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Emily Eavis admits Stormzy’s history-making Glastonbury performance should have happened sooner


Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis admits Stormzy should have headlined sooner (Picture: Getty)

Emily Eavis has admitted that Stormzy’s headline performance was ‘a little bit late maybe’.

The grime artist and rapper became the first Black solo British headliner in the festival’s history when he took to the Pyramid Stage in 2019.

Speaking in a new BBC Two documentary, celebrating 50 years of the festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset, Glastonbury organiser Emily, 42, said: ‘He was representing the Black community in a very predominately white festival and obviously that’s a really important moment for us, but it’s also a little bit late maybe.

‘We should have probably done it before.’

During the performance, Stormzy, 28, thanked a number of Black rappers and MCs that had inspired him during his career.

Stormzy headlined the festival in 2019 (Picture: Rex)

Reflecting on the powerful moment, Emily continued: ‘For me, a really incredible moment was when he stood in the audience and recited all the names of the other MCs in Britain.

‘At that point, this felt like it was kind of opening doors to the future, this felt like, when he did that, it opened up the doors to kids watching at home, or people who would think actually that wasn’t a festival for me, but it might be now.’

Stormzy thanked several f Black rappers and MCs that had inspired his career during his set (Picture: PA)
Stormzy made history at Glastonbury as the first Black British headliner (Picture: Getty)

Speaking about his performance in the documentary, Stormzy added: ‘There was a lot of pressure and there was a lot riding on it… (it’s) gonna be a lot of people’s first time watching an hour and a half of a young Black man with something to say.’

Emily is responsible for booking a number of influential performers at Glastonbury festival over the last two decades, including Jay Z and Billie Eilish.

Emily succeeded her dad, Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis, as festival organiser (Picture: Getty)

The documentary’s director and producer, Francis Whately said: ‘I think Emily has got a really tough job, doesn’t she, because she’s got a dad who’s called Eavis, who’s a strong, strong, strong character, so Emily’s got a tough act to follow, but she does it incredibly well.

‘She’s so modest that, like her father, she just gets on with it and you don’t really know what she’s doing but she’s doing everything from behind the scenes.

‘She’s such a gentle sole, as is Nick (Dewy), that they sort of underpin what the festival has become.’

Glastonbury: 50 Years And Counting airs on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer on June 19 at 9pm, ahead of the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage.

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