[Editor's note: Since this article is still making the rounds, we feel compelled to draw attention to the fact that it was published on April Fools' Day. Sorry, REO Speedwagon fans!]
After debuting last year with a historic lineup that included Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and The Who, the Desert Trip festival — also known as “Oldchella” — will return to the Empire Polo Club this October, festival promoter Goldenvoice has confirmed. The second edition of the classic-rock-themed festival will feature more stages, more food and beverage offerings, and another lineup aimed squarely at deep-pocketed baby boomers.
Desert Trip's main stage will once again be devoted to the sounds of the classic-rock era, with REO Speedwagon and Kansas appearing on Friday, Supertramp and Styx's Dennis DeYoung on Saturday, and .38 Special and Blue Oyster Cult on Sunday.
“Last year it was the Stones; this year's it us. That's some big shoes to fill but we're up to the task,” Kansas guitarist Rich Williams said via a press release. “We look forward to reminding people that we have more songs besides just 'Carry On Wayward Son' and 'Dust in the Wind.'”
In a surprise move, Desert Trip will feature two additional stages this year. “The Oasis,” dedicated to '70s soft rock, will feature performances by James Taylor, Bread, Chicago and a trio of one-hit wonders: Eric Carmen (“All by Myself”), Terry Jacks (“Seasons in the Sun”) and Starland Vocal Band (“Afternoon Delight”). “The Mirage” stage will feature tribute bands, as well as a David Bowie hologram and a special appearance by Foreigner because, as a Goldenvoice insider told L.A. Weekly (speaking on condition of anonymity), “It's just Mick Jones and a bunch of other dudes, so they're basically a tribute band.”
After last year's Desert Trip grossed an estimated $160 million, fans and industry observers assumed there would be a sequel. Although speculation ran rampant that more superstar names would participate, the insider confirmed that Goldenvoice had difficulty booking A-list talent, especially after rival concert company Live Nation announced an Oldchella-style festival at Dodger Stadium featuring the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Journey and Steely Dan.
“That really killed us,” the insider told L.A. Weekly. “And then Rush, Clapton and Paul Simon all retired, and Billy Joel wanted way too much money. Springsteen agreed to do it but only if he could play for six hours, so that was a non-starter. U2 were afraid it would make them look too old. Black Sabbath said yes, but then tried to get us to change the name to Ozzchella. It's been a nightmare.”
In addition to the three stages, Desert Trip will also feature expanded food and beverage offerings, including over 300 booths from renowned L.A. restaurants, 50 kinds of craft beer and 30 premium Napa Valley wines starting at $37 a glass.
“Once you're drunk and full of Pok Pok, even .38 Special sounds pretty great,” explained Goldenvoice food and beverage director Nic Adler.
Tickets for Desert Trip go on sale Monday, April 3 at www.deserttrip.com.