Glasto's Too 'Middle Class' for Maiden, Says Bruce Dickinson

Frontmain vows he'll never follow Metallica to Worthy Farm.

Ultimate Guitar

Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has vowed he'll never follow Metallica to the Glastonbury festival – and he's slammed the Worthy Farm event as "middle-class" and "bourgeois," Classic Rock reports.

James Hetfield and co were this month confirmed as headline act on June 28 – a week before they and Maiden both top the bill at Sonisphere.

But Dickinson tells the Daily Star: "Personally I have no interest in going to Glastonbury. In the days when Glasto was an alternative festival it was quite interesting. Now it's the most bourgeois thing on the planet.

"Anywhere Gwyneth Paltrow goes and you can live in an air-conditioned yurt is not for me."

He claims the BBC send "thousands" of people to cover that festival and adds: "They can't be arsed to turn up to Sonisphere or Download with a camper van and a hand-held."

The vocalist continues: "We'll leave the middle classes to do Glastonbury – and the great unwashed will decamp to Knebworth, drink a lot of beer and have fun."

Dickinson yesterday revealed he'd take part in a World War I dogfight re-enactment in the sky above Soniphere just hours before Maiden perform. Sonisphere Radio will be powered by TeamRock throughout the event.

69 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Well said.
    That's kind of ironic cause the last times they came in Belgium it was at some 'Bourgeois/Hipster fest'. They were headlining with 'Black Eyed Peas'... I mean, really? We have one big metal fest in Belgium and they came at this fest only 1 time the last 5 years. They prefer go to some 'Pukkelpop' or 'Rock Werchter'...
    They went two years in a row to graspop, 2007 and 2008. They rocked at Pukkelpop. I can't say the same about werchter.. due to the dull audience they have there.
    Sewage Rat
    Ew middle class people
    You can't be both "middle-class" and "bourgeois", unless you're a crappy business owner. Festivals are only for poor people? I think Bruce is a bit confused on the terms.
    I see where he's coming from, but I think "middle-class" was definitely the wrong term to use. Metal is best represented by hard-working, middle-class folk. Glasto sounds like an event ruled by upper middle class rich kids. The middle class is what drives the economy, Bruce. He should stop talking and make another Maiden album.
    We don't live in 1857 anymore Bruce, most of the middle class are regular Joe's.
    I respect what he's saying, but considering Maiden tickets are some of the more expensive MEtal tickets, you're not seeing Maiden unless you're Middle class and up...
    Those sixty-foot shifting backdrops don't pay for themselves... Hardly an underground Punk set... They've got a lot of crew with a lot of wages...
    "Anywhere Gwyneth Paltrow goes and you can live in an air-conditioned yurt is not for me." Quote of the decade, totally made my day.
    Bruce Dickinson's Daily schedule: - 8.00 Land Iron Maiden's Jumbo jet - 9.00 Have coffee - 10.00 Tell the lads a joke - 13.00 Re-enact WWI Dogfight (Probably against the Red Baron) - 15.00 Have a sandwich - 18.00 Sing a kick-ass metal show for ~60,000 people - 20.00 Dinner - 22.00 Read a bedtime story to Eddie and tuck him in - 22:10 Go to sleep
    I'm not sure if the 3 hours planned for the joke were intended, but it's my favourite part.
    It takes him longer to eat a sandwich than to play a show for 60,000 people.
    Last time I checked, Sonisphere was just as middle class as it gets as well, so I don't really understand his point.
    When did you check? - Wasn't the same festival I was at last time it was in UK... There was a bare chested tattooed troll-man with a bone in his nose challenging me to war in the heart of a slipknot circle pit and a naked guy who who's only thong was in tatters in his hand after falling mid-frenzy. Not very middle class.
    Well-off people get shitfaced every now and then too, mate. Besides, Sonisphere tickets aren't that cheap.
    "you can live in an air-conditioned yurt is not for me." You can do that at Download and Sonisphere...
    What the ****, I'm middle class. A lot of us are. Why does that mean anything about who we are and what we do except for the fact that we're not dirt poor or rich as balls?
    Are you? That's nice... I'm not... Please be modest about how you flaunt your above-median wealth.
    "middle class". Middle. MIDDLE.
    The median is the middle value if all values were ranked in order... The fact that one fifth of all children in the UK (higher in America) live in poverty might show you that income isn't a normal distribution. Essentially, the median salary is around £21,000, and if middle class is taken to be those who retain one third of their salary for disposable goods, most "middle class" people easily earn above that.
    I have to agree, Glastonbury stopped being alternative years ago, I mean a few years back Beyonce was the main headliner that's pretty much the furthest from alternative you can get
    ace man
    Never thought I could include Marx, Engels and Dickinson in the same political theory paper, but there you go. To be fair, Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky were all very well off individuals, just like Mr Bruce.
    "Only one way out, comrades: the passengers must fly the aeroplane collectively."
    Sammy Mantis
    I don't quite understand what he means by "middle class". To me "middle class" has always referred to your average, every-day working class kind of people. Maybe this isn't the term he's looking for?
    "To me "middle class" has always referred to your average, every-day working class kind of people." - You see, there's the problem. If you'd like a rule of thumb, middle class would be: home owners who work in skilled professions and earn 35k+ or 55k+ as a couple... If you aint earning that, stop bullshitting yourself and put down that Daily Mail. You ain't Middle Class....
