Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Load up the 4x4, it's Festival Time

There are only three things in the world that I hate, and one of them is Glastonbury.

I've never been, because if I had £210 I'd spend it on something useful, like shampoo or some Garfield books. But this year, the festival that Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson accurately described as "the most bourgeois thing on the planet" reached hellish new heights, when festivalgoers objected to Metallica headlining their rock festival.

In fact, it turns out that the last thing Glastonbury attendees want at their rock festival is a rock band. According to one poll, 80% of festivalgoers wanted to sell their ticket after Metallica were announced. First and foremost, this shows the stupidity of spending £210 on a ticket for a concert where you don't know who's playing. If you did that, you're an idiot. It's like spending £210 on a holiday to a mystery location, then complaining when it's North Korea or Stevenage.

So when it's announced that their rock festival will be headlined by one of the world's biggest rock bands, they're pissed off. Because they didn't want rock music at their rock concert. They wanted to eat overpriced organic burgers and watch Kasabian and Jake Bugg and Kelis. I'm with them on that last one, I hope she did Milkshake. Repeatedly.

Sorry for having a go at the middle classes, but don't worry, The Guardian is fighting the corner of that wholly unfortunate and victimised group. It's just frustrating as a fan of rock music, because there are people all over the world who'd kill for a chance to see Metallica. And I mean that literally, some of those fans are insane. So it's frustrating when these festivalgoers respond with such snobbery. Because that's what it is, a bunch of dullards sulking about their organic 6 Music holiday being wrecked by a rock band.

I know some of the criticism towards Metallica was based on frontman James Hetfield’s supporting bear-hunting, and while that's a thoroughly laudable objection, we still can't start filtering acts based on their personal views. That would be ridiculous. You'd have to investigate each member of each band individually, to check none of them have opinions we dislike. We don't programme festivals based on the acts' personal lives. Lily Allen is Keith Allen's daughter, and they let her play. 

The more widespread objection was simply that Metallica's metal sound was unsuitable for the festival's "hippy" vibe. The festival that's sponsored by mobile phone giant EE. Who are owned by telecoms multinational Orange. Where all the acts are signed to labels owned by Universal and Warner and Sony. Dolly Parton owns a theme park. Lily Allen lives in a £3m house in the Cotswolds. Kasabian are idiots. Hippies? They're all corporate cock-sucking dicks, you pricks. Just admit that you don't want a rock band at your rock festival.

Now it's all over, and of course everyone loved Metallica because who wouldn't? And the awful festivalgoers are all back at their awful jobs, because my suggestion to lock Glastonbury with everyone inside wasn't taken seriously, leaving them free to post inane Facebook statuses about how relieved they are to finally have a shower, though not nearly as relieved as us. But I will never let them forget how unbearable they were for complaining about having to see a rock band at their rock festival.

I'll leave you with Adam Buxton's fantastic Festival Song, but first some more from the great Bruce Dickinson: “In the days when Glasto was an alternative festival it was quite interesting, but anywhere Gwyneth Paltrow goes and you can live in an air-conditioned yurt is not for me.”