Kanye headlined in 2015 (Picture: PA Wire)

Emily Eavis received death threats after booking Kanye West to headline Glastonbury in 2015.

The festival organiser, and daughter of the founder Michael Eavis, has recalled the immense abuse and backlash she received after Kanye was announced as headliner several years ago.

Although she insisted it was what ended up getting Adele over the line, for her own headlining slot the following year, Emily was baffled by the criticism.

In an extract of a new book to celebrate the iconic British festival’s 50th anniversary, published by The Guardian, Eavis wrote: ‘As soon as we announced that he was playing, a petition sprang up – started by someone who had never been to Glastonbury – saying Kanye shouldn’t play because he wasn’t right for us.’

She continued: ‘The media jumped right on it. That kind of negative story will always get clicks and attention, but the coverage becomes self-fulfilling, too.

‘Again, we had to reassure the people around the artist that it would all work, that these stories don’t reflect the attitude of people coming to the festival – or in the UK, for that matter. It’s just a load of hot air.’

Emily works alongside her father (Picture: Rex Features)

Stating the criticism the organisers got ‘was pretty extreme’ she continued to state it got quite personal, with punters knowing it was Eavis who was behind booking the acts each year.

She continued: ‘I was an obvious target. As the child of the founder of something, you’re always going to be criticised, because you’re perceived as doing things differently to how it was done before.

‘I’ve had to try to develop a thick skin about it, as it can get pretty unpleasant on social media. You can’t please everyone, and the haters tend to be the ones shouting the loudest.’

Eavis continued: ‘I actually had death threats in 2015, which seemed a little harsh – especially given that we had booked what we considered to be one of the most exciting and innovative artists of his generation. But it worked out for Kanye in the end.’

Speaking about how Kanye’s set and the immense crowd he gathered in front of the Pyramid Stage led to Adele agreeing to be a part of the festival, Eavis said: ‘I’d been trying to persuade her, but I think she was unsure. She didn’t really need to do it: she was already playing stadiums, and with her it almost seems like the less she does, the bigger she gets.

‘But I think that deep down she wanted to, as she’d been coming to Glastonbury since she was a little kid.

‘I walked her on to the platform next to the stage just before Kanye came on, and we looked out at this huge crowd chanting his name.

‘I said: “Are you ready for it? Come on. Next year?” And she looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and said: “I’m gonna do it.” It was such a brilliant moment.’

Next year’s festival has already sold out its first rounds of tickets (with resale happening in April) as the buzz about headliners picks up, with Diana Ross leading the Legends slot.

One thing we know for sure is that Fleetwood Mac will not be there



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MORE: Diana Ross confirms she’ll be performing at Glastonbury Festival next year and we can’t wait

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