Thursday, June 05, 2008

Michael Eavis, the lovely kids and the black chap

Already firmly in his annual 'this year's Glastonbury was the best ever' mode - before a single drop of rain falls on a single tent - Michael Eavis has been justifying the bookings policy to the Associated Press. It might have been better if he hadn't:

"It's the best line-up we've ever had. It's absolute rubbish."

No, he wasn't suddenly changing his mind - he means that the criticism is rubbish. Although with the Kings of Leon as headliners, perhaps it was just a Freudian slip.

So, how can Michael know this is the best line-up ever? The kids, man, the kids:
"Everywhere I go kids come up to me in the street and say it's fantastic Jay-Z playing. Lovely kids in their teens. And I say 'Have you bought tickets?' and they say 'No, but we're all coming!'"

Now, this is the same Michael Eavis who has spent ten years of his life building fences and overseeing hideously complicated registration systems to keep out people without tickets suddenly gurgling with delight at the prospect of hordes of "lovely kids in their teens" turning up without tickets, lured in by Jay-Z.

But it gets worse:
"I was on the train and there was a fellow that was running the buffet car, a black chap, and he said 'We're so excited by the line-up this year. We're all coming down.' And it's fantastic to get more black people here. It'd be wonderful. That's more important than what Noel Gallagher says. These are the people that I meet out in the streets everyday, you know what I mean."

How fantastic to have black people like the chap on the buffet car coming, eh? While Eavis has a point that, Virgin rail employees' opinions probably outrank Noel Gallagher's, the whole tone of the quote demonstrates simultaneously how incredibly well-meaning Eavis, while being terribly, terribly wrong. It's like George Constanza trying to befriend his plumber so that he could claim some non-white pals.