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Emily Eavis got death threats for booking Kanye West for Glastonbury

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis has spoken for the first time about the backlash following her decision to book Kanye West for this year’s festival.

The online petition calling for the rapper to be taken off the bill now has over 134,000 signatures. But those who really, really don’t want to see Kanye West perform on the famous Glastonbury stage took the protest a lot further.

“It was not a pleasant world we unwrapped,” Ms. Eavis told The Times. “I had death threats and stuff. It was just horrible. It was just crazy. It was getting out of control. We had Time magazine, all the American news channels saying they were going to come down. This incredible onslaught worldwide. It was quite upsetting because we were talking about something that was so exciting and interesting and fresh and brilliant for the festival.

“Kanye West is making the most exciting music at the moment,” she went on. “He is an amazing force as a performer. For us, getting the biggest star in the world was an amazing coup.”

More: Kanye West is one of Glastonbury’s most controversial bookings

Ms. Eavis previously told The Guardian: “To say that our headliners should be ‘rock’ is, I think, a bit silly. Those acts never have been limited to rock, and they never will be. Stevie Wonder, The Prodigy, Curtis Mayfield, The Chemical Brothers, Gorillaz, Jay Z, Beyoncé and plenty of others prove that. I’ve realised over the years of announcing line-ups that, literally, whoever you reveal will be met with some hate online.”

Ms. Eavis’ father Michael founded the festival in 1970, when acts included Marc Bolan, Keith Christmas, Stackridge, Al Stewart and Quintessence and the 1,500 attendees paid £1 for their ticket (which included free milk from Eavis’ farm).

This year’s Glastonbury festival also features The Foo Fighters, The Who, Paul Weller, Pharrell Williams, Lionel Richie and Paloma Faith and takes place at Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset between June 24 and 29.

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