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I have an 'event' post type that has custom start and end date fields. In a block on the home page, I'm trying to show only upcoming or ongoing events. So, to achieve this, I'm doing a meta_query that compares the two date fields to today's date with the intent of showing events with start or end date equal to today's date or later. After getting the returned events, I'm sorting by the start date. One important note, some events have end dates, while some are merely one day events with just a start date.

<?php /* Start the loop */
$args = array(
    'post_status' => 'publish',
    'post_type' => 'event',
    'posts_per_page' => 5,
    'meta_key' => '_venh_start_date',
    'orderby' => 'meta_value',
    'order' => 'ASC',
    'meta_query' => array(
        'relation' => 'OR',
        array(
            'key' => '_venh_start_date',
            'value' => date('Y-m-d'),
            'compare' => '>=',
            'type' => 'DATE'
        ),
        array(
            'key' => '_venh_end_date',
            'value' => date('Y-m-d'),
            'compare' => '>=',
            'type' => 'DATE'
        ),
    )
);
$my_query = new WP_Query( $args ); ?>
<?php while ( $my_query->have_posts() ) : $my_query->the_post(); ?>

The query works but the 'orderby' is broken. If I take the second meta_query (end date) out of the equation and remove the 'OR' relation, the sort works perfectly. So the orderby statement is clearly failing when the second meta_query is added.

Does anyone have any ideas what I might be doing wrong? Any help is greatly appreciated!

@s_ha_dum, the generated SQL is as follows:

string(640) "SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS wp_posts.ID FROM wp_posts INNER JOIN wp_postmeta ON wp_posts.ID = wp_postmeta.post_id INNER JOIN wp_postmeta AS mt1 ON (wp_posts.ID = mt1.post_id) INNER JOIN wp_postmeta AS mt2 ON (wp_posts.ID = mt2.post_id) WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.post_type = 'event' AND (wp_posts.post_status = 'publish') AND (wp_postmeta.meta_key = 'x_start_date' OR (mt1.meta_key = 'x_start_date' AND CAST(mt1.meta_value AS DATE) >= '2014-02-24') OR (mt2.meta_key = 'x_end_date' AND CAST(mt2.meta_value AS DATE) >= '2014-02-24') ) GROUP BY wp_posts.ID ORDER BY wp_postmeta.meta_value ASC LIMIT 0, 5"

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What is the generated SQL? Add the output of var_dump($my_query->request); –  s_ha_dum Feb 24 at 18:41
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