Volunteer BSL interpreter at Glastonbury goes viral

Tara Asher is just 1 out of the 4 people in the UK who specialise in signing grime music.

A clip of the volunteer enthusiastically signing Stormzy’s song ‘Shut Up’ has gone viral on Twitter, currently at 2.1 million views with thousands of retweets and likes.

At Glastonbury Festival 2019, coverage of her signing Stormzy’s grime hit songs has led to her being dubbed the ‘coolest person ever.’

“I spend probably approximately a day per song translating it. Before I come here, I print out set lists trying to work out what songs they are going to play, stalk them a bit on the internet and find out what’s happening.” – Tara Asher.

The volunteer contributed to D/deaf audience members feeling included at the festival and has been praised for her dedication in not only getting every single lyric correct but also efficiently signing the audience participation and Stormzy’s interaction with the crowd. As one Twitter user suggests, perhaps her stage name should be ‘Signzy.’

Stormzy, whose real name is Michael Omari, made history by becoming the first black British solo artist to headline the festival in its 49-year history.

The 25-year-old musician has previously been vocal regarding his political views. His performance at Glastonbury 2019 was no exception as he brought attention to inequality, racial profiling, knife crime and politics. His set included wearing a stab vest embellished with the Union Jack flag (designed by anonymous street artist Banksy), encouraging the crowd to chant ‘F*** Boris’ referring to Boris Johnson’s bid to become the next British Prime Minister, and during ‘Don’t Cry For Me,’ he highlighted how racial inequality features in everyday life.

Stormzy described his slot as ‘the greatest night of my entire life.’

Independent writer, volunteer and performer from Lancashire, England. May every day be GEP: Good, Exciting and Productive!