The Meadows Drops The Weeknd, Adds J. Cole, Re-Adds The Weeknd

The new Queens-based music festival The Meadows has been a comedy of errors from the beginning, and now there’s a new foible to add to the list. Originally, the Weeknd was scheduled to headline Saturday night with Kanye West headlining Sunday, which at least marked The Meadows as a chance to see two of the world’s most compelling pop pioneers on back-to-back nights. But the festival announced today that the Weeknd had to drop off the bill due to “unforeseen scheduling conflicts” — maybe related to finishing his suddenly imminent new album? — and that they’re replacing him with…

J. Cole!

J. Cole?!

Jermaine. Lamarr. Cole.

Look, I understand that the Weeknd never went platinum with no features, but this seems like a significant downgrade to me. This festival once boasted a pair of true art stars. Now they’ve got Kanye West and a pre-808s Kanye West impersonator. At least Chance and Grimes are still playing!

UPDATE: It turns out the Weeknd pulled out due to a conflict with his appearance on Saturday Night Live’s season premiere. Thankfully for festivalgoers, The Meadows rearranged their schedule to allow for a Weeknd performance at 6:15. So they get all the benefits of Abel Tesfaye along with bonus J. Cole, which should please not only Weeknd fans but Cole’s fellow alums from nearby St. John’s University.

Good job by The Meadows turning an L into a W here.