Seeing that the fuss earlier this week about whether or not Kanye West is “Worthy” to headline Glastonbury Festival this Summer has been blown out of all proportion with petitions being started to replace him with a “rock band”, I feel as someone who’s regularly been to the festival better placed to comment – more so than the guy who started the petition who’s never actually been!
The obvious course of action to people threatening to forego their tickets because of this choice is to “Go and see what’s on at any of the other dozens of stages”. One of the best Saturday night’s I ever spent at Glastonbury was when Coldplay were gracing the main stage in 2002. Now I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than see them, so off we went to the Circus Field followed by the crazy world of Lost Vagueness and then dancing the night away in the Miniscule of Sound – the smallest club in the world (free tequila on entry!). What a night! Totally unexpected and totally unplanned.
Surely one of the best things about any music festival is the fact that you get to see bands that you wouldn’t normally buy a ticket for. I went to Wireless last year with Kanye West headlining. Now I’d never given much time to him or his music but can honestly say it was the best show i saw all year. Tough, uncompromising, hypnotic electronic music with Kanye totally on top of his game. Now, everybody that I say that to who wasn’t there looks at me as if to say “yeeaaaah ok” but trust me – give him a go if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket this year. Music festivals are about pushing boundaries and Glastonbury has the biggest and broadest boundaries off all.
Jay-Z had a similar response in 2008 when he was announced to headline the Pyramid Stage and look what happened – he totally changed the face of the event for years to come. Kanye West will do the same in 2015.
Well done to Michael and Emily Eavis for refusing to conform to the idea of what a music and arts festival should be.
Senior Music & Media Consultant