My very good friend and respected DJ Dharmendra Rama and I have been locked in a debate ever since the news came out that Taylor Swift would be headlining Glastonbury. We have seen this kind of thing before when people like Kanye West, Beyonce or Jay-Z headlined the annual music festival, with many people holding the belief that those kind of acts don’t belong at the festival, which has been held in the UK for what will be 50 years next year. I am of the opinion that she should play, Dharmendra is not convinced, let’s take a look at our reasons why.
Against The Grain
The main reasons against why Taylor Swift should not be playing this festival is that her type of music does not fit with what Glastonbury festival is all about. After all this was a festival which began as a folk festival, and it widely believed that the Pyramid stage headliners should be those who play folk, rock or two are at least legends of the music scene. Now something which I do tend to agree with that many against the idea of Swift headlining have put forward, is that it is a damning indictment on the state of rock music that there aren’t any obvious bands for this headline slot.
Why She Absolutely Should
For me, I genuinely believe that she is more than entitled to play this festival, and although it isn’t, nor will ever be a pop festival, it is perfectly in the style of Glastonbury to place one of pop’s biggest stars at the top of their bill. If the whole festival was packed with Bieber, Swift ad K-Pop bands then I may have a different view, but the bill still looks incredible and very Glasto-esque.
Something which many people forget is that Taylor Swift started off as a country music star, which the last time I checked was definitely folk music. She has since gone on to create folk songs, pop songs, electronic music, rock anthems and ballads which straddle multiple musical genres. Another thing that people should remember, is that this is a girl who writes her own songs and who plays her own instruments, a common accusation leveled at those in the pop music industry.
Finally, Glastonbury has to stay relevant and in order to do that it has to embrace the way in which music is heading. The charts are made up with pop and hip-hip above everything else, there us no longer the Britpop bands, or the classic rock bands and folk artists which once graced the stage, the world has changed, music has changed and as a result of all of this, Glastonbury too has had to drastically change the choices which it makes.
Where do you stand on Taylor playing Glastonbury, did they get it right, or have they made a big mistake?