Kanye West dropped Coachella over dome refusal
- Bang Showbiz
- 13 January 2019
Kanye West reportedly opted out of headlining Coachella because organisers wouldn't let him perform in a custom-built dome
Kanye West pulled out of headlining Coachella because organisers wouldn't let him perform in a custom-built dome.
The 'Stronger' hitmaker reportedly asked the event's co-founder Paul Tollett to construct a giant building, designed by his collaborator John McGuire, in the middle of the site at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, California, just two days before his slot was to be confirmed to the public but had his plans turned down.
Sources told Billboard that Coachella's parent company Goldenvoice explained to the 41-year-old rapper – who has children North, five, Saint, three, and Chicago, 11 months, with wife Kim Kardashian West – that it would be impossible to build the dome in just four months and would require the entire festival site to be rearranged, including having a large section of toilets removed.
But the insider said Kanye was "irritated" by the phone call, which took place while he was on a family vacation, and proclaimed himself to be an "artist with a creative vision who shouldn't be spending his time talking about port-a-potties" before declaring it Goldenvoice's responsibility to deal with the issue and hanging up the phone.
The 'All Day' hitmaker had argued the main stage wasn't big enough for his performance, despite organisers pointing out it is one of the largest in North America and that Beyonce and Lady Gaga had staged shows on the same set with hundreds of dancers and musicians.
He had wanted to play in-the-round in the dome, which would have had high-tech production and immersive video.
Kanye's performance had been in the works for several years, but without a signed contract, Goldenvoice decided to end their negotiations shortly after the phone call on January 1.
Before the end of the day, Goldenvoice began talks with Scooter Braun – who is believed to have ended his professional relationship with Kanye in early December – to have his client Ariana Grande headline the event instead.
Tame Impala were also latecomers to the headline slot, being elevated to replace Justin Timberlake because the 'SexyBack' singer's rescheduled tour dates conflicted with the festival's radius clause, that bars performers from playing at a certain distance from the event over a particular time period.
The publication also claimed Kanye was close to headlining the Governors Ball in New York but promoters at that event were also unimpressed by his last-minute dome request.