A closer look at the rumour that Led Zeppelin are reuniting to perform at Desert Trip 2017


There’s a new rumour doing the rounds online which claims that Led Zeppelin will reunite for the Desert Trip festival in 2017. This post originates from the website “Feel Numb,” which isn’t known as a reliable news source.

We dug into the key claims made in Feel Numb’s article to examine whether it could be true:

Led Zeppelin are reuniting to perform at the Desert Trip festival in 2017

Verdict: Likely false.

Feel Numb’s key claim that Led Zeppelin will shortly be announced as headliners for Desert Trip festival 2017 is likely to be false. A rumour surfaced in March that Jimmy Page had been in talks with Desert Trip for a 2018 performance, but further information suggested that the rumour was actually about a Led Zeppelin reunion, and it was likely unrelated to Desert Trip. It’s possible that Feel Numb’s article came from this original rumour.

We should also mention here that there may not even be a Desert Trip festival in 2017. The first Desert Trip festival took place last year, and it’s possible the festival will run every other year. This Reddit post suggests that there won’t be a festival this year.

Billboard did some original reporting into Feel Numb’s rumour and said there’s “no deal in place” for a Led Zeppelin reunion. It did, however, spot a quote from Gary Tovar, the founder of the company that created Desert Trip and Coachella. Tovar told The Guardian in April that “We’d like to bring up the Led, if you know what I mean.” Tovar is no longer part of the company, but it’s an interesting quote nonetheless.

Robert Plant has agreed to a reunion because of Led Zeppelin’s fiftieth anniversary

Verdict: It’s possible

It’s possible that Robert Plant has agreed to a one-off Led Zeppelin performance for Led Zeppelin’s fiftieth anniversary, but we’ve only heard a single rumour about this, and it was for possible Led Zeppelin activity in 2018, not this year.

Led Zeppelin’s fiftieth anniversary is in 2018, not 2017. So, yes, maybe Plant has agreed to a future performance or is in talks for it, but it’s probably not Desert Trip 2017.

The ‘Any time now…’ homepage of Plant’s website is related to the upcoming announcement

Verdict: Likely false

Feel Numb suggests that the “Any time now…” holding page of Robert Plant’s website is a sign that Led Zeppelin will shortly reunite. This is almost certainly untrue. As we detailed here in April, the website teaser is probably for Plant’s upcoming new album, which is almost finished and is expected to be released later this year. Billboard reported that its sources said the “Any time now…” post is indeed related to Plant’s solo album.

Setting aside Plant’s new album for a second, why would the first official sign of a Led Zeppelin reunion be on Plant’s website? Every band member’s website is owned by separate companies, so it doesn’t make sense that a Led Zeppelin reunion would be announced on a website that isn’t under Led Zeppelin’s control.

Feel Numb had the scoop on the Guns N’ Roses reunion lineup

Verdict: Partly true

Feel Numb wrote that “I’ve proved spot on several times before, including when I revealed the Guns N’ Roses reunion line-up weeks before anyone else did.” There’s no evidence provided here, so we took a look through the site to find Feel Numb’s exclusive.

The only post we could find that fits the bill is “CONFIRMED: Guns N’ Roses 2016 Reunion Line-Up” from March 14, 2016. That post claimed that the reunited Guns N’ Roses lineup would include Axl Rose, Slash, Duff McKagan, Dizzy Reed, Richard Fortus, and Frank Ferrer.

The Guns N’ Roses performance on April 1 did indeed feature that lineup, but with the addition of Melissa Reese. Reese wasn’t mentioned in Feel Numb’s post, but everyone else mentioned was in the final lineup.

So does this prove that Feel Numb is a reliable news source? We’re going to say no. It lends credibility to what it posts, but it didn’t get the Guns N’ Roses news exactly right. Another rumour from January 2016 had the same rumoured lineup, but with two additional members. So Feel Numb wasn’t the only place that guessed at the lineup ahead of time.

So what’s really going on here?

We’ve established that Led Zeppelin likely aren’t going to reform this year to perform at Desert Trip 2017. In fact, there may not even be a Desert Trip 2017.

How about Desert Trip 2018? That makes more sense. There’s likely to actually be a Desert Trip festival that year and it will be the fiftieth anniversary of Led Zeppelin. But there’s no evidence to suggest that’s actually going to happen.

What we do know is that there is a rumour that Page is in talks for Led Zeppelin activity for the band’s fiftieth anniversary next year. Beyond that, everything else is speculation.

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19 Comments on "A closer look at the rumour that Led Zeppelin are reuniting to perform at Desert Trip 2017"

  1. Interviewed plant two years ago had to ask about reunion he was not happy said “don’t believed all you read” can’t she them doing it

  2. If Robert will not do this so called reunion who cares I would pick watching Jimmy master the 6 and 12 string any day over hearing Robert play Led Zeppelins music with his hillbilly band Jimmy you are the best thanks

  3. Robert hasn’t had his “hillbilly band” for about six years, but thanks for keeping up.

  4. Jason was in new york this week do you think him and JP met up?

  5. Sandy Hendricks | 4th May 2017 at 1:43 am | Reply

    Maybe the message “anytime now” means don’t hold your breath. I’d like to see all the bands that all members of Zeppelin have played with including all their kids. “Any time now.”

