Animal rights activists are campaigning to get Metallica banned from headlining this year’s Glastonbury festival because the singer James Hetfield supports bear hunting and is a member of the National Rifle Association.
The festival, in Pilton, Somerset, is very probably the world’s greatest: like Woodstock would have been if the sound equipment had been good and it wasn’t raining and it wasn’t swarming with insufferable hippies. This year’s 135,000 tickets sold out in less than an hour and a half.
Almost every artiste of note has played there from Johnny Cash and David Bowie to the Rolling Stones and Jay Z. But this appearance by Metallica is a first for the Danish Californian thrash metal band, who will be playing on a bill which includes Lana Del Rey, Kasabian, Pixies, Jack White, Blondie and Dolly Parton.
But animal rights activists are trying to drive Metallica off the bill. They object to the fact that singer and NRA member Hetfield is narrating an eight-part History Channel TV series called The Hunt, about killing Kodiak brown bears in Alaska. Last month the activists created a Facebook page called Remove Metallica From Glastonbury Festival – which has since been “liked” by 27,000 people.
One commenter, Steve Elliott, felt compelled to tell us: “SeemsGlastonbury festival isn’t for those who have compassion for animalswe have Metallica supporting bear hunting the guy who owns the farmsupporting the badger cull and Bryan Ferry supporting fox hunting. Soglad I’m not going I hate cruelty to animals of any kind.“
That’ll be at least three more good reasons, then, why the rest of us can look forward to going to Glastonbury this year.
Meanwhile, if anyone fancies launching a counter petition – perhaps demanding that at the climax of Metallica’s set, James Hetfield tracks down and shoots a Grizzly Bear to the rousing strains of Enter Sandman – I’m sure he’ll find no shortage of willing signatories on this website.