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Taylor Swift is headlining Glastonbury and straight white men are gonna hate, hate, hate

Reiss Smith December 16, 2019
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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift will headine Glastonbury in its 50th anniversary year. (Getty)

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.”

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.

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.

Most comments were quickly countered by reason, logic and a healthy portion of shade.

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.'”

Related topics: glastonbury, taylor swift, Twitter

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