrie Fisher), while cult filmmaker John Waters and celebrated humorist David Sedaris are both regular nominees.
Contemporary music, though, has found a wide range of pop/rock talent merging into spoken word territory. Seemingly out of nowhere, spoken word has become the art form of choice for the more poetically-minded musician keen to prove they know their Poes from their Plaths.
Lana Del Rey, a six-time GRAMMY nominee for her more familiar brand of femme fatale pop, has had an impressively prolific 18 months; the sadcore queen has recorded two regular LPs and written two poetry collections, the first of which she’s also released in audio form.
Of course, with her tales of tragic romance and warped depictions of the American Dream, Del Rey’s output has always had a literate quality. She’s regularly spoken of finding inspiration in the works of Allen Ginsberg and Walt Whitman – the former’s "Howl" and the latter’s "I Sing the Body Electric" were even recited in her 2013 short film Tropico.
But Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass allowed Del Rey to fully embrace her poetic ambitions. Penned amidst a bout of writer’s block while working on what many consider to be her masterpiece, Norman F*ing Rockwell, the audiobook doesn’t entirely abandon musical accompaniment. Regular cohort Jack Antonoff provides plenty of electronic shimmers and delicate piano backing throughout. But the focus here is very much on Del Rey’s expressive tones and freestyle musings on everything from indecision and alienation to the fallacy of worshipping Jim Morrison.
Backed by the claim that she "tore apart every word until I was able to write the perfect poem," Del Rey’s spot of moonlighting arrived during an unexpected boom period for the spoken word album. Only a month previously Imelda May, an Irish songstress renowned for her jazz-tinged rockabilly, had also displayed her wordsmithery on Slip of the Tongue.
As with Del Rey, May also uses subtle musical arrangements to add texture to her words on womanhood, sexuality and spirituality. But frustrated by how her previous record had been misinterpreted as a marriage break-up album, the Dubliner ensures her lyrical themes are far clearer this time around with a delivery every bit as commanding as her signature 1950s quiff.
Soon after, The Kills' frontwoman Alison Mosshart proudly declared her gearhead tendencies on Sound Wheel, a companion piece to a book of photography, poetry and paintings titled Car Ma. Although there’s the occasional concession to the gutsy blues rock of her day job, the majority of its 47 (yes, 47) tracks are unaccompanied reflections on the "never-ending search for the spirit under the hood" delivered in Mosshart’s unmistakable tobacco and whisky-soaked speaking voice.
Elsewhere, Mercury Prize nominees Black Midi have released Tales of Suspense and Revenge, an anthology of short stories by the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Robert Tressell read over some typically experimental jams. And even Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page has got in on the action, adding bursts of feedback and echo as producer of poet girlfriend Scarlett Sabet’s debut album Catalyst.
Of course, well-known artists channeling their inner poet is nothing new. See the likes of David Bowie ("Future Legend"), The Velvet Underground ("The Gift") and Morrissey ("Sorrow Will Come in the End"). The Shangri-Las ("Past, Present and Future"), James Brown ("King Heroin") and Daft Punk ("Giorgio by Moroder") even graced the Billboard charts with their spoken word efforts. But dedicating entire albums to the craft used to be the preserve of full-time storytellers like Gil-Scott Heron, Henry Rollins and John Cooper Clarke.
So what’s encouraging such artists to speak rather than sing into their microphone? Well, a new wave of spoken word performers are now proving that the art form can work on a bigger platform. Album of the Year winner Dave stole the show at this year’s BRIT Awards with a powerful piece of performance poetry addressing his homeland’s institutional racism.
Ted Hughes Award recipient Kae Tempest, meanwhile, has brought their Wu-Tang Clan-meets-William Blake vibe to the masses with several high-profile festivals slots including Glastonbury. Spoken word has even reached prime-time TV thanks to the inspirational speeches of Californian Brandon Leake, "America’s Got Talent"'s first-ever poet finalist, and indeed winner.
