The Glastonbury festival is one of those things that divides opinion amongst music fans. On one side there are those that complain that the bill is always far too corporate and indie-centric. On the other side there are those who dismiss the complainers as genre snobs, merely sneering at the mainstream from the sidelines.
The BBC have a lot to answer for. Their coverage always seems to contain far too much of the intensely annoying Jo Whiley fawning over the latest overrated three-chord wonder and far too little of the eclectic variety taking place across the many small stages. But it’s impossible to ignore the fact that rock and metal are very conspicuous by the absence from the festival.
So the bill of the Roskilde Festival in Denmark makes an interesting comparison with that of Glastonbury. There are many of the same names, but you’ll also see names like Iron Maiden, Mastodon, Slipknot and Judas Priest alongside the likes of Oasis and The Arctic Monkeys. It’s all but impossible to imagine any of the former making an appearance on the Glastonbury bill.
Does this reflect something fundamentally different about the music scene on the Continent? Are rock and metal seen as a part of the musical mainstream in a way they are not in Britain? Or does the British musical establishment of which Glastonbury is an important part just hate rock and metal?