Kanye West

Can Kanye West Win Over The Glastonbury Haters?

Kanye West is to headline the Saturday night pyramid stage at this years Glastonbury festival. The fact that Kanye West has grabbed arguably the most prestigious slot of the weekend at one of the world’s most important music festival’s has not been well received by everyone. Indeed, as reported by the Inquisitr earlier this week, a number of petitions have sprung up asking the festival organisers to remove Kanye West from the Glastonbury line-up altogether.

BBC News reports that Neil Lonsdale from Norfolk, England, who is attending Glastonbury for the first time this year, organized a petition on Change.org that has already exceeded 65,000 signatures.

Neil claims that “Kanye West is an insult to music fans all over the world,” and that “Kanye has been very outspoken on his views on music, he should listen to his own advice and pass his headline slot on to someone deserving!”

Most people who object to Kanye West as a Glastonbury headliner claim that it is because West does not fit with the “ethos” of the festival. Glastonbury, you see, took its rise out of the hippy culture and the UK “free festival” movements of the 1970s. Many Glastonbury veterans feel the festival lost its soul when the Eavis family stopped allowing free access to the “New Age Traveller” community who descended on Glastonbury after celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge.

Glastonbury festival has a long history of championing acts that are outside the mainstream as well as attracting the biggest names in music. It also has a long history of supporting left-wing causes such as CND, and even today one of its popular areas is the “Left Field,” which attracts political bands and socialist speakers.

Whilst many feel that hip-hop and rap acts go against the traditions of the festival, the Independent points out that the choice of West is hardly without precedent. There were many who were unhappy about the choice of Jay Z as a headliner in 2008, but Jay Z won over many of his detractors and took a sideways swipe at one of his biggest detractors when he opened his set with a cover of Oasis’ “Wonderwall.”

Kanye West may have something of an ego, but I suspect that most Glastonbury fans will simply shrug their shoulders and go to see another act on one of the approximately 60 stages that make up the festival. Many Glastonbury veterans would tell you that if you are watching Kanye West on the pyramid stage, you are not doing Glastonbury festival properly in any case.

Glastonbury is big enough and varied enough to accommodate Kanye West or any other act that gets booked to play. Whether Kanye West can win the haters over to his side remains to be seen.

[Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images]

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