Next weekend, Coachella returns after their 2019 and 2020 iterations were canceled due to coronavirus. Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and Kanye West were set to headline the Donda rapper recently decided to cancel his performance. In doing so, he reportedly walked away from over $8 million, according to gossip website TMZ. In addition to leaving behind the $8 million payout by dropping out of Coachella, he also lost a $500,000 production fee.
Luckily for Coachella attendees, the festival swiftly made arrangements to replace Kanye with The Weekend and Swedish House Mafia. However, it did come with its own set of difficulties. Page Six reports that a “music source” told the outlet that The Weeknd wanted the same pay ($8.5 million) as Ye or he too was threatening to back out.
“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 source told the outlet. “The festival would pocket the rest […] 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.”
The outlet reports that a second insider said the Anschutz wasn’t personally handling the negotiations, which were handled by an employee.
The reason for Ye pulling out of Coachella is still officially unknown but it’s speculated that it’s because he prioritizing his mental health.