Glastonbury 2014: We can't police bands' politics, says Emily Eavis in Metallica row
Ms Eavis said the metal band 'have been trying to play for so long'
Its embrace of hippie ethics and counter-cultural causes made Glastonbury unique among festivals. But organiser Emily Eavis has defended the decision to book Metallica by saying the political views espoused by the event’s headline acts are irrelevant.
“Every year we have people campaigning,” she told NME.
“Last year we had (controversial rapper) Tyler, The Creator; we had Beyoncé anti-fur; we had Jay-Z and guns; we have this. We can’t get involved in other people’s politics. If we did that we’d rule out most bands in the world.”
Glastonbury veterans among the 135,000 fans who began to set up camp on the Somerset farm after the gates were flung open on Wednesday morning, may regret the diminution of the festival’s political ideals. Glastonbury gave CND a platform in the 80s and donated funds to striking miners before forming a long-standing partnership with Greenpeace.
This year Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson vowed never to bring his band to the festival, now a staple of the BBC’s Summer schedules, after dismissing it as “the most bourgeois thing on the planet.”
Glastonbury’s establishment credentials were confirmed when Ms Eavis’s name appeared on a list of guests expected to attend David Cameron’s “cool Britannia” Downing Street party next Monday. The party will celebrate the best of Britain’s creative talent and is also designed to recruit Tory backers before next year’s Election, according to Whitehall insiders.
Ms Eavis described Metallica as “an incredible live force and we’re totally up for it.” Her father, Michael Eavis, the festival founder, said: “I have to see what Metallica do. Metallica have been trying to play for so long – they ring every year, and they're so polite about it.”
Metallica's Glastonbury Festival set time clashes with Mogwai and MGMT Kasabian, Arcade Fire and Dolly Parton are among the highlights of this weekend’s event. But organisers believe the radical spirit will survive at the Left Field Tower, renamed in honour of the late Tony Benn, who spoke passionately at the Left Field area reserved for political debate.
Dickinson explained his scepticism at the event’s resolutely mainstream status. “In the days when Glasto was an alternative festival it was quite interesting, but anywhere Gwyneth Paltrow goes and you can live in an air-conditioned yurt is not for me,” the singer said.
Will explain back story to fictional kingdom Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 4 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 5 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
Best horror films of all time
Benedict Cumberbatch describes the 'explosive' Sherlock sex scene that will never happen
Downton Abbey season 5 episode 6 - review: Thomas and Lady Edith show sad signs of the times
Halloween 2014: The horror films and scary TV to watch on Netflix
Game of Thrones season 7: Leading cast members sign contracts for further series
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything