When hip-hop superstar Jay-Z was booked to headline at Glastonbury in 2008, massive controversy ensued, attracting the attention of artists such as Noel Gallagher and Dizzee Rascal, who claimed that he lacked the 'crossover element' of performers like Kanye West and Eminem.

Not one to be bogged down by criticism ('either love me or leave me alone', as the typically self-deprecating lyrics to 'Public Service Announcement' go), Jay-Z brushed the comments off and went on to perform a killer set, leaving hundreds (if not thousands) of new hip-hop fans in his wake.

'Hova' wasn't the first - and certainly won't be the last - mainstream artist to experience backlash for appearing at an 'alternative' festival, but how much room and acceptance is there for artists like Jay-Z when it comes to playing to a crowd with vastly different musical tastes?

When Jay-Z's wife, the other half of arguably the industry's biggest power couple, Beyoncé, appeared at Glastonbury in 2011, she didn't attract quite as much negative attention, but there were still plenty of sceptics. Would her booty-shaking R&B anthems resonate with a crowd who had gathered to see the likes of U2 and Coldplay? She pulled off her set flawlessly however, and her seemingly genuine happiness to be performing soon had everyone convinced of her rightful place at the festival.

Perhaps one of the biggest controversies of recent times when it comes to 'acts that don't belong' revolved around Chase and Status' 2012 Download Festival appearance. Entire Facebook groups were set up to try to get the band removed from the bill and to arrange a bottling when they appeared on stage to perform – which seems a little bit harsh, by anyone's standards.

Andy Copping, the festival's organiser, advised festival goers that, if they weren't blown away by the band, there were "four other stages… to choose from." Although this was seen as little consolation to the purists, Chase and Status nevertheless went on to perform a set that converted many curious onlookers into fans.

Cross-genre bookings don't always go to plan however, and when, in 2000, Reading festival's organisers booked 90s pop duo Daphne and Celeste to appear, it prompted a backlash from 'fans', who bombarded the pair with anything and everything they could find during the two songs that they managed to perform. The Daphne and Celeste appearance was, admittedly, probably meant to be more of a joke than a serious booking as far as the organisers were concerned.

It's important for the more 'alternative' festivals to know their audiences – the ones who are, after all, shelling out money on tickets for concerts - but it's arguably equally important for music fans to be introduced to new artists. And after all, in the era of the eclectic pan-genre iPod playlist, who says you can't be partial to a bit of HAIM, buy Beyonce tickets and consider yourself a die-hard Rolling Stones fan?

As Jay-Z said in 2008, "if we don't embrace what is new, then how do we progress?" Something that certainly rings true for the future of Britain's alternative music festivals - who face extinction if they can't pull in the big crowds.