The California festival and Bonnaroo, in Tennessee, both announced lineups this week as the live-music industry looks ahead after two years of events scuttled by the pandemic.
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Billie Eilish, Harry Styles and Kanye West will headline the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April, as the music industry takes hopeful steps toward the return of festivals and touring in 2022.
Coachella, set for its usual two-weekend format, April 15-17 and April 22-24, at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif., will be returning after two years mothballed by the pandemic. On Wednesday, after weeks of speculation and leaks in the music press, the festival announced its complete 2022 lineup, which will also feature performances by Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby, Doja Cat, Phoebe Bridgers, the reunited electronic dance group Swedish House Mafia and dozens of others. (West is billed on the official festival poster as simply Ye.)
The event is expected to run at its full capacity of up to 125,000 concertgoers a day.
Coachella has long been the country’s most influential festival, hosting viral moments like Tupac Shakur’s hologram in 2012 and Beyoncé’s 2018 tribute to the marching bands of historically Black colleges and universities.
It has usually been the first big festival to announce its lineup each year, ushering in the touring season. But this week Coachella was scooped by the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn., which on Tuesday said that it would return in June with Tool, J. Cole, Stevie Nicks, the Chicks, Machine Gun Kelly, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, and others.
Coachella was one of entertainment’s first major casualties of the coronavirus. Its 2020 edition — which was to have featured Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean — was shut down by health officials on March 10 of that year, two days before Broadway and the concert business at large went dark.
Goldenvoice, the promoter that puts on Coachella in partnership with the corporate concert giant AEG Presents, had hoped to bring the festival back that fall, then in spring 2021. But each time the pandemic forced the plans to be kicked further down the road. Bonnaroo, which is presented by Live Nation, AEG’s corporate rival, had scheduled a full-scale return last September, but it was canceled after heavy rains flooded the festival grounds.
About half of the ticket holders to Coachella’s 2020 edition requested refunds, Paul Tollett, one of the festival’s founders, said in an interview with The Los Angeles Times in August. Tickets cost $449 and up, not counting fees.
Despite a slew of recent cancellations related to the coronavirus, like Dead & Company’s Playing in the Sand festival in Cancún, Mexico, the music world is viewing Coachella with hope as a bellwether for the full-throttle return of the multibillion-dollar touring industry. Major tours by Dua Lipa, the Weeknd, Elton John, Bon Jovi and Justin Bieber are expected this year.
As recently as last summer, Goldenvoice had hoped to bring back most of the headliners planned for 2020. But while Rage Against the Machine has an extensive tour planned this year — with five dates booked at Madison Square Garden in August — it is not playing Coachella. Ocean will return to Coachella in 2023.
And since the disaster at Scott’s Astroworld festival in Houston in November that left 10 people dead, the rapper has largely withdrawn from public appearances, canceling his performance as a headliner at the Day N Vegas festival, which is also presented by Goldenvoice.
Taylor Swift tickets breakdown probed by attorneys general
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The breakdown in Ticketmaster’s sales of Taylor Swift tickets is a mess some attorneys general aren’t shaking off.
With fans sharing outrage and heartache over the fruitless hours they spent trying for seats for Swift’s upcoming concert tour, top legal chiefs in Nevada, Tennessee and Pennsylvania have launched investigations into the fiasco.
“Trouble, trouble, trouble,” tweeted Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro in a reference to Swift’s 2012 hit song ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ as he asked the public to file complaints about using Ticketmaster with his office.
Shapiro, a Democrat who recently won Pennsylvania’s governor race, has since thanked people for their “swift response” while noting his office had received “a lot of complaints” to look into.
Over in Tennessee, Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said he wants to ensure consumers have a fair shot at buying tickets.
“There are no allegations at this time of any misconduct, but as the attorney general it’s my job to ensure that the consumer protection laws and antitrust laws in Tennessee are being honored,” Skrmetti told reporters.
In 2008, Tennessee enacted a so-called “anti-bot” law that prohibits using certain computer programs to buy large amounts of tickets to concerts and sporting events. However, like most states that have passed similar bans, the law has rarely been enforced.
Meanwhile, in Nevada, the attorney general’s office said it was investigating Ticketmaster for “alleged deceptive or unfair trade practices.”
The trouble began when registered fans given codes for a pre-sale on Tuesday tried to secure tickets for Swift’s 52-date The Eras tour next year. They were quickly met with long delays and error messages that Ticketmaster blamed on bots and historically unprecedented demand. The company then canceled Friday’s sales to the general public.
Swift vented anger and frustration in a lengthy statement, saying she had been assured by Ticketmaster that they could handle the demand.
“It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse,” Swift said.
