Glastonbury 2016 Line Up: Hit or Miss?

Glastonbury 2016 Line Up: Hit or Miss?

Glastonbury, the historical five-day festival of music, culture and camping, based in a field in Somerset, never fails to grab the headlines. More often than not, it’s the announcement of headline acts that receives the biggest backlash…*cough* Kanye *cough* West *cough*.

However, this year seems to be slightly different, with the entire line up feeling the wrath of music lovers via social media, whether they have tickets or not. Disappointing and underwhelming seem to be the biggest takeaway from all the tweets and posts.

So, is this a justified response? Perhaps an overreaction or even bitterness from those who missed out on going?

It cannot be easy catering to so many people, with last year’s event attracting around 135,000 people. Anticipation always runs high as rumours fly around on social media, as the build up to the announcement of acts begins. What artist is touring where? Who’s releasing an album when? No matter what, it seems someone will be disappointed or unhappy with whatever selection is made.

Coldplay was the first headline act to be announced for this year’s event, arguably not the greatest start by the Eavis’s. Simply put, a lot of people hate Coldplay…passionately. On top of that, this is their fourth time headlining (2002, 2005 and 2011). Fans across social media were clamouring for someone new.

Weeks later, Muse were announced for the second headlining slot, another act who has graced the Pyramid Stage twice before. This had onlookers wondering where the alternative or old-school headliner would be coming from.

Well that question was soon answered with Adele being announced as the final headliner, sending Twitter into near meltdown. Claims that her style isn’t suited to Glastonbury and questions around her ability to hold the crowd spread like wildfire.

On Tuesday, the remaining line up was announced and for many it fell flat. Despite being packed with a number of ‘names’, including the likes of Jeff Lynne’s ELO, Beck, Disclosure, Ellie Goulding, LCD Soundsystem, PJ Harvey, Madness and Stormzy, fans were not best pleased.

Reading down the completed line up, you would be forgiven for thinking that you were looking at the line up for the Wireless festival or Reading and Leeds, not Glastonbury. It’s also fair to say that the top of the bill lacks that certain old school rock and roll vibe, especially when you compare it to recent headlining acts, like The Rolling Stones or The Who. Perhaps an act like The Stone Roses, replacing Muse or Coldplay would have been a better idea?

Also, for many the legends slot hasn’t lived up to expectation. Jeff Lynne’s ELO is without a doubt worthy of playing the slot, and Mr Blue Sky will be sung by all in attendance. Yet, with the likes of Dolly Parton and Lionel Richie previously filling the slot and some would argue stealing the show, the reaction to Jeff Lynne’s ELO could be deemed reasonable.

Yes, it’s probably unfair to compare the current line up and headliners to previous ones, but it’s almost impossible not to. Most people who got tickets when they went on sale have spent months watching clips of previous years on YouTube and discussing who they want to see with their friends. The expectations are of course very high, and so they should be for the price people pay.

That being said, not everyone is disappointed or unhappy with the line-up, and there are plenty of positives. Both Coldplay and Muse have excellent reputations for being great live bands.

Adele is of course a vocal powerhouse and will most likely be on her game to prove the haters wrong. Let’s not forget Kanye West received a large backlash of hate, but his set was extremely well received on the night.

Further down the list, acts like Madness are universally popular among all age groups and provide a great crowd atmosphere. By including acts like Stormzy and Skepta, at least Glastonbury can’t be accused of playing it too safe.

Going off only the Twitter reaction, you would have to say this year’s line up is a miss, however the payment window for those who have tickets opens on 1 April and closes at 23.59 on 7 April. It will be interesting to see how many go on resale, meaning some decided not to pay for their ticket. As for myself, I will be pitching up my tent on 22 June somewhere near the Pyramid Stage…in the sun (hopefully).

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