After Kanye West abruptly dropped off the Coachella bill, event organizers scrambled to find a replacement and eventually settled on The Weeknd and Swedish House Mafia to headline the two Sunday performances. However, reports have emerged that the Toronto singer almost bailed himself.
As reported by Page Six, Phil Anschutz, who owns the Coachella Festival, allegedly tried to pay The Weeknd “just a few million” during contract negotiations and said the festival would pocket the rest of the $8 million they planned to previously pay Kanye West.
“The Weeknd came in at short notice to take Kanye’s top spot,” a source told the outlet. “But Phil Anschutz [who owns the Coachella Festival through AEG Live] wanted to hold on to Kanye’s money and pay The Weeknd far less, just a few million. The festival would pocket the rest.”
The source continued, “Even after Coachella announced the new lineup on Wednesday, a deal wasn’t in place for The Weeknd, who threatened to pull out at an hour’s notice if he didn’t get the same deal as Kanye.”
Finally, on Wednesday — faced with the prospect of a second headline act pulling out of Coachella at the last minute — Anschutz’s company caved and agreed to pay The Weeknd the same money.”
Ye was slated to perform on April 17 and April 24, but backed out due to all the recent drama going on between him and his family.
“Kanye is backing out because he wants to stay out of the public eye after all the drama with Kim and Pete, he wants to get help,” a source told Page Six earlier in the week.
Kanye pulled out of the festival after dragging his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her current boyfriend Pete Davidson on social media. The posts at one point led to a 24-hour suspension from Instagram and caused his upcoming performance at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards to be shuttered.
The Weeknd’s addition to the Coachella bill on Wednesday (April 6) comes as he gears up to embark on his After Hours Til Dawn Tour, which kicks off his home turf of Toronto on July 6. Billie Eilish and Harry Styles will still serve as headliners at the 2022 festival. Additional performers on Sunday (April 17/April 24) also include Doja Cat, Vince Staples, JID, Denzel Curry and more.