Taylor Swift is headlining Glastonbury and straight white men are gonna hate, hate, hate
Taylor Swift has been announced as the Sunday headliner for Glastonbury 2020, and to the surprise of absolutely no one, it hasn’t gone down well with a certain subsection of the internet.
Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis described Swift as “one of the biggest stars in the world” as he confirmed her headline slot.
“It’s going to be beautiful,” he continued. “And her songs are absolutely amazing. We’re so delighted.”
“She’s one of the biggest stars in the world and her songs are absolutely amazing. We’re so delighted.”
Taylor Swift. Sunday night headliner. Glastonbury 2020. pic.twitter.com/SHp9A4GG4w
— Glastonbury Festival (@GlastoFest) December 15, 2019
Swift said that she was “ecstatic” to be headlining the Pyramid Stage during what will be the festival’s 50th anniversary celebration.
She joins the previously announced Paul McCartney, and Diana Ross, who will play the Sunday afternoon Legends Slot.
I’m ecstatic to tell you that I’ll be headlining Glastonbury on its 50th anniversary – See you there! 💋 pic.twitter.com/2gJ40mEiDH
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) December 15, 2019
Taylor Swift is one of the most successful artists of all time.
The singer-songwriter has sold more than 50 million albums in the 13 years since her debut, and has won 10 Grammy Awards, 29 American Music Awards (more than any other artist) and 23 Billboard Awards (matching Beyoncé for most wins by a female artist).
She was listed by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time, and has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
And yet, despite her many, many successes, a number of people (mostly men) have deemed her unqualified to headline the festival.
Apparently, Glastonbury – a festival with more than 70 stages, which in recent years has been headlined by acts as diverse as *checks notes* Stormzy, Adele, Beyoncé, Stevie Wonder and Kanye West – is “supposed to be a rock and indie venue” exclusively.
Wasn’t Glastonbury festival supposed to be a rock and indie venue? Taylor Swift represents flowers and fragrant mist spray in a sea of 13 year old girls. About as rock as my left nut.
— Baldybritbiker (@ol_holmes) December 15, 2019
Glastonbury has lost what it used to be: Taylor Swift headlining… POP music!? No thank you. Glastonbury used to be a place for indie rock bands with special lyrics you knew all the words to, an electricity in the air, guitars… it’s getting ruined!
— John Steinbeck (@digitouttahere) December 16, 2019
Most comments were quickly countered by reason, logic and a healthy portion of shade.
I mean she is hugely successful, plays guitar and piano and writes all her own songs. Sounds exactly like a Glastonbury headliner tbh
— Ashling (@ashlingplunkett) December 15, 2019
Stream you need to calm down boomer 💋
— Hana ( fan account ) (@MissAmericHANA) December 15, 2019
I always wonder who people would rather? Some unknown rock or indie band to keep to the ‘festival reputation’ or one of the old bands to do it again? Taylor is a 30 year old woman, one of the biggest stars in the world, she plays music, this is just the current now. Deal.
— JP Hannon (@jpalh) December 15, 2019
Cue all the old white men complaining about Taylor Swift because she isn’t a dad rock band. Fellas, she’s the biggest female artist on the planet. What a booking
— Emily Cramp (@EmilyRoseCramp) December 15, 2019
Lads losing their shit about Taylor Swift headlining Glastonbury, the absolute fact of the matter boys is there are no four piece all male rock bands with an audience that big left to headline Glasto guys. Times change
— Marc O’Reachtaire (@O_Reachtaire) December 15, 2019
typical middle aged men complaining about taylor headlining glastonbury pic.twitter.com/8n1LmKrhib
— caitlin is seeing taylor (@alltoowellthirI) December 15, 2019
Glastonbury has a woman problem.
Swift joins a very small circle of women artists who have topped the Glastonbury bill.
She follows in the footsteps of Suzanne Vega, Sinead O’Connor, Beyoncé and Adele, and women-fronted bands including Shakespears Sister, Skunk Anannsie, The White Stripes and Florence + The Machine.
Emily Eavis, the festival’s co-organiser, admitted in 2019 that more needed to be done in terms of representing women.
That year all of the headline acts were men, though Eavis was applauded for giving a platform to a black, British grime artist, Stormzy.
Everyone wants it, everyone’s hungry for women, but they’re just not there.
She said at the time that she had wanted to put a woman at the top of the bill, but found “the pool isn’t big enough.”
“It’s time to nurture female talent. Everyone wants it, everyone’s hungry for women, but they’re just not there,” she told the BBC.
Overall, last year’s line-up was 42% women performers. This year, she is aiming for a 50/50 split.
Eavis said that she has been forced to confront men working for the festival who have been less than receptive to her equality-focused agenda.
“I’m ashamed to say that, within our organisation, there’s men who book stages, and quite a few of them are old men and they don’t understand why I’m pushing all the time.
“One of them presented their line-up this year and I was like, ‘I’m really sorry but you’re just going to have to take some of the blokes off. There’s no women.’ And they were like, ‘Oh for God’s sake, you’ve lost your mind.'”