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Coachella Promoter: Blur and Stone Roses Switch Was ‘Planned From Day One’

‘There’s not a chance I could take a headliner and demote them’

Damon Albarn of Blur performs at The 2013 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California.

Damon Albarn of Blur performs at the 2013 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California.

Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage

Yesterday, fans and Coachella Weekend Two attendees alike were surprised to learn that Blur and the Stone Roses‘ mainstage set times had swapped order from the festival’s first weekend. According to the festival site, Blur were no longer lead-ins to the headlining Stone Roses: they were now closing the mainstage at 11:35 p.m. while the Stone Roses were to kick off their set at 9:55 p.m. However, Paul Tollett, president of the concert promoter Goldenvoice maintains to Rolling Stone that this switch was always the plan.

“When the [lineup] poster came out, when we announced the show, each weekend’s poster was different,” he says. “The first weekend said ‘Stones Roses/Blur’ and the second weekend said ‘Blur/Stone Roses.’ This was planned from day one. It was a dual bill and we’d flip-flop them.” He insists that both bands knew this would happen from the moment they signed on to play the festival “a hundred percent,” he says. “There’s not a chance I could take a headliner and demote them.”

Coachella Bumps Stone Roses, Makes Blur Headliners

Tollett insists that although the Stones Roses had a noticeably small draw for their closing set last weekend, the size of the crowd at a particular stage is not significant. “It’s important to watch,” he says, “but I feel it doesn’t matter how many [people] are at each stage. As long as when the poster comes out, everyone’s excited, that’s the important part.”

Still, given the disappointing turnout for the Stones Roses’ set, and the comparatively massive swarms of fans occupying the dance-heavy Sahara and Yuma tents, it seems likely that other genres besides British rock will be considered to close the main stage next year. Tollett is open to considering an EDM act to headline again, he says, like last year’s performance by Swedish House Mafia, but says the Sahara tent has been expanded to allow bigger production. “You can actually do something pretty big in there now,” he says, adding that the Yuma Tent – which stages more avant-garde electronic acts such as Four Tet – worked “way better” than he or his team had envisioned.

Said Tollett, “I guess dance music is sticking around.”


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