Glastonbury Organizer Received Death Threats for Booking Kanye West
Earlier this year, England's Glastonbury Festival announced Kanye West as one of the 2015 festival’s headliners, incurring the wrath of concertgoers who signed a petition to have the rapper removed from the roster. Now, Glastonbury organizer Emily Eavis has revealed that she received death threats for including West on the lineup.
“It was not a pleasant world we unwrapped,” she told the London Evening Standard. “I had death threats and stuff. It was horrible.” She said the backlash was surprising and far-reaching. “This incredible onslaught worldwide… It was quite upsetting because we were talking about something that was so exciting for the festival,” said Eavis. “Kanye West is an amazing force as a performer. For us, getting the biggest star in the world was an amazing coup.”
Eavis said the complaints haven't stopped, either. “The scrutiny is daily,” she said. “Whatever we do is torn apart and analyzed. It’s hard to concentrate on the job because you can get easily distracted by the hoo-ha.”
The petition to remove West (which has received more than 130,000 online signatures) called him an “insult to music fans all over the world” and described Glastonbury’s headliner choice as a “musical injustice.”
The statement says: “We spent 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 to someone deserving”
The petition was created by Neil Lonsdale, a man who admitted that he'd never been to the festival but who specifically drew issue with West not being “upbeat” enough for the Glastonbury audience. “Glastonbury needs upbeat major artists,” he said in an interview. “Glastonbury is an institution. It is expected that it has the biggest names. The biggest performers. Kanye does not represent that.”