Music greats share stage

The show will feature a who's who rock line-up including The Rolling Stones (above).
The show will feature a who's who rock line-up including The Rolling Stones (above). PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Big treat for fans as six iconic rock 'n' roll acts will perform at US mega festival in October

LOS ANGELES • The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and The Who - some of the most celebrated acts in rock 'n' roll - will perform at a mega festival in October, organisers said on Tuesday.

The iconic artists have been confirmed for the Oct 7 to 9 concert at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, in the California desert, an event being billed by music lovers as one of the greatest concerts ever.

"I can't think of a concert as big as this one," Mr Jim Guerinot, a talent agent and former promoter, told the Los Angeles Times. "Neil Young opening for Paul McCartney - are you kidding me?... I think it's a stupendous achievement."

Mr Gary Bongiovanni, editor of the concert industry site Pollstar, said that the presence of the legendary rock stars at the same event was a "unique concept" that was sure to prove successful. "It is historic in that having just six headline acts over three days has never been done before and it really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience," he added.

Despite their established places in the rock canon, the six acts have never shared a bill. The Who frontman Roger Daltrey called the line-up "the greatest remains of our era". "It's amazing really. It's amazing we're still here," he told the BBC last month when rumours about the concert began swirling.

Tickets for the event go on sale on Monday at DesertTrip.com. They cost from US$199 (S$269) to US$1,599, said California concert promoter Goldenvoice, which is owned by global concert giant AEG Live. Single- and three-day passes are available.

Customers are limited to buying a maximum of eight sets of tickets for the festival, which is being called The Desert Trip.

"With performances starting after sunset, each artist will play a full set, serving up three incomparable nights of rock 'n' roll," said Goldenvoice on its website.

The same venue hosts the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, one of the world's highest- grossing festivals.

Mr Bongiovanni said that given that the majority of the concertgoers will likely be greying music fans, most tickets will be for reserved seats rather than general admission.

All of the artists except the Stones' 68-year-old guitarist Ronnie Wood are in their 70s. The acts all remain active and pull in major audiences eager to see them for nostalgic reasons.

Organisers said Dylan and the Stones will launch the concert on Oct 7, Young and McCartney will perform on Oct 8 and The Who and Waters will close the three-day event on Oct 9.

The festival could mark a final appearance for The Who, whose members have hinted at retirement. They were scheduled to end their tour this month, but have already added June dates to appear at festivals in Europe.

The performers, who have all been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, teased their participation with videos posted this week on social media, but each gave just one hint: "October".

The megashow immediately created a buzz on social media, with many dubbing the concert "Oldchella". One tongue-in-cheek posting on Twitter described it as "Desert Trip And Fall: The Broken Hip Tour".

Another tweet said: "Desert Trip, the classic rock festival is going to be pretty bada**!"

Goldenvoice made its name with Coachella, which has become perhaps the marquee summer pop festival, known for its top-tier bookings and headline-grabbing reunion shows (Guns N' Roses, Outkast, the Pixies). Last year's edition sold an industry-leading US$84 million in tickets and had a daily attendance of 99,000, according to the trade publication Pollstar.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2016, with the headline 'Music greats share stage'. Print Edition | Subscribe