Kanye West headlines Bonnaroo, take 2. How’s this going to play out?

Kanye West performs at the BET Awards in Los Angeles.  ( Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

Kanye West and the Bonnaroo music festival don’t have the best history. And by that we mean in 2008, West’s headlining performance famously ended in disaster: After logistical problems, he didn’t take the stage until 5 a.m. (fans were not happy), and later, blasted the “idiot” organizers in an epic blog post.

So that’s why it was surprising to many when Bonnaroo announced its lineup for this summer’s extravaganza, bringing back none other than West as headliner. (Elton John and Jack White are headlining too, but no one wants to talk about them.)

How’s this going to play out? West already had to postpone several concerts on his “Yeezus” tour last year because of problems with equipment, so here’s hoping the issue with the 60-foot screen doesn’t repeat. Rick Farman, who runs the festival’s promotion companies, told music magazine Relix that there’s nothing to worry about. “Everyone has moved on — it’s in the past,” Farman said. “We’re happy he wants to come back to Bonnaroo and is embracing this.”

Meanwhile, we asked Post pop music critic Chris Richards on his thoughts on bringing Kanye back a second time after the meltdown of 2008.

He told us: “There’s a fine line between being a Kanye West defender and a Kanye West apologist, but I don’t think he was wrong to get heated over what happened at Bonnaroo six years ago. The man is a micro-manager with a deep commitment to his aesthetic. So I’m guessing he wouldn’t have agreed to try Bonnaroo again if he didn’t have every detail worked out.”

As far as what West’s performance will be like, Richards said: “I thought West’s ‘Yeezus’ tour was one of the most fantastic pop spectacles of our time, so his performance alone might be worth the entire Bonnaroo ticket price.”

Emily Yahr covers pop culture and entertainment for the Post. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyYahr.



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Ron Charles · February 20, 2014