Rage Against the Machine made money after Coachella premiere
Coachella may be one of the top music festivals in the United States today, but after the initial event in 1999, the organizers were so desperate that they asked Rage Against the Machine to reimburse a portion. of their payment.
“Coachella failed so badly they asked for half the money,” Tom Morello said during an appearance on the Tuna on Toast Podcast.
Rage, alongside Tool and Beck, were headliners at the inaugural festival, held October 9-10, 1999. Although the initial Coachella was well received by fans and critics, sales of tickets were considerably below expectations. Thus, Goldenvoice promoters lost a valued $ 850,000 on the event. In an effort to recoup their losses, they demanded a refund from Rage Against the Machine. According to Morello, the group complied.
“Because they were friends,” the guitarist explained. “It was Goldenvoice! they had reserved [Morello’s pre-Rage band] Lock watch. They had booked all the alley shows since day one. They were the promoters of punk rock. They were like brothers.
Goldenvoice quickly found the right formula to make Coachella both fun and profitable. Paul McCartney, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Prince, Jack White and Roger Waters are among the popular artists who have performed at the festival since then, which now grosses more than $ 100 million in profits each year. . After postponing the event due to the pandemic in 2020, Coachella is expected to return in 2021, with Rage Against the Machine once again headlining.
For his part, Morello does not regret returning the money to help keep Coachella alive. However, there is one thing the guitarist admitted he would do differently.
“We should have asked for a song from the festival,” he joked. “This is what we should have done. I am not much of a businessman.
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