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Monday, 15 September 2014

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With wily marketing festival can cash in on Wiley row

Pagans. Pagans? Pagans!

Is that the worst name you’ve ever been called?

I think it is quite sweet really.

It obviously showed that the unhappy crowd at CockRock last weekend had got to Wiley.

The alarm bells rang when the rapper and grime star became one of the few stars to refuse to appear at Glastonbury.

Not only that, but he called the saintly organisers Richard and Emily Eavis rude names.

So, some people were expecting some sort of trouble from the rapper as he headlined CockRock at the weekend.

Some of us didn’t expect him to bother making the drive from his home in London all the way to Cumbria. Sure enough, on the journey up he tweeted to his 350,000 fans: “Gotta start heading towards Cumbria ...I hate my agent ... Just the name of that festival in Cumbria makes me not wanna go...”

So when he took to the stage, it was only natural that the crowd would give him some idea of what they thought about his remarks. I’m amazed he lasted three songs and 15 minutes before running off with a reported £15,000 fee in his back pocket.

He is on a mission to create a name for himself as the ‘bad boy’ of music. Edgy and unpredictable. Trouble is, you’ve got to have the chops, the talent, to back this up.

A half-decent musician with self-belief and confidence in their ability would have won the crowd over and turned in a storming set. As it turned out, it was local lads Colt 45 who became the heroes of the night, took to the stage to fill-in and gave the crowd what they’d all come for – a damn good time. The awful syrup of Radio 2 DJ Jo Whiley would have gone down better than the so-called grime bad boy.

But the swirl of publicity around the weekend is not all grim for the festival. Even bad publicity is good publicity, as they say. Headlines about the wee man’s strop will have made a few more people aware of CockRock, where it is and what it is about. It has raised the profile of the festival and provided publicity worth much more than £15,000.

Which can only be good news for next year’s line-up!

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