More about: Glastonbury Festival
Upon hearing the news last night that Kanye West was headlining this year's Glastonbury festival, one particular ticket holder was less than pleased.
Neil Londsdale, an education worker from Norfolk and regular festival-goer, had been looking forward to his first Glastonbury, having never before ventured to Worthy Farm. Upon hearing the news that West was topping the bill, he decided, as a joke, to start a Change.org petition.
The only problem was that following the media reports he now over 12,000 signatures and now stands a very real chance of having his name flashed up on a screen during Kanye's set. Following repeated requests for interview by a number of media outlets (including Gigwise.com) he issued the following response.
What made you start the petition?
Neil Lonsdale: As a music fan, and Glastonbury virgin (not festival virgin) I have been waiting eagerly and checking daily for updates on headliners. I have notifications set up on my phone, so I receive Emily's tweets instantly. As soon as I read that she was "pleased" to announce Kanye, I fought the temptation to scream and instead opted to hurl my iPhone across the room.
Two years ago, we had Rolling Stones playing the Saturday night, and this year we get Kanye West? “It's an outrage! Something must be done!" I declared. My petition was initially a joke response to the announcement, as I am fully aware that there is plenty of other stuff to keep me amused. Kanye is not to my liking, but then, I'm only one person.
Am you surprised by the popularity of the petition?
I was a little surprised that people have taken it as seriously as they have. Don't get me wrong, if it works, then I'll be more than happy... I'm not surprised its popular though. Festivals are about people coming together through their love of music and song, and creating something magical. Look back to Blur in 2009. One of the band's seminal moments - 100,000 people chanting "Wahoo!" That is what it’s about.
Does Kanye represent the Glasto Spirit?
No. He doesn't. He shouldn't represent anything. His songs are lyrically appalling. He sings about 'bitches' and 'n*****' . He totally disrespected Beck at the recent Grammys. His Brits performance was just threatening. Glastonbury needs upbeat major artists. There are a huge number of acts free on that day. Surely the Eavis family didn't have to scrape quite so low?
What do you mean by "Glastonbury goers expect a certain level of performer"?
Glastonbury is an institution. It is expected that it has the biggest names. The biggest performers... Kanye does not represent that. Also, where is the "class"? Is it wrong to expect role models of today, not to promote their wife's porn career to the world? In 15 years’ time, South West (or whatever Kanye's kid is called) will turn to Kanye and ask "Daddy...why did you pimp out mummy?"
Do you have a ticket? Will you keep it?
Of course I'll keep it. There is so much to see in a festival, that I'll have a great time regardless of whether Kanye headlines. I'm sure we coulda got Fleetwood Mac for the same price....They're still free that weekend, by the way.
Is your petition based on Kanye as a person or performer?
Both. I don't like his music. I'm a rock kid at heart. That said, he is a bad person. You don't get grief from "Anonymous" (those guys who own the internet) for being a positive role model on today’s youth! [Note: Anonymous have since denied attacking West]
How do you respond to those who say that his performance is only 90 minutes of the whole weekend?
I agree. It is only 90 minutes. Though its 90 minutes I'd never get back. A two hour Blur set would be much more appealing to everyone... maybe even to Kanye fans.
Are you happy about Foo Fighters headlining?
I'm ecstatic! I love Grohl and the team. It’s a great signing :)
Do you like any Kanye West songs?
I quite liked that Estelle song, 'American Boy', but otherwise, no. His mainstream tunes have put me off trying his other work.
Should hip-hop be excluded from Glasto?
Definitely not! My beef is not with the genre. My beef is with the stage and the fact it’s a headline slot. Perhaps the Gorillaz could do a good job, and their last album was amazing. But still, they are not a headline act. Music is not about exclusion. It’s about coming together. Other groups could do a better job of that than Kanye.
What did I think to Jay Z's Glastonbury performance?
I didn't watch much of Jay-Z's performance I'm afraid. From what I gather it was very well received. I think Jay Z is a little less divisive than Kanye. I think that's partly to do with Kanye's antics off-mic?
What would you dream Glastonbury line-up?
Blur, Libertines, Cure, Oasis, Fleetwood Mac, Rolling Stones, Green Day, Springsteen, Jack White. Muse maybe? David Bowie?
There have been suggestions it's to do with Kanye being black...
Total nonsense. I won’t justify them with a response, but I'm pretty outspoken on my views about prejudices of all types. It doesn't matter if you're black, white, straight, gay, et al. If you behave like Kanye, you gotta expect some opposition. I'm only one guy... My petition started as a joke, and I never thought it would make a difference. I stand by that now. I don't think it would make a difference if 200,000 people signed it... Anyway, Kanye's a big boy, I'm sure he can take a bit of banter.
West is the second confirmed headliner for the festival alongside Foo Fighters, who will play the Pyramid Stage on Worthy Farm on the Friday. Other rumours include Queen + Adam Lambert, Taylor Swift, Elton John, The Libertines, Noel Gallagher, Prince and many more.
Glastonbury Festival 2015 takes place at Worthy Farm in Somerset from 24 - 28 June 2015.
Issue Four of the Gigwise Print magazine is on pre-order now! Order here.
More about: Glastonbury Festival