The drama at Coachella continues to play out.
Coachella organizers allegedly tried to stiff The Weeknd after he stepped in to replace Kanye West as Sunday headliner at the festival later this month.
We’re told the singer threatened to pull out if he wasn’t paid the same money as West, who was set to rake in $8 million plus a $500,000 production fee.
Page Six had exclusively revealed that The Weeknd was the front-runner to replace the “All of the Lights” rapper, who bailed on the gig less than two weeks before showtime.
Coachella organizers announced early on Wednesday that The Weeknd, 32, and house music supergroup Swedish House Mafia will be taking over the rapper’s slots on Sunday, April 17, and Sunday, April 24. But a music source told us the deal wasn’t yet done for the “Blinding Lights” singer.
The source said, “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.”
The ploy led to fraught negotiations this week between The Weeknd’s management and Anschutz’s company Goldenvoice, which produces the festival.
The source continued, “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.
“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.”
While reps for Anschutz didn’t comment, a second insider said the billionaire AEG mogul wasn’t personally handling the negotiations, it was handled by an employee.
A rep for The Weeknd didn’t return multiple calls for comment, and Kanye’s rep didn’t respond.
Earlier this week, Page Six exclusively reported that Kanye bailed on the gig less than two weeks before showtime because he “wants to get help” after publicly dragging former wife Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend Pete Davidson on social media – which led to a 24-hour Instagram suspension and having his Grammys performance axed.
“Kanye has definitely pulled out of Coachella,” an insider told us Monday. “He hasn’t been rehearsing or putting on a production.”
Our source confirmed that Travis Scott, who shares two children with Kylie Jenner, “was supposed to be joining [West] on stage.”
“Now it would be virtually impossible for him to get it together. Look for The Weeknd to replace him,” our source shared, adding, “Kanye is backing out because he wants to stay out of the public eye after all the drama with Kim and Pete; he wants to get help.”
Sources told us West, who shares four children with the SKIMS mogul, promised not to make “any public appearances or inflammatory social media statements” while he is “away” getting “better.” Kardashian and West were declared legally single in March amid their ongoing divorce.
A rep for the Grammy winner told Page Six at the time, “Ye is committed to a healthy co-parenting relationship with Kim and is focused on raising their beautiful children.”
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