Glastonbury organizer Emily Eavis responds to the petition to remove Kanye West from the U.K. festival's lineup.
On Monday (March 16), Kanye West was selected to headline Glastonbury, one of the world's biggest festivals. Since, a petition attempting to replace Kanye with a rock band has circulated the Internet and already accrued almost 100,000 signatures.
Today, festival organizer Emily Eavis published a letter in The Guardian responding to the petition. Since the festival's inception, she says, complaints about the lineup have been rampant, though, due to the extensive press coverage of the Kanye petition, she felt a special need to publicly respond this year.
Eavis dismisses the Kanye detractors right off the bat: "We think the story this year should not be: 'Why is Kanye coming?' but: 'How amazing is it that Kanye is coming?'" She praised Kanye as one of the world's biggest superstars--a "music legend, always interesting, never boring." She goes on to tell rock purists to look elsewhere: "Those [headlining] acts have never have been limited to rock and never will be."
The protest, she thinks, doesn't necessarily signal the world's hatred of Kanye West, but rather is indicative of a larger problem caused by the Internet: "...some of the vitriol being thrown around this week has made me question the dark underbelly of the web. Who are those people silently shouting in disgust, throwing out threats from behind their screens? It certainly isn’t pleasant to be on the receiving end of that. I can’t even imagine how it makes Kanye feel."
Some petitioners believe Kanye to be a negative role model, a claim which Eavis considers irrelevant: "We book our acts by choosing the best and most challenging musicians on the planet – not by applying some kind of arbitrary morality test." She does remind us, though, that we're dealing with "a man who made a version of a worldwide hit single which highlighted the social issues that conflict diamonds cause in west Africa."
We certainly appreciate Mrs. Eavis's letter, though her latest tweet, a picture of her father (festival founder), just about says it all.