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Page last updated at 07:18 GMT, Monday, 28 July 2008 08:18 UK
Kanye headlines Global Gathering

By Briar Burley
Newsbeat reporter at Long Marston Airfield

Kanye West

Kanye West has headlined a major UK music festival, reigniting the debate over whether rap music is suitable to top the bill at similar events.

Global Gathering made its name as one of the UK's biggest dance weekends.

With artists like Mark Ronson, Moby and Eric Prydz playing not everyone was sure a US rapper would fit in.

Last year Basement Jaxx and Faithless headlined, so for some fans bringing in a hip hop artist to face the 55,000 crowd was a brave move by organisers.

At Brighton he had different outfits every 30 seconds, he was doing so much more
Russell from Hastings wasn't impressed

It follows a similar row over Jay-Z's headline slot at Glastonbury in June.

"I saw this girl that had on her T-shirt 'Who invited Kanye?' - sums it all up really," 22-year-old Rhys from Oxford told Newsbeat.

"I mean it's a dance festival. It's for trance heads, dance heads, electro, drum and bass and then R&B? You know it just clashes."

But while some weren't enthusiastic about Kanye's appearance, a massive crowd gathered around the main stage as night time fell.

There was talk the rapper was waiting for it to get dark before going on stage to reveal a glow in the dark set.

He didn't leave the crowd waiting long and made his entrance virtually on time to deliver an hour and a half set of big hit after big hit.

Mixed opinions

There was no Estelle in the wings but his version of American Boy got the crowd singing along the loudest, while Gold Digger and recent number one single Stronger got the biggest cheers.

On stage there was an impressive set of flashing colourful lights, but he barely spoke outside his tracks and didn't change from his plain black jeans and jacket combo.

Kanye West
Kanye West has won nine Grammy awards since his debut in 2004

Afterwards there were mixed feelings among the crowd at Long Marston Airfield near Stratford-upon-Avon.

Russell from Hastings had seen Kanye perform before.

He told Newsbeat: "Kanye West, Brighton Arena - brilliant. Tonight at Global - rubbish.

"At Brighton he had different outfits every 30 seconds, he was doing so much more.

"I thought he was going to push the boundaries tonight 'cos he had the whole stage to himself."

But others said it was an amazing performance from a class entertainer.

Many drew comparisons between Kanye headlining at a dance festival and Jay-Z topping the bill at Glastonbury.

Avril from Coventry told Newsbeat: "At first I was like, I don't know - like Jay-Z at Glastonbury.

"But actually I really did enjoy it. I'm going to score him nine out of 10."



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