There are very few performers I’d follow into the Coachella Valley to watch amidst sandstorms, heat, and a sea of festival goers. Two of them—Prince and David Bowie—are dead and the other—Kate Bush—was rejected by Coachella’s C.E.O because “nobody is going to understand” her.
In a New Yorker profile of C.E.O Paul Tollett, whose company Goldenvoice stages Coachella and other widely attended music festivals, writer John Seabrook describes a scene in which Tollett refused to book Bush, who—again—is one of the world’s best living musicians and performers:
In addition to curating the lineup, Tollett had booked the hundred and fifty acts himself, negotiating all the offers with agents—a six-month process. He also fielded a lot of pitches that he had to turn down. [Marc] Geiger, of W.M.E., described their working method: “I’ll say, ‘Kate Bush!’ And he’ll go, ‘No!,’ and we’ll talk through it. I’ll say, ‘She’s never played here, and she just did thirty shows in the U.K. for the first time since the late seventies. You gotta do it! Have to!’ ‘No! No one is going to understand it.’ ”
Well then, am I gonna go to Coachella? To quote Tollett (more like “Toilet,” lol), “No!” The concert doesn’t understand me!
I’m sure Coachella, which sells out every year (making Toilet very rich), will really miss having both me and Kate.