And then there’s the rise of the InstaPoet. Artists like Rupi Kaur and R.M Drake have amassed millions of followers with their daily words of wisdom. Perhaps as a result, a SSPA study in 2017 showed that more Americans (28 million, in fact) are engaging with poetry in the social media age than they’ve done the rest of the 21st Century.
Few pop star poets better exemplify this than Mike Posner. Three years after topping charts across Europe with a super-meta ode to dropping Molly in Ibiza, the party boy dropped a 16-track spoken word collection verbosely titled i was born in detroit on a very very very very very very very cold day.
"It's all just water and it's coming out of different faucets," Posner told Billboard about the unlikely poetic streak he developed on his 2016 tour. Tear Drops and Balloons, a more expansive collection featuring poems titled "My Favorite Stain" and "i'm thinking about horses," arrived just two months later.
You wouldn’t be surprised if Billie Eilish committed to the concept, either. Last year's five-time GRAMMY winner has acknowledged Del Rey as a major influence and has already ventured into spoken word territory with "Not My Responsibility," a short film featuring a defiant statement against body shaming.
It’s easy to see the appeal. Sure, artists have more platforms to speak directly and candidly to their audience than ever before. But most Instagram captions and Twitter posts get lost in the social media ether within hours of their upload. Spoken word offers both freedom of expression and a capturing for posterity away from the confines of the 280-character box. And there’s no need to pander to any Spotify algorithms, either. It may not be a stretch to say that former presidents and comedic legends should expect to face some spoken word category competition in the future.
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella
Report: Coachella & Stagecoach 2020 Rumored To Be Postponed Due To Coronavirus Concerns
Riverside County, home to the fests' famed Empire Polo Club, has already declared a public health emergency following the first locally contracted case of coronavirus last week
Amid the rampant spread of coronavirus fear, more domestic cases and the cancelation of Ultra Miami, SXSW and a growing number of events, rumors abound over the possible cancelation of Coachella 2020. At the time of this publishing, Goldenvoice, the organizers behind Coachella and Stagecoach (which is also rumored to be in the works for postponement) have not officially canceled or postponed either event, although many outlets have spoken to sources who claim that a plan will be announced soon.
Over the weekend, Riverside County, home to the fests' famed Empire Polo Club, officially declared a public health emergency, following the first locally contracted case of coronavirus. A total of three cases are currently reported in the county, while the California total has hit the 174 mark. According to Billboard (dated March 9), conversations between Goldenvoice, local Riverside officials and artists' talent teams began this weekend in an attempt to save the fest.
The outlet alleges that the two-weekend event, currently slated for April 10-12 and 17-19, may be rescheduled to Oct. 9-11 and Oct. 16-18. Stagecoach, which is slated for April 24-26, may be moved to Oct. 23-25. According to sources, organizers hope to make a final decision by tomorrow, March 11, around whether the event should be pushed to the fall or will need to be canceled this year.
Other outlets, as well as users on Reddit and Twitter, have also widely reported on this rumor over the past 12 hours or so, including the music writer who claims to have broken the rumor in the tweet above.
In the case of both Ultra (and the adjacent Winter Music Conference in Miami) and SXSW, which were canceled on March 6, both events were previously still slated to occur later this month until local officials declared a state of emergency. Coachella Valley news outlet Desert Sun notes that while the county has declared a state of emergency, as of today, local health officials are not urging for cancelation of either Coachella or Stagecoach, as scheduled for April. While Coachella has not issued an official statement on the event's status yet, they have been keeping a winking eye on the Twitter talk.
Frank Ocean, Rage Against The Machine, Travis Scott, Calvin Harris, Lana Del Rey, FKA twigs, Flume, Thom Yorke are all are on the bill as major performers at Coachella 2020. Carrie Underwood, Thomas Rhett and Eric Church are slated to headline Stagecoach 2020. Whether the events continue as planned or are rescheduled or canceled, it is not yet known who will perform. At the time of this publishing, no artists have officially dropped out of either event.
A growing number of artists, including Madonna, Khalid, BTS and many others have postponed or canceled some of their 2020 tour legs and/or other shows due to all the uncertainty around the coronavirus and ability to travel and gather in large crowds.