Event production companies usually responsible for building stages at Coachella have now turned their attention to helping build coronavirus triage tents and temporary hospital structures in the US in a bid to combat the deadly disease.
The Indio, California festival was due to be held this year on the weekends of April 10–12 and April 17–19, but on March 10 it was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Coachella 2020 is now set to be held on October 9–11 and October 16–18.
A new feature in The LA Times details how production firms such as Choura Events and Gallagher Staging — who normally build tents, staging and facilities for festivals like Coachella and major sporting events — are now utilising their expertise and workforce to help in the fight against coronavirus in the US.
Ryan Choura’s firm is currently constructing triage tents and overflow facilities at the Fountain Valley Regional Medical Center in California, in anticipation of a predicted rise in coronavirus patients in the coming weeks. It’s one of four medical villages in LA that the company has helped to build so far.
“We pivoted so fast to being a rapid-response disaster relief team. If I didn’t know how to do Coachella, I couldn’t do this hospital,” Choura told The LA Times. “I saw patients coming in here and saw what they looked like. This is real, and we’ve got to move.”
Gallagher Staging, who were set to build the main stage at Coachella this year, have recently built tented patient facilities, foam beds and other hospital structures in the Bay Area, with work set to begin on five further sites in LA.
“We’re an industry that moves faster than anyone. We’ll install an entire city on a blank slate,” Gallagher said. “We have everything available: Wi-Fi, radios, generators, lighting, restrooms and wash stations. We can build a small city in a day or two, and that’s a need right now.”
Choura said that the work that companies like his are doing are “bringing good into a really bad situation”.
“I’ve got 14 guys on this site building who would be sitting at home,” he said. “I’ve been more fulfilled over the last few weeks than over the last decade. It’s very meaningful to feel like you’re part of saving a life.”