Thursday, April 30, 2009

Glastonbury 2009: Slight overstatement

Even by the standards of meaningless lists, the Time magazine 100 Most Influential People list's inclusion of Michael Eavis seems a little extravagant.

Now, Eavis is a nice enough guy; his festival is successful and although he might sometimes neglect fact in favour of a sunny précis, his intentions are usually well-meant.

But one of the 100 most influential people on the planet? Really? How would you see his influence? Men proud to have their heads on upside-down? A few dozen me-too festivals around the globe? But if it was the latter, would you not expect to see a few more of the Glastonbury-clones being run on a not-for-profit basis at the very least.

Tell us, how did Time choose Eavis?

Coldplay singer Chris Martin paid tribute to Mr Eavis in an article for Time...

Oh, really? Could it be, do you think, that Time asked Chris to write about someone, and then slotted that someone into the run down?

Still, Chris: one of the most influential people on the planet. How does that stack up, then?
Coldplay singer Chris Martin paid tribute to Mr Eavis in an article for Time, writing that Glastonbury was "the biggest rock cathedral in the world".

"Michael is one of the people to whom I owe my life and career," he wrote, explaining how the offer of a headline slot in 2002 had "changed everything".

"We've headlined other festivals, but Glastonbury is the only one that feels like - and is - a family event. It's also the only one where we received some handmade cheese as a thank you," Martin added.

So: he gave you a cheese and helped make Coldplay famous - which you suggest is a good thing? And that's influential, is it? On Martin's life, perhaps, but on the world?

Come on, Time: this is meant to be a serious endeavour, isn't it? You're seriously suggesting Eavis belongs here? Isn't this for statespeople and scientists and...
He is one of 100 people listed, along with US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown...

You see?
... teen actor Zac Efron and TV host Oprah Winfrey.

Oh. That's the calibration, is it? As you were, then.


WE ARE said...

To be fair, the list is influential people rather than important. And for better or worse; Oprah Winfrey, Zac Efron and yes even Farmer Upside-Down are influential. Just ask James Frey. But this sort of pointless listing is beneath Time and they should have known better, let alone asking Chris Martin for his limp opinions.

Anonymous said...

@1 I don't really see how anyone can truly believe that Zac Efron is influential? The people behind him perhaps. The marketing departments selling him maybe. But the boy himself? Popular? Yes. Influence on anybody except little girls who will have forgotten about him quicker than you can say "Have you seen Twilight?"? No.

Olive said...

a headline slot in 2002 had "changed everything"Er, Chris, surely you were already fairly famous by that time. Otherwise, you know, you wouldn't have been asked to headline Glastonbury.

Robin Carmody said...

Coldplay's success *outside the UK* only really happened after June 2002, but I'm not sure how much you can put that down to Glastonbury.

But the very phrase "rock cathedral" seems to epitomise everything that is wrong with this man, this band and all who have followed in imitation: taking *two* once-great cultures, throwing bits of them in with each other completely indiscriminately to the point where *both* have become meaningless.

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