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
Keith from The Office ten years on

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams prepares to enter the House of Black and White as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones season five

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Albert Hammond Junior of The Strokes performs at the Natural History Museum on July 6, 2006 in London, England.

music
Arts and Entertainment
Howard Mollison, as played by Michael Gambon
tv review
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech

The best TV shows and films coming to the service

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Muscling in: Noah Stewart and Julia Bullock in 'The Indian Queen'

opera
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TVViewers predict what will happen to Miller and Hardy
Arts and Entertainment
Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in season two of the series

Watch the new House of Cards series three trailer

TV
Arts and Entertainment
An extract from the sequel to Fight Club

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant, Eve Myles and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch series two

TV Review
Arts and Entertainment
Old dogs are still learning in 'New Tricks'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
'Tonight we honour Hollywood’s best and whitest – sorry, brightest' - and other Neil Patrick Harris Oscars jokes

Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards

Arts and Entertainment
Patricia Arquette making her acceptance speech for winning Best Actress Award

Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears

Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003