It has been eight years since West last headlined Coachella, and for months, rumors swirled that he would be one of the headliners for two consecutive weekends in April 2019. However, once the lineup revealed the headliners to be Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande, it was clear that the rapper would not be at the top of the ticket or anywhere on the lineup at all, for that matter. Many speculate that is likely that Grande, who West recently feuded with on Twitter, was the last-minute replacement for the rapper.
According to the TMZ report, sources close to the rapper feel that the stage designs in Indio are too Shakespearean (read: old) for someone as visionary as West. “These 40×60 stages are so archaic,” TMZ reports the sources said. “It’s the same type of stage on which Shakespeare’s works were performed hundreds of years ago,” they went on.
Now let’s not devalue the inventive nature of those Elizabethan playhouses from the 16th century. Sure, the stages did not move and float above the air the way West’s stage did on the Saint Pablo tour, but Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre was a complex construction, with multiple galleries and fairly good seating options. Sounds like something somebody who once shouted, “I am Shakespeare in the flesh!” on a national radio show would be into if given the option, but West reportedly finds the traditional stage setup “artistically limiting.” TMZ also reports that the Coachella producer, Goldenvoice, refused to give into West’s demands for a moving stage at the Indio festival, and West declined the offer to headline.
So far, 2019 is already shaping up to be a big year for the West family anyway, and with another baby on the way, the rapper may need to take some of that Coachella energy and turn it toward designing a new wing in his house for the children.