Rage Against the Machine returned half their fee to Coachella after its first-ever festival lost money

Guitarist Tom Morello said it was done in a bid to help out the festival's then-"punk-rock promoters", GoldenVoice

Rage Against the Machine played the inaugural Coachella in 1999, but according to guitarist Tom Morello, the band returned half their fee after the festival lost money in its first year.

In a new interview with the Tuna on Toast podcast, Morello said that because the festival had been so unsuccessful organisers asked for half of RATM’s fee back, with the band reportedly happy to comply, “because they were friends”.

According to Consequence of Sound, organisers of Coachella lost US$850,000 with the first event, with only 37,000 people attending over two days. By comparison, Coachella’s most recent edition drew in around 200,000 people.


“They [festival promoters, GoldenVoice] had booked every back-alley show from day one,” Morello said, as transcribed by Ultimate Classic Rock. “They were the punk rock promoters. They were just like bros.”

Watch Rage Against the Machine’s performance at Coachella in 1999 below:

Rage Against the Machine were due to headline the 2020 iteration of Coachella before the festival was cancelled due to the global coronavirus pandemic. The festival was postponed again earlier this year, but is set to return in April 2022, with RATM earmarked to headline. An official line-up is yet to be announced.

Back in April, the band announced that their ‘Public Service Announcement’ reunion tour will also take place next year. The run of dates is set to kicking off in El Paso, Texas on March 31, 2022, with Run the Jewels joining them for dates throughout April and May.