Emily Eavis believes Jay-Z headlining Glastonbury broke all “boundaries” for the festival.
The ’99 Problems’ hitmaker was the first hip-hop artist to top the bill at the world-famous event when he took to the stage in 2008, and the organiser thinks it’s proven to be a key moment in the festival’s history because “anyone can headline anywhere” now.
She told Britain’s GQ magazine: “I booked Jay-Z because I thought he would knock it out of the park, because he’s an incredible performer and one of the world’s greatest hip-hop artists.
“It changed the perception of a Glastonbury headliner.
“Anyone can headline anywhere now, there are no boundaries.
“It’s totally normal to see Stormzy headlining, but at that time, it was very much white guitar music.”
These days, the line-up has a more even gender split, which Emily insisted was a necessity.
She said: “It was an obvious change that needed to happen.”
Emily thinks part of the appeal of Glastonbury is the way it celebrates “alternative ways of life”.
She said: “We do environmental campaigning, we do political, we do everything.
“All kinds of alternative ways of life are championed, which is why it sits apart.”
In 2019, Glastonbury banned plastic bottles, which was not an easy task, and though Emily estimates they reduced plastic waste by 1.6 million bottles, she had a bigger goal in mind.
She said: “It’s an example of the ban working. Glastonbury is a [temporary] city the size of Oxford.
“If we can do it, there’s no reason why Oxford can’t do it and then London.”
And next up, she’s got her sights set on crisp packets.
She said: “I’m obsessed with finding a compostable crisp packet.”