Donald Trump's team plays down need for celebrities at his inauguration: 'This is not Woodstock'

Reports suggest Trump's Inaugural Committee are becoming increasingly desperate to book a high-profile music act

Roisin O'Connor
Wednesday 28 December 2016 09:56 GMT
'This isn't Woodstock' - Trump adviser on inauguration

Donald Trump's team have gone on the defensive and implied that they are unconcerned by the lack of celebrity participation in his upcoming inauguration ceremony.

Trump's adviser Boris Epshsteyn appeared in an interview on CNN and was asked whether the team was having trouble finding celebrities to participate.

"Not at all - this is not Woodstock. It's not Summer Jam. It's not a concert. It's not about celebrities," he responded. "As Donald Trump tweeted himself, it's about the people. That's what we're concentrated on.

"The Rockettes represent the American people. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir represents the American people," he added, referring to two of the three acts confirmed to perform. The third 'celebrity' is 16-year-old Jackie Evancho, who was a runner up in America's Got Talent.

Asked whether he could list any more people who are set to perform at the event, Epshteyn said the team would be "rolling more out".

"Let me say one more time, it's not about celebrities, it's not about any one entertainer... it's all about the people," he added.

Earlier this month a 'Hollywood insider' told The Wrap that Trump's Inaugural Committee were becoming increasingly desperate to book a high-profile music act that wasn't Kid Rock or Ted Nugent, going so far as to allegedly offer ambassadorships to talent bookers who could secure A-list artists to perform.

"Never in a million years have I heard something so crazy," one booker told The Wrap on condition of anonymity. "That was the moment I almost dropped the phone."

"They are willing to pay anything," another talent booker reportedly said. "They told me: 'We'll pay their fees.' Most of these artists' fees are in the six to seven figures."

It would be unusual for Trump's team to pay for artists to perform at the ceremony, as it is considered to be a prestigious, patriotic gig that is an honour to perform at.

Ephshsteyn denied the claim in a statement, saying there was "no truth to this insinuation".

"First class entertainers are eager to participate in the inaugural events," he said.

"The inauguration as a whole will be an exciting and uniting celebration of freedom and democracy. We will be releasing further details at the appropriate time."

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