BY Frieze News Desk in News | 01 JUL 19

Banksy Designs Stab-Proof Vest for Stormzy’s Glastonbury Set

The UK rapper wore a stab-proof vest designed by the elusive street artist during his historic performance

BY Frieze News Desk in News | 01 JUL 19

Stormzy on stage at Glastonbury Festival, 2019. Courtesy: Instagram

Street artist Banksy has been revealed as the designer of the stab-proof vest worn by grime musician Stormzy during his historic Glastonbury festival headline set last Friday night. 

Stormzy, who is the first Black British solo artist to headline the music festival, wore a vest spray-painted with a black, white and faint red Union Jack flag. 

On Instagram, the UK rapper said: ‘Last night I headlined Glastonbury in a stab-proof vest custom made by the greatest, most iconic living artist on planet earth, the one and only BANKSY’. On his own Instagram account, Banksy wrote: ‘I made a customised stab-proof vest and thought – who could possibly wear this? Stormzy at Glastonbury’. 

Both the vest and the performance shone a light on the knife crisis in the UK and the racial inequality of the justice system. In a tweet, Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy said: ‘@stormzy using his headline spot at #glastonburyfestival2019 to speak out about the injustice of young black kids being criminalised in a biased and disproportionate justice system. Humbled and inspired that he sampled my speech. Salute #Merky’.

An exerpt of a speech by Lammy was played during Stormzy’s Glastonbury set, which spoke of the high reoffending rates of black men in the UK and claimed that ‘the system isn’t working’.