Q Magazine’s Sponsored Glastonbury Review
Q Magazine certainly enjoys a rather special relationship with Glastonbury Music Festival. Having secured the contract to produce both the official Glastonbury Programme 2010 and Glastonbury Review 2010 (to be distributed virtually as Stevie Wonder walked off stage on Sunday) such an affiliation can’t help but make readers wonder whether their music publication is worth the paper it’s printed on.
It’s not uncommon for commercial events to rely on publishers to produce their literature; it makes a lot of sense in terms of quality, economies of scale and time. But can a publisher who has just produced a promotional brochure for a festival then also publish a critical review of the same festival hours after it finishes? Not if they wish to secure next year’s programme contract, many would argue.
Surly if Q Magazine has a financial interest in the festival, how likely they are to properly critique headline acts like Muse or Gorillaz for example, remains questionable.
On reading the Gorillaz review, who headlined the Pyramid stage on Saturday, not one mention can be found of Damon Albarn’s failed sing-along in which he misguidedly tried to tempt the usually very courteous Glastonbury crowd with an un-catchy jingle about a plastic cup – a tune the band themselves found hard to reproduce let alone a 175,000 tipsy Glastonites.
Nor mentioned was the crowds’ subdued reaction at the world music Albarn offered-up halfway through the set (presumably from his own collection), that although well orchestrated in its own right, didn’t in anyway fit the Gorillaz brand or the crowds’ expectations.
Such glaring omissions can’t help but generate speculation as to how much point there is in a review from a magazine that is virtually a sponsor of the show itself, and make us wonder if we should keep our promotions separate from our opinions.