According to a report in TMZ, Kanye West, one of the rumored headliners for the 2019 Coachella Festival, will not be performing due to a disagreement over staging.
The publication cites “multiple sources” as saying that West found the festival’s traditional 60×40-foot stage “artistically limiting,” and Goldenvoice, which produces the festival, would not allow it to be altered or removed for West’s set, presumably owing to the logistical complications involved — although Beyonce put on an elaborate set at the 2018 festival.
“These 40×60 stages are so archaic. It’s the same type of stage on which Shakespeare’s works were performed hundreds of years ago,” TMZ cites one rather melodramatic source as saying.
If the report is accurate, West’s plans for his set must have been complex, as Beyonce’s wildly ambitious set at the 2018 festival was far from traditional in terms of its staging.
A source tells Variety the lineup announcement is probably imminent, which is not surprising as Coachella traditionally posts its lineup in the first week of January. Other reported headliners include Childish Gambino — a.k.a. Donald Glover, who has said his current tour is his last as Gambino — Justin Timberlake and Rihanna.
Reps for West and Goldenvoice either declined comment or could not immediately be reached for comment.
West, of course, is not known for taking the easy route with anything, but his live performances in recent years have been elaborate and extremely expensive: His 2016 “Saint Pablo” tour featured a stage that was suspended some 50 feet over the audience and moved from one side of the arena to the other; his 2013 “Yeezus” tour featured a giant fake mountain and many extra performers; and even his set with Kid Cudi as Kids See Ghosts at the Camp Flog Gnaw festival in November found the two of them performing inside a giant glass box that reminded many (including Lorde) of Lorde’s staging for her “Melodrama” tour.
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