Page last updated at 11:40 GMT, Tuesday, 15 April 2008 12:40 UK

Glastonbury defends Jay-Z booking

Jay-Z will headline Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage on the Saturday night

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis has defended the decision to headline this year's festival with rapper Jay-Z.

Writing in the Independent, Ms Eavis said they felt "honoured" to have the hip-hop star. "He is absolutely the right act for our festival," she wrote.

"There is no reason why we should not have the greatest living hip-hop artist on at Glastonbury."

Critics have linked the booking to poor ticket sales, with Oasis star Noel Gallagher calling it the wrong choice.

"I'm not having hip-hop at Glastonbury. It's wrong," he told the BBC on Sunday.

But Ms Eavis hit back at the "strangely hysterical press reports" and denied that the festival, traditionally a showcase for rock bands, was trying to capture a different audience.

Noel Gallagher
Oasis headlined the main stage at Glastonbury in 1995 and 2004

"Jay-Z is far from the first hip-hop artist to perform at Glastonbury," she wrote.

"Glastonbury has always managed to attract a diversity of acts, which is, I hope, part of its unique appeal."

She cited previous performers De La Soul, Cypress Hill and The Roots and added that feedback from Glastonbury fans was "overwhelmingly positive".

Her views are echoed by hip-hop industry insiders, who have rejected Gallagher's attack.

"These are the typical reactionary views of a pampered has-been," said Andy Cowan, editor of Hip-Hop Connection magazine.

"Having had the grave misfortune of seeing Oasis play Glastonbury in 1995 - a lumpen, turgid mess of a set - Gallagher himself has set the bar very low, and I've no doubt Jay-Z will be a huge success this year."

Glastonbury organisers took out an advert in Monday's Guardian newspaper to encourage ticket sales.

The ad invites people to "take a five-day break at Worthy Farm and enjoy the most extraordinary festival anywhere in the world".

The full line-up will be announced on 1 May.

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