Red Hot Chili Peppers' Coachella Booking Almost Didn't Happen

Posted: Updated:
The Red Hot Chili Pepper's Coachella 2013 booking happened at the last minute. | AP

The following article is provided by Rolling Stone.


The Red Hot Chili Peppers signed on to headline Coachella about an hour before the annual Indio, California, festival announced its lineup last night, one of the band's managers tells Rolling Stone. "We've been in talks for months," says Cliff Burnstein, whose firm, Q Prime, also manages Metallica, the Black Keys and other top rock acts. "It goes down to the wire. It's a negotiation."

Coachella 2013 Lineup: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, Blur, Stone Roses

The Peppers, who have played Coachella twice before, abruptly emerged as the Sunday-night headliner for both the April 12th and 14th weekends after weeks of rumors that the Rolling Stones would play the festival. But Mick Jagger earlier this week told NME: "We're not gonna do Coachella, 'cos it's too early. There was a rumor we were gonna do that one, but it's very early, Coachella. It's April or something, isn't it? And we're not gonna be ready to go by April. But we're not gonna stop."

The Rolling Stones Are Not Playing Coachella

Burnstein suggested the Stones' gross revenues for recent shows didn't square with Coachella's philosophy of "financial discipline" and "pricing integrity." (Last year's Coachella cost $285 for a three-day pass for dozens of bands, while, according to Pollstar, tickets for the Stones' four arena shows in North America last fall averaged $520.) "I heard the rumor, too," Burnstein says. "I discounted it, because I didn't think [promoter] Goldenvoice would pay the Stones' price. I mean, it's as simple as that."

Rolling Stone’s Complete Coachella Coverage

Although the Peppers played the Coachella mainstage in 2003 and 2007, Burnstein says their current lineup, including two-year guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, gives renewed energy – the band's L.A. alt-rock radio play and Spotify numbers among young listeners are high for a veteran band.

2013's Hottest Tours

"We'll be right in the target demo for Coachella. It's surprising, but it's true," says Burnstein, who adds that the band plans to start writing a new album this year. "We figured out if they have 180,000 people over the two weekends, there's a good chance that 10 percent or less would've actually seen the Chili Peppers at a previous Coachella. It seemed like it would actually be, in many ways, a very fresh thing."

Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

For more, head over to Rolling Stone.

Coachella 2013 Lineup
Share this
Current Slide

Around the Web

Coachella 2013 Lineup: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, Blur, Stone Roses

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, Blur and Stone Roses in Coachella lineup

Coachella 2013 lineup announced: Blur, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix

Coachella 2013 Lineup: Blur, Phoenix, Stone Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers ...

Coachella lineup features Blur, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Coachella 2013 lineup to feature Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, Red Hot Chili ...

Coachella 2013 lineup: Blur, Red Hot Chili, the Lumineers and more