  6. Brian Amburgey | 4th May 2017 at 4:15 am | Reply

    Plant has been feeding this rumor for years and gotten our hopes up just to dash them against a rock, continually. I’m not falling for it until the tickets go on sale.

  7. Ryan J Pulliam | 4th May 2017 at 6:56 pm | Reply

    If they do it, I sure hope they do enough shows I can actually go.
    I’m sure the Cali ones will be sold out quickly

  8. Mark Williams | 4th May 2017 at 7:32 pm | Reply

    Those in the know are fully aware there is nothing behind the 2017 rumoured activity. Robert’s focus over the next 6-8 months is all about his new album & associated touring activity.

    Slim chance of 2018 ‘live’ activity too I’m afraid. Robert has been deliberately ‘running down the clock’ for at least a decade or so now, sadly.


    • I was at the 1977 show in Tampa I watched and listened to 3 songs one of them in the pouring rain but to only be very disappointed when the show was cancelled and it had stopped raining so I will not get my hopes up again. But still loved the music and the band till this day

  9. As someone who follows Guns N’Roses, i can confirm that their reunion was confirmed in january 2016 and the lineup rumor started from a picture posted by the band posted around March 2016 featuring autographs by Axl Rose, Slash, Duff McKagan, Dizzy Reed, Richard Fortus, and Frank Ferrer. Feel numb didnt come up with that lineup at all, they just went along the rumur that was created by the band it self.
    No one guessed that Melissa Reese joined the band until she performed her first concert with them.

  10. Well researched and analysed,Led-Zep News.

  11. i met jason a few months ago and i asked him if he kept in touch with the “boys” and he told me he talked to jones and page once in awhile but he talked to plant a couple times a week so before our conversation ended i literally said to jason if you talk to plant so much how about asking him to do it just one more time for the fans in the states just one more show… jason responded to me with “dont blame robert its not all his fault he takes all the blame but its not his fault and thats all i can say about it” so there you have it right from the source and i didnt not switch the wording here this is what was asked and this is what was answered

  12. If, and it’s a big if, they would consider a re-union for a milestone like their 50th anniversary surely the venue is key. And country. My guess is that it would likely be ‘home’ in the UK at a super stadium that reflects demand for tickets running into the millions as with Celebation Day. Likely? Hmmm let’s hope for a miracle.

  13. Stephen Cliff | 6th May 2017 at 6:37 pm | Reply

    Plant’s word games are truly a bore. What’s truly unfortunatel, to me, is that the post 2007 reunion recording sessions fell one member short, and all we got was Strange, unsentional music from the missing member

  14. Mark Williams | 7th May 2017 at 5:25 pm | Reply

    Pretty much spot on there Stephen, although I’d have to say the Sensational Space Shifters are just marginally less biring than the Band of joy. Robert needs to knock all this on the head, too much ‘more if the same’ (and that comes from a Plant fan whose followed each solo album/tour over the last 35 years or so).

  15. why is Plant being such a creep about playing together with Jimmy from time to time. Life is short and soon they will be too old, what a shame. I agree his other bands he plays with are marginal at best. What he had with Zeppelin was magical and unforgettable.

  16. Keith Linwood Stover | 11th May 2017 at 1:34 am | Reply

    I was in the record store the day Led Zeppelin I hit my little town in Belfast, Maine. I have followed them religiously ever since (I was 13 then, I’m 62 now). So my two cents…

    It is has been well-established that touring would be too rigorous for these rock icons. If I were Plant, Page and Jones, I would take a year, write some new music, record it (with Jason Bonham on the skins) and then perform it for a worldwide audience via satellite. This way they have ultimate control, don’t have to hassle with concerts or a tour and can give the world their “Swan Song” on their own terms. I blame the FANS for Plant’s unwillingess to reunite the remaining members. I have read the comments on dozens of websites over the years and too many fans place unreasonable and unrealistic expectations on Plant, Page & Jones. As long as fans want to hold up the 1970s as the standard by which to measure their performance, then it is a losing proposition for Plant, Page & Company. Just like with ice cream and sex, there is no such thing as “bad” Led Zeppelin, only great, greater or greatest. But “perfect” has become the enemy of good. Why not let them write and play and sing to the ability that their elder rock-god status deserves? This means leaving 1975 or 1977 where it belongs–in the past. Plant obviously continues to write and sing and perform at a level he is comfortable with. I suspect Jimmy could do the same. But as long as fans expect them to scream “Whole Lotta Love,” like they did in yesteryear, there is no way for them to express themselves successfully on their own terms.

  17. Well its 2018. The announcement should be any time now. I was at the Black Sabbath concert at the Forum in 2016 for their FINAL tour. Ozzie did not hit all the notes but was at his Ozziness for all the right songs. It don’t matter if these guys can’t hit all the notes coz the night was not just about one guy but the mesh of all the guys that made them the group they were.

    I think Plant has got the most to lose coz the strain of singing the classics at his age is far more challenging. Hence, perhaps why the reluctance on his part.

    As a fan I will wait and hope for that day which I think would simply be insane. In the meantime, thank god for technology that will forever preserve their brilliance

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