Glastonbury Co-Organizer Promises Female Headliners in 2024 After All-Male Top Billing This Year
Following criticism that the 2023 Glastonbury Festival features all-male headliners, the co-organizer of the famed British music fest has pledged that next year’s lineup will have two women with top billing.
On Friday, Glastonbury announced half of its 2023 lineup, and while the initial 52 artists billed are almost evenly split between male and female acts, the three main headliners — Guns N’ Roses, Arctic Monkeys, and Elton John — are predominately male artists; GN’R’s lineup currently features keyboardist Melissa Reese.
Speaking to the Guardian about the lack of female artists at the top of the lineup, Glastonbury co-organizer Emily Eavis said, “We’re trying our best so the pipeline needs to be developed. This starts way back with the record companies, radio. I can shout as loud as I like but we need to get everyone on board.”
Eavis added that the initial plans for the 2023 festival had a female headliner, but that unnamed artist — presumed to be Taylor Swift, who was booked to play the Covid-canceled 2020 Glastonbury — pulled out after she “changed her touring plans”; the Minneapolis dates on Swift’s The Eras Tour (June 23 and 24) coincide with Glastonbury (June 21-25). Guns N’ Roses were recruited to replace the unnamed headliner.
Both Lizzo and Lana Del Rey, who have headlined festivals in the past, have prominent but not main stage headlining slots; Lizzo will perform before GNR’s set, while Del Rey will headline the festival’s Other Stage.
However, Del Rey expressed disappointed about how Glastonbury marketed her appearance, with her name buried alphabetically under the main headliners (and Lizzo) on Friday’s lineup. “Well I’m actually headlining the 2nd stage. But since there was no consideration for announcing that. We’ll see,” she wrote on Instagram.
Eavis also promised that next year’s Glastonbury will likely have two women headliners, one of which is already booked and another who is “close,” and both of whom have never played Glastonbury before; The Guardian notes that neither Madonna nor Rihanna have performed at the fest.
As for this year’s fest, the lineup also so far includes Blondie, Rina Sawayama, Christine and the Queens, Alison Goldfrapp, Carly Rae Jensen, the Chicks, Warpaint, Weyes Blood, Maggie Rogers and more.
“It’s not just about gender, it’s about every aspect of diversity,” Eavis added, going on to reveal that 43 percent of those 55 names are non-white, or feature non-white members. Afrobeats star Wizkid will headline the Other stage on Friday. “We’re probably one of the only big shows that’s really focused on this,” Eavis said.