December 7, 2022

Kanye West Backs Out of Coachella One Week Before Festival Begins

Even though Kanye West has been banned from some events in light of his alarming behavior, he is still welcome at other venues.

That doesn’t mean that he will always attend. Kanye has dropped out of performing at Coachella this year. Now, the music festival is down one headliner on top of lacking an appearance by Travis Scott. It’s an unexpected mess.

TMZ reports that Kanye West has decided to back out of his performance at the 2-weekend music festival. Coachella takes place in Indio, California and it begins next weekend. Originally, Travis Scott was planned to join Kanye on stage, but now they’re both out of the picture.

It is unclear why Kanye has decided against performing. On the one hand, he has had a rough few months — even if has been entirely his own doing. He has been creating pointless conflict with Kim Kardashian, with Pete Davidson, and with Trevor Noah.

Last month, Kanye lashed out at Trevor Noah following Trevor’s compassionate discussion of Ye’s harassment of Kim. Kanye’s posts included racist insults aimed at Trevor. While the topic of race-based attacks from one Black man to another is complicated, the rules of Instagram are simpler, and Ye was handed a 24-hour suspension.

Kanye has not posted anything since on the app. It is unclear if he is petulantly refusing to use the app or if the suspension simply killed his mood for using it. Potentially, Kanye could also be acting on the advice of people who care about him to stop attacking people online. One can only hope!

Kanye also used Instagram to share his music video depicting the kidnapping of Pete Davidson. While no Pete Davidson’s were harmed in the making of the stop-motion video, the message was alarming. Ye showed himself kidnapping and burying alive a very recognizable effigy of Pete. That’s legitimately scary stuff.

As with Kanye’s attacks on Kim, part of the worry is about what he will ultimately do. It’s not unreasonable to question what an ill-behaved man might do. Some men cannot handle a breakup or divorce, and it ends badly for everyone involved. Others simply worried about what Kanye’s unhinged rhetoric might inspire others to do.

Those of us who see Kanye as a loose cannon or a man sorely in need of help (or both) may forget, but he has many fans. The larger the fan base, the greater the chances that one fan or another might take actions that Ye never intended — but might have prevented.

Maybe all of that and more was weighing on Kanye when he dropped out. Some have speculated that given that he’s believed to still be unmedicated, he may have slipped into a depressive episode. Bipolar disorder can sometimes make people feel like they can accomplish anything … or, at other times, make things seem impossible and daunting.

We of course cannot attest to Kanye’s mental state. And, though pointing out possible symptoms of bipolar disorder is fair enough, not all of Ye’s behavior or choices can be reduced down to his mental illness. For whatever reason, he has backed out of Coachella at the last minute, leaving organizers in a bit of a bind.

According to TMZ’s report, Coachella’s organizers aren’t mad — and are more concerned with Kanye’s well being than anything else. They haven’t booked a new headliner to take his place yet. Apparently they have no hard feelings, though.

Kanye is not the first bump along the road for Coachella 2022. In 2020, Travis Scott was scheduled to headline. The pandemic did away with those plans. Travis was booked for 2022 … and then the Astroworld tragedy gave organizers some understandable second thoughts.

Despite what we think of his behavior in recent months (and years … and not-so-recent years), we, too, hope that Kanye’s well-being improves. He is a father of four children. And, for whatever reason, he has millions of devoted fans. We also hope that Coachella is as safe and pleasant as it can be during yet another COVID-19 surge.