Ticketmaster said more than 2 million tickets were sold despite the troubles, setting a new single-day record for artists on the platform, and that only 15% of would-be buyers had issues with the process.
“We want to apologize to Taylor and all of her fans – especially those who had a terrible experience trying to purchase tickets,” the company said.
Multiple lawmakers have accused Ticketmaster of abusing its power as the dominant ticket-seller for consumers.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, wrote an open letter to Ticketmaster’s President and CEO Michael Rapino, saying that she’s been skeptical of his company ever since they merged with LiveNation in 2011. Her letter included several questions about Ticketmaster’s business practices that she asked Rapino answer by next week.
Asked about reports that the Justice Department would investigate Live Nation, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment on specifics, but said President Joe Biden has worked to increase competition and limit the power of large corporations, believing that a “lack of competition leads to higher prices, and worse service.”
Associated Press writer Aamer Madhani contributed to this report from Washington D.C.
Adidas ends partnership with Ye
LONDON (AP) — Adidas has ended its partnership with the rapper formerly known as Kanye West over things he has said the company does not agree with.
“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of [speech we hate]…” the company said in a statement Tuesday. “Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”
The company faced pressure to cut ties with Ye, with celebrities and others on social media urging Adidas to act. It said at the beginning of the month that it was placing its lucrative sneaker deal with the rapper under review.
Adidas said Tuesday that it conducted a “thorough review” and would immediately stop production of its line of Yeezy products and stop payments to Ye and his companies. The sportswear company said it was expected to take a hit of up to 250 million euros ($246 million) to its net income this year from the move.
The move by Adidas, whose CEO Kasper Rorsted is stepping down next year, comes after Ye was suspended from Twitter and Instagram this month over antisemitic posts that the social networks said violated their policies.
He recently suggested slavery was a choice and called the COVID-19 vaccine the “mark of the beast,” among other comments. He also was criticized for wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt to his Yeezy collection show in Paris.
Ye’s talent agency, CAA, has dropped him, and the MRC studio announced Monday that it is shelving a complete documentary about the rapper.
The Balenciaga fashion house cut ties with Ye last week, according to Women’s Wear Daily. JPMorganChase and Ye have ended their business relationship, although the banking breakup was in the works even before Ye’s antisemitic comments.
In recent weeks, Ye also has ended his company’s association with Gap and has told Bloomberg that he plans to cut ties with his corporate suppliers.
After he was suspended from Twitter and Facebook, Ye offered to buy conservative social network Parler.
Demonstrators on a Los Angeles overpass Saturday unfurled a banner praising Ye’s antisemitic comments, prompting an outcry on social media from celebrities and others who said they stand with Jewish people.
In Germany, where Adidas is headquartered, the head of the country’s main Jewish group welcomed the company’s decision but said the “step was overdue.”
“I would have liked a clear stance earlier from a German company that also was entangled with the Nazi regime,” Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in a statement. “Adidas has done a lot to distance itself from its past and, like many sports brands, is one of those companies that conduct big campaigns against antisemitism and racism. That’s why an earlier separation from Kanye West would have been appropriate.”
Austin City Limits 2022 “No Bags” Entrace Line Was Terrible This Year
Austin City Limits concluded it’s 2-week long music festival this past Sunday, with mega-headliners such as The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Paramore.
One of the top complaints received this year was how bad the entrance lines were, especially the “No Bag” lines which is intended to help speed up patrons that do not carry any backpacks that need a longer inspection.
At the North entrance for ACL 2022, security was half-way decent keeping people WITH bags out of the No Bag line. Albeit it’s the main entrance, it did help speed up the hundreds-of-feet long line that could take up to nearly 45 minutes.
Patrons claim the security guards for the North entrance were directing people over to the West and East entrances claiming they were faster. When most patrons who heard that did go over to the East and West entrances, they were greeted by a line half the size (still hundreds of people funneling into 10-20 metal detectors) – the security was by far worse, and the staff was not checking the lines letting people WITH bags into the No Bag line.
Why is this such a huge complaint we’ve received?
Attendees were not only baking in the hot sun with no shade and temperatures raising up to 95F – there were almost zero fans to help keep cool, and the lines took DOUBLE the amount of time as the original longer North entrance line.
Why would ACL 2022 allow such poor optimization of these lines? Nobody really knows.
The 2nd most ferried complaint we’ve uncovered was rumored very rude bartenders at the T-Mobile Lounge for Austin City Limits 2022. Some attendees mentioned having been standing in line, some of the bartenders would call on people behind them instead for whatever bias those bartenders had.
That’s about all the Austin City Limits 2022 gossip we have for now, and we hope everyone enjoyed the music, food, and fun.