After months of buildup, including rumors of soft ticket sales and Oasis members sniping over whether Jay-Z was an “appropriate” Glastonbury headliner, the festival is finally on the horizon, and organizers are getting ready to roll out the muddy carpet for the hip-hop mogul, who’ll headline a bill that also includes Kings Of Leon, Jimmy Cliff, The Verve, and Leonard Cohen. (Amy Winehouse is expected to show up too, despite a recent emphysema diagnosis and hospital visit; she may be on the path to wearing an oxygen mask all the time, but for now she’s still as ready to sing as she can be, according to her father. Good looking out, Dad.) Jay, who said of his Glasto gig that he’s “never been involved in anything this controversial,” has a busy, yet soulless, weekend ahead of him:
The VIP arrangements in place for the rapper include a Land Rover tour of Worthy Farm, the muddy dairy fields where 72-year-old farmer Michael Eavis hosts Britain’s largest and best-known festival.
“I had a word with his manager,” said Eavis. “And he said: you’re country folk down there, we’re city kids. I said that a lot of people that come to Glastonbury are city kids too, and I would show him around to prove it.” Eavis said preparations included a tour of Trash City – a field of sculptures and robots made of waste – a trip around Shangri La, this year’s weird and wacky “festival within a festival”, and a stop in the comedy tent.
However, Jay-Z and his partner Beyoncé Knowles, recently rumoured to have married, will avoid the stone circle, a place many fans view as the spiritual soul of the Somerset event. “The hippy thing, his manager said, isn’t quite up [Jay-Z's] street,” Eavis added.
Not yet, anyway. Wait until he needs a big idea for one of his Live Nation-produced tours, though, then he’ll be all about finding some rocks and soul.