Kanye West's admirably prayer and sermon-free Sunday Service series, which notably sees entries from his extended catalog of zeitgeist shifters reworked into singalong gospel compositions, is coming to Coachella this year. But how did such a pairing come to fruition, especially when considering West was fairly recently confirmed to not be participating in this year's festival due to organizers being unable to bring a particular vision to life?
As festival co-founder Paul Tollett detailed in an interview with Billboard Wednesday, the Sunday Service performance—set for April 21 at 9 a.m.—actually came together following a simple inquiry from West's team. Earlier this year, Tollett recalled, he was approached and asked if he was familiar with the Sunday Service series. Tollett was, having tried to get into a performance himself, and was next asked if bringing a rendition of experience to Coachella was possible for the second weekend of the two-part California throwdown.
Tollett and his team said yes "instantly," despite the unique challenges presented by an early morning performance of this nature at the festival campgrounds' "The Mountain" locale. In other words, West's performance has some added production hassles due to it not actually taking place on main festival grounds.
Still, festival organizers are predicting success with the West experiment, citing their proven track record together with past instaclassic Indio sets. "We've got some challenges production-wise and we've got a team on it right now to try and do something really special," he said. "We feel this is going to be a really big moment of the show."
For those looking to attend, Tollett shared some additional info on what to expect that fateful Sunday. Shuttles will take fans to the Sunday Service locale, which is watchable by anyone with a ticket. As for the performance itself, Tollett further teased that West's Coachella x Sunday Service stage aesthetic will "play with" different heights in one way or another. Those still looking for entry can try their hand at bagging some of the limited number of tickets being made available Friday, at least some of which were originally being held for industry insiders.