The organizers of the Coachella festival in California announced plans last week to put on a three-day mega-festival with just two acts per night: Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney on the first, the Rolling Stones and Neil Young on the second, and the Who and Roger Waters on the third.
Now the Who’s Roger Daltrey has confirmed the story. “I think it’s us and Roger Waters on the same day,” he told the Canadian media company Postmedia Network. “It’s a fantastic idea for a festival. It’s the greatest remains of our era.”
Neil Young’s manager Elliot Roberts had spoken to the Los Angeles Times, sounding as if he was sure the show was going ahead: “You won’t get a chance to see a bill like this, perhaps ever again. It’s a show I look forward to more than any show in a long time,” Roberts said. But Daltrey is the first performer to have broken his silence about the event.
The show is believed to be taking place at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California – the Coachella site – from 7-9 October. However, Daltrey sounded a note of caution about the possibility of tickets not reaching the artists’ hardcore fans – such a lineup would be popular with both touts and with corporate entertainment departments. “I hope a lot of normal fans can get tickets before they get snatched up,” he said.
According to the early reports, each of the acts will play a typical headline set, not a truncated festival show, with their full stage production. In fact, the production logistics should not be troublesome: of those six artists, only the Stones and Waters are famed for their lavish productions.
What might be more troublesome would be the cost of the tickets. These are all acts accustomed to good pay for their appearances, and the more money needs to be paid out, the more tickets will have to cost. When the Stones played four shows in November 2012 to mark their 50th anniversary, Keith Richards remarked that a sum of “£16m sounds about right to us” as payment to perform.
Given the level of financial comfort of the likely audience for these shows, however, it’s possible prices may not be a problem.