Previously, we have reported on fans that have been successful in creating Kickstarter campaigns to fund albums, or bring bands to town, but fans organizing in an attempt to persuade an international festival to cancel one of their headlining acts?
This week, hip-hop star Kanye West was announced as a headlining act for Saturday night at the U.K.’s Glastonbury festival. And, since the announcement was made, there has been a certain amount of backlash, along with a Change.org petition that has gained traction on social media.
The original Change.org petition is titled “Cancel Kanye West’s headline slot and get a rock band.” It reads,
“Kanye West is an insult to music fans all over the world. We spend hundreds of pounds to attend glasto, and by doing so, expect a certain level of entertainment.
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!
Lets prevent this musical injustice now!”
At the time of this article’s publication on mxdwn.com, the Change.org petition has 81,519 supporters, and need 68,481 to reach their goal of 150,000 signatures.
In an interview with the entertainment news website NME, the man behind the petition Neil Lonsdale, said that he is surprised by how much the petition has resonated on a serious note with fellow festivalgoers, as he initially created the petition as a joke in response to the announcement of West being named to a headlining slot at the well known festival.
“I fought the temptation to scream and instead opted to hurl my iPhone across the room. Two years ago we had The Rolling Stones playing the Saturday night, and this year we get Kanye West? It’s an outrage!”
“Don’t get me wrong, if it works, then I’ll be more than happy,” he told NME. “I’m not surprised it’s 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 “woo-hoo!” – That is what it’s about.”
In the interview with NME, Lonsdale made a point to stress that he has no “beef” with hip-hop artists. “My beef is with the stage and the fact it’s a headline slot,” he said.
“Glastonbury needs upbeat major artists. Glastonbury is an institution. It is expected that it has the biggest names. The biggest performers. Kanye does not represent that.”
Lonsdale is an education worker from Norfolk, who admits that he has never been to Glastonbury, but has a ticket for this year’s festival, and plans on attending, according to NME.
The original petition has spawned a second counter-petition created by Samuel Cole of London. It is called, “Cancel all acts at Glastonbury other than Kanye West”, and states that West is a “blessing to music fans all over the world”, and as such, “he should take on Glastonbury alone!” At the time of this article’s publication, this pro-Kanye petition has 533 supporters, and need 467 to reach their goal of 1,000 signatures.
Glastonbury organizer Michael Eavis came out as a supporter of West being named as a headlining act. NME reports that he held up a poster, which read “Yeezy Does It”.
Apart from West’s confirmation, NME reports that the Foo Fighters confirmed their own headlining place in the Glastonbury line up during their 2015 NME Awards acceptance speech. So, one headlining slot remains to be filled with festival attendees eagerly waiting in anticipation.