The Weeknd Reportedly Threatened To Pull Out Of Coachella If He Didn’t Get Paid The Same Amount That Kanye West Was Going To Get
Yesterday we learned that the people who put on Coachella had found someone who was willing to pop in at the last minute to take over Kanye West’s vacant headlining slot. It was announced that The Weeknd and Swedish House Mafia will share the spot. But according to Page Six, the deal was not completely done when Coachella announced their new headliners and The Weeknd threatened to bounce over money.
According to sources, Kanye was supposed to make $8 million for his two-weekend performance at Coachella this year, plus a $500,000 production fee. That’s nothing to an extremely rich billionaire (and not a destitute $2 billionaire!!!). So quitting Coachella probably wasn’t a difficult decision for Kanye from a financial standpoint. From a narcissism standpoint, that’s a major hit. Just think of how many screaming fans could re-inflate his ego over the span of two weekends? But the point here is, Coachella was reportedly willing to pay Kanye West $8 million for two nights of work. So when it was revealed that Kanye wouldn’t be showing up on April 17 and 24, that meant AEG – who owns Coachella – now had an $8.5 million surplus on their hands. Obviously, they’d have to give some of that money to their new headliner. The Weeknd. But what about the rest? Throw themselves a little party celebrating how they narrowly avoided an embarrassing booking situation? Donate several million dollars to an anti-gay climate-change-denying organization? Page Six’s sources say that the money didn’t have enough time to start burning a hole in AEG’s pockets, because The Weeknd came to collect it fast. via Page Six:
The source said, “The Weeknd came in at short notice to take Kanye’s top spot. 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 ploy led to fraught negotiations this week between The Weeknd’s management and Anschutz’s company Goldenvoice, which produces the festival.
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.
Page Six’s source claim that The Weeknd wasn’t bluffing about walking if he didn’t get $8.5 million for performing next weekend and the weekend after that. He allegedly was willing to drop everything and kiss Coachella 2022 goodbye. AEG allegedly didn’t want to look like a bunch of amateurs twice in one month, so they reportedly agreed to The Weeknd’s demands just yesterday, purely to save face.
As for Kanye, a source that spoke with Page Six claims that Kanye backed out of the event because he wanted to decrease his exposure after everything he’s been up to in his personal life (and on social media).
I’m glad The Weeknd didn’t get stiffed on his Coachella appearance. He’s not nearly as rich as Kanye (the poor man only has a $70 million home). But now that we know how much one of the headliners is getting paid, that’s got to be uncomfortable for the other headliners, Billie Eilish and Harry Styles. Only they, and their accountants, know how much AEG is putting in their pockets for Coachella 2022. And if it’s not $8.5 million, well – that could get awkward. “$8.5 million??? Do you know how much it costs to fly cases of sequined jumpsuits from the UK to California? I’m taking a bath here!” yells Harry Styles to his agent.