The Weeknd scored a major payday after Kanye West backed out of Coachella.
On Wednesday, Coachella officially announced The Weeknd as his replacement. The “Out of Time” singer will join Swedish House Mafia as a headliner on both Sundays of the two-weekend festival.
But the booking almost didn’t happen. According to Page Six, Coachella organizers did not want to pay The Weeknd the same $8 million as Ye, plus $500,000 in production costs. As a result, he allegedly threatened to pull out unless he was given the same amount.
“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,” said a source.
“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.”
After “fraught negotiations,” the festival gave in to his demands and agreed to match the money. “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.”
Ye bailed on Coachella less than two weeks before showtime following rumors that he’s “going away to get help.” He had reportedly not been rehearsing for the performance, which usually takes months of preparation.
Other acts were also being considered for Ye’s slot including Silk Sonic, Travis Scott, Justin Bieber, and Doja Cat.