Fans of the popular Glastonbury Festival, a yearly celebration of music in England, have asked organizers to replace Kanye West as the lead act.
Pilton, England – Kanye West has rubbed a few people the wrong way in the last decade. From taking the thunder out of Taylor Swift’s MTV Music Awards win to going on a political diatribe during a program meant to raise funds to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, the “Yeezus” performer has a knack for tasting his own heel.
It should come as no surprise that some fans are protesting his appearance at the popular Glastonbury Festival, a five-day event held yearly in Pilton, Somerset, England.
“Kanye West is an insult to music fans all over the world,” said Neil Lonsdale, a regular attendee who described the rapper as an “egotistical, maniacal, disgrace.”
Lonsdale has begun to circulate a petition requesting the people in charge of the festival politely ask West to stay on the other side of the pond.
According to Michael Eavis, the yearly event’s organizer, such a request is easier said than done. “We’ve got contracts in place, yeah? Can’t very well go and break the contract, especially as it’s too late to book anyone else.”
In fact, the only other confirmed main-stage acts thus far are Lionel Richie and Foo Fighters, neither of which have the clout to be a Glastonbury headliner, not with names like Kings of Leon, Blur, Arctic Monkeys, and Basement Jaxx filling out the slot in recent years. Finding a replacement with such a wide appeal would be difficult this close to the festival date.
Eavis’s concerns, however, are met in the petition started by Lonsdale, which asks the organizer to “replace Kanye West with a trio of mannequins and an iPod playing a selection of metal and alternative rock hits from the 80s and 90s.”
“We spend hundreds of pounds to attend glasto,” the petitioner claimed, “and by doing so, expect a certain level of entertainment.”
In his view, the trio of store dummies and an MP3 player can provide a similar level of entertainment without the racial remarks and conspiracy theories lacing West’s music. Kanye, Lonsdale believes, is too controversial for the Woodstockesque Glastonbury. “I think a lot of people want to go to a festival, stand in a field, all come together, have a sing have a dance. And I think that Kanye and his music might not be that.”
Lonsdale has even offered to provide the mannequins, a trio of which can be borrowed from a department store in Norfolk several other petition signers are employed. “And I’m bloody sure someone will bring an iPod we can plug in to the sound system.”
This won’t be the first time the three dummies have headlined a concert, claims the store’s manager, Jubal Murphy. Last summer the trio’s immobile band, named Kin o’ Man, toured southern England, playing numerous small local festivals. “They play anything you can load into an iPod,” Murphy said. “Except opera. The guys just don’t have the vocal range.”
Apparently Lonsdale isn’t the only music fan who feels this way about the American rap artist. Within days the petition had gathered over 80,000 signatures, though it’s unclear how many of those actually belong to mannequins.
Eavis and other members of the festival’s management have yet to respond to the petition.