(AllHipHop News) Glastonbury festival organizer Emily Eavis has hailed rappers Jay-Z and Stormzy for transforming the feel of the British rock and pop festival.
Founded as a blues and folk event by Emily’s dad Michael in 1970, for most of its history Glastonbury’s headline slots have been dominated by rock acts, but in 2008 Jay became the first rapper to play a headline slot on its iconic Pyramid Stage.
Speaking to Music Week magazine, the festival chief said his performance had marked a turning point in the history of the event – as it opened it up to fans of different genres.
“There are some years where you witness a change, where you can see a change in the course of its history,” she explained. “You watch the news and you can see something that shifts things politically or whatever. And I think with Jay-Z, that was our year where (Glastonbury) shifted and now it’s in a different place.”
Glastonbury marked another milestone earlier this year when U.K. grime superstar Stormzy became the first Black British solo artist to headline the Pyramid Stage, and Emily feels it may substantially change the feel of future festivals.
“With Stormzy, again, that was a real turning point and that’s what makes it exciting and interesting – shifting the idea of what we should be doing, who should be playing and opening minds,” she added. “Even on the High Street, up the road in the nearest town, you get people saying, ‘You can’t beat a guitar band’, or ‘I don’t agree with this hip-hop stuff’ and it amazes me. The world is genreless, but you still get those ancient opinions.”
Next year, Glastonbury marks its 50th anniversary, with Diana Ross already signed up to perform, and Paul McCartney reportedly lined up for a headline slot.