Kanye West had an up and down 2018, and 2019 is already starting with the same seesaw energy. In the same week that he and his wife Kim Kardashian-West announced that they are expecting a fourth child and he announced that he will be appearing on Joe Rogan’s podcast, we found out about one thing he won’t be doing this year: headlining Coachella. TMZ has reported that the negotiations for Kanye’s headlining performance at the 2019 music festival have broken down because Kanye didn’t want to perform on the festival’s traditional stage because it’s “artistically limiting,” and he’s only out to give “groundbreaking” performances.
TMZ quotes a source who contended that, “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.” Negotiations between Kanye and Goldenvoice, the entity that produces Coachella, broke down after they balked at letting the rapper-producer shift from a traditional 40×60 stage to another stage design. Perhaps Kanye wanted to introduce a set design similar to what he put together with Kid Cudi as Kids See Ghosts as Camp Flog Gnaw, which also garnered controversy after Lorde accused Kanye of stealing the design from one of her performances.
News of Kanye’s Coachella exodus comes a month after fellow star Justin Timberlake also backed out of performing at the festival.