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Glastonbury Music Festival Confirms 2023 Headline Artists

Matt Crisp March 7, 2023

Guns N’ Roses, Arctic Monkeys, and Elton John have been confirmed as this year’s Glastonbury Festival headliners after months of speculation. The event will take place at Worthy Farm in Somerset on 21 to 25 June. Other big names playing the festival include Blondie, Cat Stevens, Lana del Ray, Manic Street Preachers, and Lizzo. 

Elton John will be drawing his long and highly successful career to a close during his Sunday night performance on the Pyramid Stage, so the occasion will be highly anticipated and emotionally charged. 

Festival organiser Emily Eavis spoke to the BBC about the upcoming performance by Elton John. She said: “It’s a massive, massive coup for us to be able to get him here for the end of his tour. And he’s really up for it. He’s been on the phone with loads of brilliant ideas and he’s just fired up about it.”

She continued: “We’ve wanted Elton for years. It’s been something that we’ve talked about on a number of occasions and I was like, what’s the best way to get through to Elton?”

“And in the end, I wrote him a letter and I said, ‘If this never happens, it would be such a failure on all of our parts. I know you’ve done everything else in the world. I know you’ve fulfilled everything you need to fulfil, but please, can you come and play Glastonbury? And he just called up and said yes.”

There has been some criticism of the all-male headliners this year, particularly as the festival has a long-standing reputation for progressiveness and inclusiveness. Speaking to the BBC, Eavis explained that there was originally a female headliner in place (rumoured to be Taylor Swift) but she had to pull out. 

She said: “We try our best and we obviously aim for 50:50. Some years, it’s more, some years, it’s less. This year, we did have a female headliner, and she unfortunately had to pull out… It changes all the time. But next year it’s looking like we’ve got two female headliners, so fingers crossed.”

Eavis also told The Guardian that the roots of gender inequality in the music industry starts with record companies and radio stations, who have traditionally underinvested in female artists. She called for greater support for women across the whole of the sector. 

The majority of tickets sold out within half an hour of going on sale last autumn, but some returns and cancellations will be resold around Easter time. 

Eavis said: “When we came back after two years of pandemic lockdowns [last year] there was an amazing energy. People behaved differently. They were so up for it. They didn’t stop. They wanted to be at everything. You could feel the love and the joy and it restored my faith.

Eavis added that she hoped this year’s Glastonbury Festival would bring people together in a spirit of positivity after several years of challenging events worldwide. 

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