We Finally Know the Real Reason Kanye West Isn't Headlining Coachella
Kanye West is no stranger to Coachella. He's played the annual music festival-cum-cultural touchstone in the past and, according to Billboard, almost everything was in place for him to return to the storied stage again in 2019. But things didn't pan out and, instead, fans were graced with a Kanye-free lineup. Why? It has to do with West's demands and a slew of port-a-potties.
Billboard explains that West pulled out of the event at the very last minute because the organizers wouldn't build him a special stage for his set. Specifically, West wanted to construct a dome that would have allowed him to perform among the audience of 125,000 attendees and be surrounded by projections and other visual aids. As Instagram-ready as that all seems, there's plenty at the festival that seems poised to take over social media without having to build an entirely new backdrop — who can forget that big caterpillar?
"West would play in the center…in an in-the-round format, and the dome would be tricked out with high-tech production and immersive video," Billboard explained. Goldenvoice, the team behind the fest, tried to explain that other headliners, like Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, managed to pull off impactful, practically seismic sets without any changes to the main stage. Kanye didn't seem to get the message and Billboard adds that the fact that a set of portable toilets became a point of contention. If the dome was to be built, the port-a-potties would have to go — and that wasn't going to happen.
Other details, like the exorbitant price, the time constraints, and the fact that Kanye was negotiating all of this while he was on vacation with his family probably didn't have anyone in the mood to budge.
"West became irritated, declaring that he was an artist with a creative vision who shouldn’t be spending his time talking about port-a-potties," Billboard noted, according to Vanity Fair.
Luckily for music fans, Coachella managed to book Ariana Grande less than 24 hours after West pulled out. Similarly, Coachella had to shift a few names around when Justin Timberlake wouldn't be able to perform due to his recent bout with bruised vocal cords and his current tour dates. They pushed Tame Impala to a headliner spot when the Man of the Woods himself had to back out.