Gallagher: Jay-Z is wrong for Glastonbury

Noel Gallagher, the notoriously outspoken Oasis guitarist, criticised the organisers of the Glastonbury Festival yesterday for featuring the American rapper Jay-Z as a headlining act, declaring hip-hop "wrong" for the annual event.

Saying that the festival was "built on a tradition of guitar music", Gallagher said that the scheduled appearance of a rap star on the central Pyramid stage could be the reason why tickets for the summer festival had not yet sold out.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," he said. "If you start to break it then people aren't going to go. I'm sorry, but Jay-Z? No chance."

Gallagher added: "Glastonbury has a tradition of guitar music and even when they throw the odd curveball in on a Sunday night you go 'Kylie Minogue?' I don't know about it. But I'm not having hip-hop at Glastonbury. It's wrong."

This year, there were 100,000 tickets sold for Glastonbury on the first day but in past years all tickets have sold out in a matter of hours. Oasis appeared as the headline act on the Pyramid Stage in 1995 and 2004.

The Somerset festival, which prides itself on its "inclusiveness", has showcased a dizzying range of musical acts since its inception in 1970, ranging from Al Green to Fat Boy Slim.

Writing in today's Independent Emily Eavis, co-organiser of the festival, defended the choice of musical acts following "hysteria in sections of the press", saying that, "Glastonbury must continue to evolve and develop".

She says: "Maybe what the critics have really revealed is something about attitudes that are still all too prevalent in Britain: an instinct to go back to base and play safe. An innate conservatism, a stifling reluctance to try something different.

"In the end, the hot air surrounding Jay-Z's performance will blow away."

Organisers also pointed out that the festival's nine other stages would undoubtedly cater for those who were not fans of the rapper, including acts such as the Verve, Kings of Leon, Leonard Cohen, Panic at the Disco, Goldfrapp and Jimmy Cliff.

Jay-Z, aged 38, rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most financially successful urban acts in America of all time, and is sometimes referred to as the richest man in hip-hop. He is celebrated for blending street and popular musical styles and he is said to compose lyrics without the use of pen and paper. Five years ago, he announced his retirement from recording music to stunned fans but returned to the industry in 2006.

Kanya King, founder of the Mobo Awards, said Gallagher was wrong to criticise the festival's choice of headliner.

"Given that Glastonbury is trying to reach a younger audience and diversify then I think it's important that they embrace hip-hop. It seems only fitting that you should have a global superstar act like Jay-Z on the show. Glastonbury doesn't have that many hip-hop acts on the main stage, so maybe music lovers will get to see him and their opinions will change," she said.

Black and urban acts which have proved hugely popular in the past at Glastonbury have included Roots Manuva, the Marley family and Cypress Hill, who played the Pyramid stage in 2000. Last year, the East London rapper Dizzee Rascal played with the Sheffield-based guitarist band, Arctic Monkeys. He is set to headline the Park stage this summer.

The decision to hand Jay-Z the headline slot at this year's Glastonbury had already been the subject of criticism prior to Gallagher's remarks.

Glastonbury's co-organiser, Emily Eavis, confirmed thatJay-Z would be playing the festival despite speculation that he was considering pulling out, and she added that the lack of sell-out ticket sales could be down to the consistently appalling weather over the past few years.

Eavis said the festival always attracted criticism for its headliners, but added: "We have a responsibility to do something a bit different." The full line-up will be announced on 1 May.

Arts and Entertainment
Stewart Lee (Gavin Evans)


Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own