Entertainment & Arts

Glastonbury boss Emily Eavis had death threats after booking Kanye West

Kanye West Image copyright Getty Images

Emily Eavis has said she received death threats after booking Kanye West to headline Glastonbury in 2015.

The festival organiser said she was shocked by the level of criticism she received at the time.

But she directly credits the rapper's set with helping her to book another star - Adele - for the following year.

"I actually had death threats in 2015," she writes in a book, published by Orion, to mark the festival's 50th anniversary.

"Which seemed a little harsh - especially given that we had booked what we considered to be one of the most exciting and innovative artists of his generation.

"But it worked out for Kanye in the end."

Eavis recalled how an anti-Kanye petition - "started by someone who had never been to Glastonbury," sprang up as soon as he was announced to be performing on the Pyramid Stage.

"The media jumped right on it. That kind of negative story will always get clicks and attention, but the coverage becomes self-fulfilling, too."

Image copyright Getty Images

She added: "We had to reassure the people around the artist that it would all work, that these stories don't reflect the attitude of people coming to the festival - or in the UK, for that matter. It's just a load of hot air.

"The criticism we got that year was pretty extreme. And a lot of it was quite personal, as people knew I booked the acts.

"I was an obvious target. As the child of the founder of something, you're always going to be criticised, because you're perceived as doing things differently to how it was done before."

The 40-year-old said she's "had to try to develop a thick skin about it, as it can get pretty unpleasant on social media."

"You can't please everyone, and the haters tend to be the ones shouting the loudest."

Persuading Adele

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Adele headlines Glastonbury Festival in 2016

Emily Eavis, who runs the Worthy Farm event with her dad Michael, explained how she walked Adele - "who'd been coming to Glastonbury since she was a little kid" on to the platform next to the stage just before West came on.

The pair of them "looked out at this huge crowd chanting his name."

"I said: 'Are you ready for it? Come on. Next year?'" recalled Eavis.

"And she looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and said: 'I'm gonna do it.' It was such a brilliant moment."


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