Organizers mum about rumored financial troubles and allegations of a “musical Ponzi scheme.”
By Blurt Staff
Festivalgoers eager to kick off the festival season for 2017 got a rude awakening this morning when the annual Coachella festival announced that the second weekend was being cancelled. The event was slated to run April 14-16 and 21-23, but now just the first three days will take place, leaving some ticketholders wondering whether headliners Radiohead, Beyonce, and Kendrick Lamar, along with the xx, Travis Scott, Father John Misty, Future, Bon Iver, DJ Snake, Tove Lo, DJ Khaled and New Order (among many scheduled performers), will honor their commitments, given that the scenario possibly represents a breach of contract on Coachella’s end.
Coachella organizers cited slow ticket sales for the reason, but stressed that the first weekend would go on as planned, with a number of the artists slated to perform April 14-16now would appear earlier. “The fans did not support it, but continue to embrace the traditional First Weekend event,” said Bill Graham, Jr., in a short press release. The elder son of legendary concert impresario Bill Graham is president of Graham Enterprises, Inc., the promoter behind Coachella.
During an online chat session with fans, it was pointed out that both weekends for Coachella had sold out weeks ago. Coachella spokesperson Melissa Spicer commented, “Technically, yes—but we pool all the funds together, so there actually isn’t a “first” or “second” weekend when we’re talking the ticket sales and money. It all goes into one fund. How do you think we are paying that astronomical guarantee demanded by Beyonce anyway?”
Spicer indicated that refunds for the second weekend would be given out “sometime in early spring of next year after we’ve collected advance ticket sales money for the 2018 Coachella.” A subsequent investigation by Billboard magazine, the music industry tipsheet, found that several temporary employees of Coachella who had been slated to work the second weekend only to find themselves abruptly unemployed have filed suit in Los Angeles, claiming that the event is “nothing more than an elaborate musical Ponzi scheme and shell game.”
Below, watch an exclusive rehearsal session by Kendrick Lamar – Coachella has set up a series of small soundstages at a Los Angeles studio complex for any of the performers to reserve and work up their festival setlists.