The petition, which has already attracted 90,000 signatures since its launch on Monday, argues Kanye West’s music does not fall in line with the UK festival’s traditional bookings. It calls on organizers to instead book a rock band to headline.
However, in an editorial for the Guardian, Eavis defends the booking. “To say that our headliners should be ‘rock’ is, I think, a bit silly. Those acts never have been limited to rock, and they never will be. Stevie Wonder, The Prodigy, Curtis Mayfield, The Chemical Brothers, Jay Z, Gorillaz, Beyoncé and plenty of others prove that.”
Instead, Eavis writes, “We think the story this year should not be: ‘Why is Kanye coming?’ but: ‘How amazing is it that Kanye is coming?’ One of the world’s biggest superstars and a music legend, always interesting, never boring. He has agreed to play a festival where headliners get paid a fraction of their normal rate in support of Oxfam, Water Aid and Greenpeace as well as thousands of other worthy causes. We think that’s pretty great.”
Eavis also takes issue with the negative way in which some people have responded to both the festival and Kanye. “Who are those people silently shouting in disgust, throwing out threats from behind their screens? It certainly isn’t pleasant to be on the receiving end of that. I can’t even imagine how it makes Kanye feel.”
Eavis adds that the festival has only received four requests for refunds since Kanye was announced as a headliner. Read the full editorial here.