The news that Beyonce is to headline the Sunday night of this year’s Glastonbury music festival has been met with derision in some quarters. The artist, one of the biggest selling acts of the modern era and a genuine superstar, is felt to be too poppy and not in keeping with the tradition of the festival. Glastonbury hasn’t experienced this much of a controversy over a headliner since Beyonce’s other half, Jay-Z, was listed as the headliner for the Saturday night a few years back. Perhaps the couple will feel as though it is something about them that people don’t like but is there any excuse to get worked up over such an announcement?
The thing about Glastonbury is that it is a mainstream music festival that covers so many different styles and genres. In fact, for many people, music isn’t really part of the Glastonbury experience as there is so much to see and do. However, with a multitude of artists and tents providing everything a music fan could want, should there be such uproar over a pop artist being announced as the headliner? If Beyonce was announced as the headline act for Download or Creamfields, then yes, the attendees may have cause for complaint but it is hard to see why anyone would complain about Beyonce closing the festival on the Sunday night.
This headliner will at least offer excitement
With rumours circulating about Coldplay and U2 being the other headliners, Beyonce is likely to be the most exciting of the three headline acts of the weekend and may provide some much needed glamour and excitement. These bands may sell lots of records and are pretty earnest in their opinions but they are not what you would call exciting or fun. The chance to see Beyonce leading tens of thousands of people in the ‘Single Ladies’ dance is surely something that all festival goers would take some joy from?
The fact that there are so many moans further reinforces the thought that Glastonbury has moved away from the free-thinking festival that it used to be and is becoming as homogenised as the V Festival. Acts at festivals these days can be interchangeable so the fact that Glastonbury has managed to pull in an artist that is rarely on the UK festival circuit should be heralded as a triumph, not deemed as a negative sign.
Is Glastonbury not about being diverse?
The beauty about music festivals like Glastonbury is the fact that they embrace diversity and offer something for everyone. This is part of the appeal of the festival and people cannot start moaning about it now because it is not the sort of diversity they like.
Jay-Z turned out to be one of the most exciting headliners the festival has had in recent years and even managed to make a joke out of the controversy his set had created. Noel Gallagher gave a sound bite remark about Jay-Z’s appearance which the media then blew up but Jay-Z showed some class by performing ‘Wonderwall’ in his set. It can only be hoped that Beyonce has something clever up her diamante sleeve when she headlines Glastonbury.