Michael and Emily Eavis’ attempts to sell Glastonbury to the kids look set to backfire as rumours abound that Jay-Z - this morning confirmed to headline Wireless - is planning to pull out of the event.
Admittedly, those rumours emanate from the Sun, but the newspaper quotes a source as saying: “He [Jay-Z] hasn’t liked all this talk of how Glastonbury is more urban and hip this year because of his appearance.
“He feels it’s a bit sad and he’s being used to make a point. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when he was blamed for the lower registrations.”
The lower registrations predictably meant less demand for tickets when they went on sale yesterday morning, still available a day after whereas last year – when The Killers, The Arctic Monkeys and The Who took up the headline slots – they were all gobbled up within hours.
Another factor fighting against a Jay-Z/Glastonbury link-up, as well as his apparent use as a token of urban cool, is the deal the Brooklyn-born rapper recently signed with Live Nation.
While prior engagements would, you’d think, have been taken into account when Jay-Z signed the $150m deal last week, the fact that headlining acts at Glastonbury receive less cash than they do from other organisers – due to £2m-worth of funds going to charitable causes – could be significant enough to push the rapper’s new paymasters into urging a cancellation.
eFestivals.co.uk are reporting that it’s the Live Nation deal and not the slump in ticket sales that are more likely to be the trigger for any no-show. The decision to cancel was, they say, taken in the middle of last week – which is also when Jay-Z signed with Live Nation.
Despite all this, Michael Eavis’s claims to the tabloids at the weekend were still being reiterated by the Glastonbury Press office this morning, who told us that “Jay-Z is still a headliner at Glastonbury this year. Festival organiser Michael Eavis says that he talked to his people last weekend and everything is fine.”
As we said, tickets for Glastonbury are still, at the time of writing, on sale. Away from the festival circuit, the rapper married long-term partner Beyonce Knowles at a ceremony in New York yesterday.
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