Savages Singer Jehnny Beth Blasts Festivals' "System of Class"
Published Aug 26, 2014These days, it's common practice for big shows and music festivals to have tiered ticketing systems that include special VIP packages. Evidently, however, Savages singer Jehnny Beth isn't too impressed with this practice, as she has compared it to an unwelcomed class system in a new blog post.
In a Tumblr essay written today (August 26), Beth wrote that she recently went to see Soundgarden open for Black Sabbath on July 4 at Hyde Park in London, UK. She wrote:
As I ran through the park to get to the front as soon as I heard "Mailman," I suddenly got stopped by a huge barrier and a line of security. The stage was still miles away and there was a big gap in front of us. What are these people doing here? I asked. "You need a VIP pass to be able to access the next area." I had a VIP pass so I went through, but soon I got stopped by another barrier: "You need a press badge to access the front of the stage." I was still rather close but as I looked behind me, the absurdity of the situation was suddenly clear to me: a system of class applied to a rock festival, a capitalist attitude when music should be for everyone. What a sick idea.
She also described watching festivalgoers attempt to break through the barriers, with some people succeeding and at least one man getting caught by security. Beth wrote, "I start shouting encouragingly at people that they should do the same but they seem to prefer sticking to the rules."
She also witnessed a similar situation when playing a show with Portishead in Istanbul, where "This policy resulted in all the Turkish support bands having no one to play to, because the cool kids who arrived early, with less money but lots of love for music, had to stand at the back."
Portishead's Geoff Barrow apparently shared her concerns, although Live Nation refused their requests to remove the barriers.
Read Beth's full damn-the-man essay here.