Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or just haven’t checked Twitter for a couple of days) you’ll have heard that it is indeed the end of music, the end of joy in the world, the end of times. For it has been announced that Kanye West will be occupying one of Glastonbury’s 20 stages for two of the festival’s 120 hours. And the festival-going public are NOT happy.
The news was swiftly met with the kind of social media backlash usually reserved for… well, Kanye, posting naked pictures of wife Kim on his Twitter feed. But we digress. The cries of rage rang out far and wide – everyone had their say, from comedians (‘Kanye to headline Glastonbury on the Pyramid Stage, while his ego will headline the Other Stage’ tweeted Tiernan Doueib) to, er, Made In Chelsea’s Louise Thompson: ‘Kanye headlining Glastonbury this year. Bit of a joke.’ (But a reality star criticising the Glastonbury line-up? That’s not in any way a joke. Not at all.)
A petition was duly launched via change.org, snappily titled ‘Cancel Kanye’s headline slot and get a rock band’ – which has racked up 30,000 supporters and counting. ‘We spend hundreds of pounds to attend Glasto and, by doing so, expect a certain level of entertainment,’ argues the petition’s creator, perhaps unaware of the 900 acres of stages, circuses, performance art, installations, talks, comedy acts, raves and tunnels into Wonderland (possibly) also available.
But we’re here to say: just hang on a second. Pause to consider that Kanye at Glastonbury could be a good, nay, GREAT thing. And this is why.
1. HISTORY SAYS SO
Let us take you back to 2008, when one Jay Z was announced as the first hip-hop act to ever headline at Worthy Farm. And oh, how the faithful raged, led by Oasis’ Noel Gallagher. ‘Glastonbury has the tradition of guitar music,’ he ranted. ‘I’m not having hip-hop at Glastonbury.’ And what happened? Jay Z opened with a cover of Wonderwall, and proceeded to turn a field of naysayers into hip-hop converts.
There were similar concerns when Beyoncé was booked in 2011. But she put on a show so explosive (The sequins! The dance moves! The fireworks!) that it instantly became part of Glastonbury folklore. And can you really say that about Kasabian’s headline set last year?
2. THE SHEER SPECTACLE OF IT
Glastonbury has always been about the unexpected. That’s its raison d’etre. And what, pray tell, is more unexpected and, well, alternative at an alternative music festival than a self-proclaimed ‘musical genius’ rapper with a Yeezus complex? You go to Glastonbury to be challenged/amazed/surprised/scared (that, and to not be judged for having pear cider for breakfast). You go for the story; for an experience you wouldn’t be able to have on your average night out in Basingstoke town centre. And whether he puts on a Jay Z-esque performance that will (gasp!) broaden the crowd’s taste to (double gasp!) R&B, or uses his slot for a two-hour Power Point presentation in tribute to Kim’s bum, one thing’s for sure: Kanye’s set will be unlike anything the crowd have seen before. And isn’t that the point of travelling to a field in Somerset in the first place?
3. THE RANT
This is the man who did THAT Taylor Swift stage invasion at the MTV Music Video awards. The man who pulled the plug on his own set at Wireless last year to launch into a 15-minute tirade about his treatment by the media, who are on a mission to ‘dishumanise’ him (wait, who showed him our plans for Operation Dishumanise Kanye?). The man who has straight-facedly said: ‘I’m like a vessel, and God has chosen me to be the voice and the connector’; and ‘I just threw some kazoo on this b*tch.' So we can only imagine what pearls of wisdom he will impart from the sizeable soap box otherwise known as the Pyramid Stage. We’re betting whatever it is will a) be amazing b) make that animal-impersonating druid up at the Stone Circle look perfectly sane by comparison.
4. THE ENTOURAGE
Can we just discuss the incredible prospect of Kim Kardashian in a Portaloo? Of North rocking mini-Hunters? (Say what you will about the Kardashians, there is no denying that will be cute.) Of Kendall doing a Kate Moss and redefining festival fashion? Of Kris Jenner’s face when confronted with field after field of body-painted teepee-dwellers, goth circus acts, glitter fairies and – most distressingly of all – middle-aged blokes with no top on wearing multicolour jester hats? Oh. My.
5. IT’S NOT COLDPLAY
And with that, we do believe we just won the argument.