    this guys got it in one. English middle class is upper middle class American, although statistics say the average wage is £26,500, in reality its probably close to £18,000 for "normal" people, eg the working class. Chavs and benefit scum are classed as the "underclass" which is obviously below working class (because they dont ****ing work!)
    Exactly... It's been the great bullshitting of the last 30 years to convince normal working people that they're now "Middle Class" - And they believe it.. Because they don't want to be lumped in with the lowest socioeconomic group. Our country is overwhelmed with personal debt for people who desperately want to pretend they're not the working class scum of the old ages - but you are... Having a TV, a car a laptop and some hair-products doesn't mean you're not working class; if you were middle class, you wouldn't need to borrow, outside of a standard mortgage.
    Yeah, it does sound a bit strange but I think that the term "middle class" coming from a Brit means the same thing as an American saying "upper middle class". I love what he's saying... he'd rather support a fun, more easily accessible metal show than an overblown, ridiculous hipster fest.
    In England, middle class basically means wealthy. The equivalent to "middle class" you're looking for is "working class".
    dont really get what he means. what exactly makes the festival any less "classy" than the other ones?kind of sounding like a hipster with that comment abut reporters.
    You sound confused... He said Glastonbury is a middle-class festival... Also the British Media simply refuse to admit that rock music with the gain turned up above 6/10 even exists (Out of sight, out of mind)... So they don't cover the rock festivals, but they'll have full - (Like a sports event) coverage of Glastonbury, because it fits the status quo... But then, I bet you already knew that...
    It's not just the BBC that ignores other festivals in the UK. Pretty much all the national newspapers have massive spreads in them about Glastonbury, but the closest anything else gets tends to be when one of the acts at Download offends the Daily Mail by being fun to watch.
    Say's the guy who arrives in to the gig his own Jet plane.. =/ ?
    Yeah he has that money now, but that's not where he or the rest of the band started. They all started out as kids from labourer's families.
    He's done more to get there than most, but he can hardly claim to be separate from the middle class with his education and position. He might whine about the BBC covering a festival he doesn't like, but he really is their darling in metal. He's been on Radio 4 so many times he doesn't even try to act the outsider any more, and of course he had that show on 6. Maybe he's still bitter about that? So yeah, he started pretty low down, but middle class is still what he is.
    Regardless of that, it was us, the working class, who got Iron Maiden to where they are now. If anything, he's honouring the fans by wanting to stay as close to them as possible.
    Well I've nothing against his decision, but his defensiveness about class seems a bit silly to me. It kinda reminds me of those students who go on about anarchy or communism while having their education paid for by their parents, like the guy from the Young Ones. It's nice and high-minded, but ultimately it doesn't represent what they're benefiting from. Likewise with Bruce, he apparently has lots to say about militantly not being middle class or bourgeois, but he gets to live a great life because he's loaded. He's welcome to be loaded, he's worked to be loaded and he can get as loaded as he likes, but when he goes around doing all the things he's able to do thanks to his wealth, how much affinity can he really claim to the "working class"?
    So, what? Rich people can't have concern for the lower classes? Or if they do it's automatically insincere? I find this level of nitpicking quite unnecessary and distracting when there are so many rich people out there actively trying to **** over the poor and lower classes.
    Everybody's a hypocrite, so respect the message before considering who is saying it. Just because _____ person is a hypocrite or a bad person doesn't mean that _____ idea is bad by association.
    it doesn't matter what class you come from, if you are bourgeois you're bourgeois. If bruce chooses to spend his money on a jet or any such luxury he is a hypocrite in using the word.
    Says the guy who's a part time pilot!
    I believe dickenson went to one of the most exclusive bording schools in britain, making him more upper than middle class. Call the festival poppy or mainstream if you want but this is just silly
    English middle class is upper middle class American, although statistics say the average wage is £26,500, in reality its probably close to £18,000 for "normal" people, eg the working class. Chavs and benefit scum are classed as the "underclass" which is obviously below working class (because they dont ****ing work!)
    also not announcing headliners before sale. I respect that maiden wont touch festivals like glasto because of this. I will go to glasto one day, but its such a gamble music wise (yeah yeah, its not all about the music and all that shite..)
    I agree with him saying it was good when it was an 'alternative' festival. Now the line-ups, whilst good in some respects just let me down. About 5-10 years ago we had great, alternative acts who's music was very innovative playing there like PJ Harvey, Massive Attack, Portishead, Goldfrapp, Queens of the Stone Age, Aphex Twin etc. Now it's just become an place for stupid celebs to be seen. The headliners now? I mean Beyonce? Jay-Z. It's become some popularity contest now. Also, if you don't think Download and Sonisphere are mainstream festivals then you are a deluded idiot. They are mainstream in the sense that V Fest, Leeds and Reading and Glasto are. and if metal wasn't mainstream they wouldn't report on it in MetalHammer, Kerrang Mag etc. They'd leave it for the fans to find out themselves.