Kanye West could have headlined the 2019 editions of Coachella and Governor‘s Ball, but his commitment to a particular artistic vision unraveled both of those opportunities.
West had been locked as one of the Coachella headliners until Jan. 1, a day before the 2019 lineup , a new Billboard report reveals. But as the clock ticked down to that announcement, West approached Coachella‘s promoter with an unusual request.
He wanted to skip his main stage performance, and take his show instead to a giant dome erected in the center of the festival grounds. West planned to have set designer and frequent collaborator John McGuire design the makeshift arena; the rapper would have then performed on a stage located in the center.
Executives from Coachella promoter Goldenvoice told West it was impossible. The entire festival grounds would have to be rearranged in order to honor his request, a process that would include (among other things) finding a new home for a large section of portable bathrooms.
West reportedly grew angry here, , “declaring that he was an artist with a creative vision who shouldn‘t be spending his time talking about port-a-potties.” Then he hung up. So the festival shuffled things around, giving Tame Impala the headlining sets on Coachella‘s Saturdays and locking in Ariana Grande to replace West on the festival‘s two Sunday nights.
The call didn‘t come out of nowhere. West‘s Coachella deal had reportedly been in the works for “years,” and his camp had been pushing Goldenvoice to build the dome. He felt that Coachella‘s main stage wasn‘t big enough (). In response, he was told that Coachella‘s stage is one of the largest in North America.
This was apparently not an isolated incident. The Billboard story also notes that West was close to locking in a headliner slot at New York‘s annual Governor‘s Ball festival. There again, he came at the event‘s promoters with his last-minute request for a dome and was turned down. The deal fell apart a day before that lineup was announced as well.