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Glastonbury Not Selling Out

Apparently, for the first time since 2008, Glastonbury failed to sell out in a matter of hours. Organisers made it quite clear that this was normal, there is a credit crunch going on, the weather the last few years has been shocking, there were only a few left anyway and it was nothing to do with the line-up being a bit underwhelming. That last point, they made clear, was one to take in. It is a keeper. Glastonbury not selling out was NOTHING TO DO WITH THE LINE-UP, oh no, and you would be a liar, a filthy rotten liar if you said it was. Nope, not that, lots of other factors. Think of the rain.

Except, and this is the crucial part, they had 35,000 tickets left. That’s not one or two. That’s fucking lots. Really, that many ardent Glasto-goers have been put of by the fact that it might rain…at a festival…in the UK?! Are we supposed to be mental?

The Glastonbury organisers arrogance over the last few years has been a factor. To put it bluntly, these people have been so far up their own arses they could see Jo Whiley’s feet. A few years ago, they decided that they would put the tickets up for sale before they announced the line-up. The paying customer didn’t need to know who was on, you see, they were surely only going for the ‘Glastonbury Experience’. Such trivialities as who was actually playing the fucker were beneath our straight-from-67 ideals. This is about a celebration of who and what we are. this is not, under any circumstances, a chance to see a lot of great acts in an oversold, overly big festival while a bunch of jobless hippy chancers try to sell you magic dust at £9 a throw. This is about our collective conciousness, and fuck you Mr. Clean if you can’t see that. Well, turns out you can only pull that piss for so long before you get it spat back in your face. If it’s ME that’s paying for the ticket Mr. Eavis, and not YOU, then I’LL decide what the fuck I’m coming for, thank you very much.

So onto this year, when (anticipating that the growth of the boutique festival would have an effect) Glasto DID release it’s headliners. And they were shit. First, our old friend arrogance got them to book Jay-Z. Now there is nothing wrong with getting Jay-Z, he’s a huge seller and an icon. But he is not, however, a man likely to appeal to the traditional Glasto audience. Put it this way, if you were booking a Death Row records tour, would you book the Stooges? No, of course not. So why did the Glasto guys and girls do it? Because they could. It was ironic, and, like, funny? And surely people would appreciate the joke? Erm, no.

Then there is The Verve, a moderately domestically-successful British band (over a decade ago and of no real lasting influence) whose recent tour saw them playing 3-5,000 venue arenas (and getting pretty average reviews at that.) And finally Kings of Leon, a decent band but nowhere near a small festival headliner, never mind one this size. They’d have been happy to be on a 6pm. It’s a case of extremely lazy booking, done for the bookers own amusement, and it has come back and bitten them on the arse.

So Glastonbury looks like it is going to have to dig deep to be a success this year. Good. To be honest, the organisers have rested on their laurels for far too long and basically put the onus of having a good time on to the paying customer. It’s not entirely their fault – Glastonbury has become the sacred cow of the British Live Scene, you simply aren’t allowed to criticise – but now they have to realise that in the end, all the hippy/corporate-hybrid bullshit in the wold won’t let them escape the laws of supply and demand.


8 Responses

  1. I am not paying the money. Instead I shall adopt a scouse accent, tear down the fence of my own house, steal from a tent I have erected in my living room, take drugs that are actually talcum powder, wear a tie dye T shirt for 3 days and then stand in the shower to get soaked.

  2. What we have here is a fundamental disrespect for the ‘Glastonbury Experience’! Micahel Eavis judges you!

  3. This is ridiculous.

  4. what is ridiculous? I quite like the idea of erecting a tent in my living room and snorting talc. In fact that’s my summer hols now sorted.

    Oh and I agree btw the Glastonbury line-up is shocking this year, I’m not surprised it’s not a sell out!

  5. It’s ridiculous to say that it’s good that glastonbury hasn’t sold out. So they tried something different. I think that’s brave.
    I for one hope that Jay-Z doesn’t cancel and that it’s a great festival. that’ll show you!!

  6. Snark – if you read the article, you would see I don’t say “it’s good that glastonbury hasn’t sold out.” I say “So Glastonbury looks like it is going to have to dig deep to be a success this year. Good.” Different thing. I am saying it has gone stale and hasn’t taken into account it’s core fans, the ones who made it a success through the 90’s when it wasn’t so trendy.

    As for Jay-Z, they could book Westlife. THAT would be brave. This is just gallery-playing bullshit. And he will cancel, so it’s gallery-playing bullshit that hasn’t even worked.

    But I have to say, I love the passion you show when defending a fairly ropey looking festival unless you are an organiser. And passion like that is to be lauded. In fact, it turned me on a little, Snarky. It turned me on…..

  7. meh!

  8. For the record, I hope they DO get it right. Glastonbury SHOULD be the key event of the summer. I just think they’ve lost the plot a bit in the last few years and let the event take care of itself.

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