Black Sky Thinking: Glastonbury – Aryan folk festival

Mighty White

With NME today publishing a rather desperate, exclamation-mark riddled defence of Glastonbury by Emily Eavis, and Man Of The People Noel Gallagher saying hip hop should get orfff our green and pleasant laaaand, Steven Wells dons his wellies and wades into the debate

There is no racism – casual, institutional or overt – in indie music. If indie musicians state that English identity is threatened by immigration, that is not racist. And if indie fans talk about hip-hop in language reminiscent of that used by Adolf Hitler to describe Jews in Mein Kampf ("contamination", "filth", "disease") that too isn’t racist. In fact to even suggest that it might be racist, is racist – racist against white males who just happen to despise black music and only like music made my white males for white males.

A case in point: Emily Eavis recently made the statement that Glastonbury ticket sales were slow because headliners Kings Of Leon, Jay Z and The Verve "are all good but not A-list bands".

This was reported on under the headline ’Glastonbury Attendance Down Because Of Medium Range Jay-Z’.

Many NME readers, not one of whom is even slightly racist, responded to the shocking news that a coloured chap would be headlining Glastonbury – Western civilisation’s premier Aryan folk music festival – with much gnashing of teeth and rending of all-white band logo-ed T-shirts.

"Jay-Z and hip-hop is not what Glasto is all about and never has been," pointed out a poster on

"The festival needs to stay true to itself and that does not include hip hop acts," agreed another reader. "Bring back Oasis or Radiohead – they are classics that people never bore of seeing at Glasto – this is what it is all about- not Jay-Z."

"I’ll be as far away as possible from this filth!!" promised one reader, while another claimed: "Jay-Z has officially ruined my summer, if we were in America I’m sure we’d be able to sue, right?"

(’My client’s case, my Lord, is that he bought a Glastonbury ticket in the reasonable expectation that the headlining acts would all be "indie-poppers" of pure European ancestry. One can only imagine his horror upon discovering that one headliner was in fact of African ancestry, and a ’pop-rapper’ to boot.")

Another poster insisted (presumably while waxing the bonnet of his racing green Triumph Spitfire and twirling the end of this handlebar moustaches) that Michael Eavis "keep [to] the tradition of putting on Radiohead to headline or Coldplay."

Ah yes, tradition. Where would pop music be without it?

Jay-z is a "disaster" said one poster. "Jay-Z doesn’t suit Glastonbury at all," said another. "Michael Eavis has just ruined the image of Glastonbury in one swoop," said still a third. And – of course – any similarity with the language employed by white suburbanites horrified by the arrival of a non-white family in their festering little in-bred monocultural cul-de-sac is entirely coincidental.

"This is the start of American music taking over," argued a reader from an alternate dimension not entirely dissimilar too our own, but where rock’n’roll was invented in Croydon in 1995. "Rap has blasted the world of rock in the States and I guarantee that in five years this will be normal. Please stop this infection while you can. Nothing against jay-z but still it is the beginning of the end."

As well as being called an infection and a contamination, Jay-Z was also described by readers as "useless hip hop wank", "rubbish" and having "no talent at all."

"Im (sic) all for interesting and ecclectic (sic) music but am still of the opinion that rap music is just talking fast over a repetitive beat," opined one reader, talking slowly over the throbbing of his own temples. He then described hip hop fans as "illiterate cretinous twats."

Alas not all the comments were as common-sensical. Several readers made the patently absurd claim that the anti-Jay-Z backlash is inspired by casual racism, pig ignorance, unexamined privilege and blanket-sucking cultural cowardice.

The Jay-Z haters, according to these readers, are "parochial and stand-offish" and have "a closeted vision" that "reeks of bigotry".

This of course is exactly the sort of politically correct, right-on anti-racist nonsense that has ruined alternative music ever since the days of Rock against Racism in the 1970s. If people just shut up about racism it would go away. And besides, there isn’t any. When was the last time you saw anybody being horrible to a black person at an indie gig? Exactly.

In their book Faking It, Hugh Barker and Yuval Taylor quote John Powell, organiser of the White Top folk festival held in Southwest Virginia in the 1930s, as saying: "Our only hope for a nation in America lies in grafting our culture on the Anglo Saxon root| [If] we desire a music characteristic of our racial psychology | it must be based on Anglo-Saxon Folk song."

Powell, say the authors, saw his festival as "a way to reaffirm the supremacy of Anglo-Saxon folk song, and therefore no black contestants were permitted."

And can you believe that people called him a racist too!? Yes the crazy, lefty, negro-loving troublemakers who go around seeing racism everywhere (even when everybody knows that there isn’t any)"have always been with us.

They truly are the white fan’s burden.

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