We all know Kanye West has his share of enemies — both domestically and around the world. However, a British music lover has taken his ire with the rapper to a new level: He’s started an online petition to try and halt West’s headlining set at this year’s prestigious Glastonbury Festival in the UK.
So far, nearly 60,000 people have signed the petition Neil Lonsdale posted on change.org, in which he calling West an “egotistical maniacal disgrace” unworthy of top billing.
“Kanye West is an insult to music fans all over the world,” Lonsdale wrote. “We spend hundreds of pounds to attend Glasto, and by doing so, expect a certain level of entertainment. Kanye has been very outspoken on his views on music….he should listen to his own advice and pass his headline slot on to someone deserving! Let’s prevent this musical injustice now!”
However biting the words may seem, Lonsdale’s primary argument is not actually that West is controversial, arrogant, or inconsiderate. The main thrust is that he doesn’t play rock music, and Glastonbury has almost always featured rock headliners.
“Two years ago we had the Rolling Stones playing the Saturday night and this year we get Kanye West?” Lonsdale sputters in the petition. “It’s an outrage. Get a rock band!”
Many who signed Lonsdale’s petition were, however, more upset about the rapper’s cocky (and some say discriminatory) comments than the genre of music he played. “I work at Glastonbury festival and would be utterly ashamed to be associated with such a misogynistic, selfish, racist and arrogant being as Kanye West,” wrote Eleanor Head of Otford, Kent, UK. “Glastonbury Festival is about classic bands, not these sorts of hip-hop artists.”
“I’m signing because I think Kanye West headlining Glasto is outrageous,” wrote Liam Bignold of Bognor, Regis, UK. “The man has no morals and has no talent.”
“He believes his career [is] some sort of public service, saying he is like a soldier,” complained Ben Sutton of Sawtry, UK. “As a soldier, that was my last straw. he is egotistical, stupid, unthoughtful and a disastrous musician. He is the scum at top of the ladder.”
Some who posted on the petition site leaped to West’s defense, calling the festival's decision to book a rap act headliner commendable. “I doubt there are any rock bands that are as progressive, innovative, or even popular as he is right now,” wrote Jordan Howes of the University of Kent.
Added Dan Tennessee Ernie Beames: “[Everyone here says], ‘I don’t like him!’ Lots of other people do. No one is forcing you to see him. There are other bands that will cater to your tastes, and I 100 percent guarantee you there will be tens of thousands of people in that field absolutely loving him. Grow up.”
Festival organizer Michael Eavis was recently photographed smiling and holding up a sign featuring the words, “Yeezy does it!”
West is the first rap artist to headline Glastonbury since Jay-Z played the festival in 2008. The festival runs from June 24 through June 28 and actually does feature a rock act: The Foo Fighters, who play the night before West.