- READ MORE: Billie Eilish at Coachella 2022: a record-breaking performance from an artist born to headline
After a year which saw him banned from the 2022 Grammys and banned from Instagram, Kanye decided to exclude himself from America’s biggest music festival, just 11 days before he was set to headline.
News of his departure was followed by the announcement that The Weeknd and Swedish House Mafia would replace him on the line-up, closing out Sunday night on both this weekend (April 15 – 17) and next weekend (April 22 – 24) of the festival which takes place in Indio, California.
“I feel like he’s dealing with some demons and anyone who needs support, we should give them that grace,” Emma McCardell, a 26-year-old attendee from Seattle, Washington said when asked about Kanye’s drop from the line-up. “If people need space, let them have their space.”
Her partner, James who is also 26, shared in that sentiment. “It sucks that it was so last minute, but it feels like we’re watching him go through the worst moment of his life which is super weird because he’s such an outspoken guy.”
“She’s such a performer, and she cares so deeply about her music,” Emma said of Eilish. “I’m really excited to see it happen.”
As far as who they would’ve gone with for Sunday night’s closeout set, James said the “Silk Sonic rumours” had gotten him really excited, before adding that Elton John would’ve also been a great pick “for the history”.
Dan Flynn, a 23-year-old attendee from New Port Beach, said he “really liked” that Kanye pulled himself from the line-up, adding that he’d “prefer to see someone whose along the lines of EDM music”.
His friend, 25-year-old Evan Clark of Los Angeles, agreed. “As much as we love Kanye West, I feel like he was going to pull out the whole time,” he said. “Old Kanye is not new Kanye. Hopefully, Swedish House Mafia fills his boots.”
Clark also said that he thought Goldenvoice, the producers of Coachella, missed out on the opportunity to bring out “an old school rock and roll band” before saying: “my new vote is AC/DC to replace Kanye.”
Another attendee called Jane Marshall from Los Angeles said that she was “bummed” at first that Ye was dropped from the line-up but also felt like he needed to “sit down” because of his recent remarks.
She also remarked, however, that after watching the Netflix documentary Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy, she’d had renewed “respect for Kanye as an artist” and felt like she was “missing out” on not seeing him.
Although Marshall mentioned she wasn’t too excited about The Weeknd headlining since she’d seen him play multiple times in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, she was excited about Megan Thee Stallion‘s set, although she felt the Houston-born rapper should have actually topped the festival’s bill.
Nima Chetlany, from San Francisco, was “pretty bummed” when Kanye pulled out, ” because she’s a fan even though he’s somewhat questionable.” She would’ve preferred a Tame Impala or Frank Ocean, headline, however, as opposed to Swedish House Mafia, or at the least, The Weeknd take the stage by himself.
The Coachella 2022 weekend has been filled with surprise guests and performances. Arcade Fire played a secret set on the first day of the festival, performing tracks from upcoming new album ‘WE’, due out next month.
Harry Styles headlined the night and was joined on stage by Shania Twain, who performed her hits ‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman!’ and ‘You’re Still The One’.
Carly Rae Jepsen also debuted a brand new track called ‘Western Wind’, which she had been teasing for the past few weeks; Justin Bieber teamed up with Daniel Caesar for a performance of their collaborative single ‘Peaches’.
Friday also saw Phoebe Bridgers joined by Arlo Parks for two songs during her set. On Saturday Billie Eilish, gave a record-breaking performance, where she was joined onstage by Damon Albarn for a two-song cameo.
Check back at NME all weekend for more reviews, news, interviews, photos and more from Coachella 2022.