In a surprise move, the Coachella festival has reversed its plan to require vaccinations for ticketholders to its April 2022 events, and instead will only require proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours of the event (although proof of full vaccination will work as well).

Curiously, the announcement was made Tuesday afternoon via the festival’s Instagram story — not on its main Instagram page or on Twitter, where the most recent post, dating from August, says proof of full vaccination is required for all shows from Coachella promoter Goldenvoice.

“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


Proof of full vaccination.”

The timing of the policy reversal — not to mention the reversal itself — is puzzling, because the festival is months away and tickets have long since sold out.

Reps for Goldenvoice, which is owned by AEG, did not immediately respond to Variety’s questions about the seemingly intentionally obscured announcement; in the music world, Instagram stories are usually used by artists for insider-fan announcements, not by major concert promoters for serious health-policy updates. While the new policy is not in line with AEG’s full-vaccination requirement, also announced in August, the company did allow 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.”

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