Sunday, 20 April 2008

Rick Astley to play at Glastonbury? Rickrolling goes to a new level!

There is a new online petition at that aims to get Rick Astley onto the bill for Glastonbury 2008. "What better way to celebrate a mad few months and a seemingly poor Glastonbury line up than to try and get the very man himself to perform at the world famous Glastonbury festival this summer?"

This has not come out of the blue though. Rick Astley has received massive internet coverage recently and 80's classic 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has come back in a big way, with the song even entering's top 100 downloads recently.

The primary cause of this is a craze called 'Rickrolling'. Websites have been tricking people into clicking links that actually end up at the YouTube video of 'Never Gonna Give You Up.' As a result Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna Give You Up' video has been viewed on YouTube more than 25 million times over recent months - becoming the most viewed YouTube video of 2008! YouTube even joined in and on April 1st every video on their homepage linked to the Rick Astley song - resulting in 6.6 million views of Never Gonna Give You Up on that day alone (Read more about 'Rickrolling' on Wikipedia here)

Rick Astley 'Never Gonna Give You Up' on YouTube - the most watched YouTube video of 2008
(click for larger image)

Google trends shows how Rick Astley / Never Gonna Give You Up interest has grown and the new Facebook Lexicon feature also shows a large amount of Facebook Wallposts about Rick Astley (especially on April 1st):

Rick Astley / Never Gonna Give You Up on Google Trends - most searched for in USA / Canada but also big in Chile, UK and Sweden (click for larger image)

Rick Astley on Facebook - Facebook Lexicon shows 'Rick Astley' was a big feature on Wallposts on 1st April (click for larger image)

'Rickrolling' has now developed beyond just redirecting unsuspecting users to the 'Never Gonna Give You Up' YouTube video. The loud playing of, or singing of, 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has also been used in public places to cause disruption. Scientology churches have been repeatedly 'serenaded' with the song, College basketball games have been hijacked and the New York Mets were forced to play 'Never Gonna Give You Up' for their 8th innings recently after a Rick Astley won their online poll by a landslide!

There has also been a 'Rickmob' at London's Liverpool Street station with other cities planning similar gatherings (if Facebook event pages are to be believed.)

Rickrolling has been widely reported and Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow was even moved to pay homage by performing 'Never Gonna Give You Up' in the following (unfortunate) way:

If this activity, and the subsequent online petition, gets Rick Astley onto the line-up at Glastonbury then it will be another great example of how viral internet activity can develop into something much larger - an online prank becoming culturally significant!

1 comment:

Sandrine said...

If Rick is playing Glastonburry, I'll be there then ;)