The Rolling Stones to Headline ‘Concert of the Century’

ARTIST

After a month of rumors, Goldenvoice’s giant Desert Trip concert is confirmed for the fall.
Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Roger Waters, Neil Young, The Who and Bob Dylan are among the megastar acts booked for Desert Trip, destined to be one of the biggest concerts in history at the Coachella site in Indio, Calif.

Three-day passes, with general admission at $399, reserved floor at $699, $999, and $1,599, reserved grandstand at $999 and $1599 and standing pit – $1,599. Single day passes will also be sold, priced at $199. It is believed that there will be 25,000 to 30,000 reserved seats in a configuration somewhat like Stagecoach, along with about 40,000 general admission tickets to cap capacity at about 70,000

Goldenvoice Entertainment, a subsidiary of AEG Live, will produce the event, which will take place Oct. 7-9. The Stones and Dylan play the first night, McCartney and Neil Young with Promise of the Real the second, and Waters and The Who will wrap the weekend.

The concert will surely boast one of the highest talent budgets ever, even for a three-day event; one source says the top headliners on the bill are guaranteed as much as $7 million each. Sources say the possibility of a second weekend exists.

Discussions have been underway for more than nine months — as early as last week contract details were still being worked out, mostly over production issues such as what assets each act will bring, sound check timing, etc. All headliners will perform full sets with stadium-level production. It is possible that headliners could choose a third act to open each night’s performance, but there is no intention for this to be an all-day “festival” styled event.

Given the talent price tag and production elements that will likely take total costs to close to $50 million, a heavy VIP component will be necessary to take the event into the black. The campgrounds will be open, but heavy use is not expected, other than cabanas and “glamping” similar to the top end VIP at Coachella; like Coachella, VIP packages and various shuttles and travel will be overseen by CID Entertainment, doing business as Valley Music Travel. Other enhanced experiences will include travel, dining, hotel/resort, and golf packages (there are even discussions of a tournament attached to the event). A release announcing the event promises The “an all-star lineup of world-renowned chefs and 40 of the best restaurants from Los Angeles to New York.” Details are at deserttrip.com.

Most of the artists have histories with AEG Live and its subsidiaries Concerts West and Goldenvoice. The Stones have toured with Concerts West since reconvening in 2012 to the tune of about $400 million gross, according to Boxscore. AEG Live has been a frequent promoter of shows by McCartney, and McCartney tour director Barrie Marshall’s Marshall Arts Limited is partnered with AEG. Waters’ last tour was promoted worldwide by Live Nation (a three-year trek that wrapped in 2013 as the highest grossing tour ever by a solo artist at $459 million from 219 performances), but Waters’ tour director Andrew Zweck now is affiliated with AEG’s U.K. Operation, plus Waters turned in a memorable performance of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon at Coachella in 2008. The last several tours by The Who have been promoted by AEG Live/Concerts West. Dylan and Young work with varied promoters, though Young was once affiliated closely with Live Nation’s Global Touring division.

Written for Billboard

By Ray Waddell

5/3/2016