No-one wants to play Donald Trump’s inauguration, so no one will play Donald Trump’s inauguration

'...This inauguration is not about that kind of entertainment'

Christopher Hooton@christophhooton
Wednesday 21 December 2016 13:10

Facing a dearth of musicians willing to align themselves with him, President-elect Donald Trump seems to have made the move many expected and tried to style out not having a big performance at his inauguration and make it seem intentional.

Mr Trump originally wanted Elton John for the gig, but he was very much unwilling, and this week there’s been rumours that Andrea Bocelli would perform at the 20 January event.

Now, Chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee Tom Barrack has said Mr Trump’s inauguration is “not about that kind of entertainment.”

“The monuments themselves are the draw,” he told CNBC, “when you think about walking from Lincoln to Washington, that is the moment.

“It’s not orientated around ‘let’s take Spotify and give you everything we can give you’…this inauguration is not about that kind of entertainment."


Not wanting big names is a little out of character for a man who has a history of tweeting about showbiz news and break-ups and has recently been preparing to be president by meeting Kanye West.

“Does he need the celebrities and want the celebrities? Of course,” Barrack admitted, “but they’re all going to weigh in when they find the judiciousness of the man [once he’s in office].”

Asked what celebrations the inauguration would involve, Barrack only mentioned balls and dinners.

As for Bocelli, he claimed the singer offered to perform at the event (he is indebted to Mr Trump, who once lent him a plane), but Mr Trump apparently said: “'You don't need to. We're not in that kind of a framework. Thanks very much for the offer. You're my friend. You are always welcome at the White House.”

Minor performance of The National Anthem from a little-known America’s Got Talent contestant not withstanding, it looks as though this framework will hold up a more low-key affair than Obama’s inauguration - which featured a performance from Beyoncé - though it is very possible that this framework was forced on Mr Trump rather than designed by him.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments