The third Glastonbury headliner? 19 Potentially Surprising Options

  • Metallica blew Worthy Farm away last summer and proved that, just like Jay Z and Beyonce before them, a left field headliner can be a huge triumph at Glastonbury. This year, then, how about a bit of Iron Maiden to really mess with everyone’s chi?

    Photo: Andy Ford/NME

    Added: 17 Jun 2013

  • Snoop Dogg

    Snoop has brought good vibes to Coachella and even Bestival, so there’s no reason why the hip hop legend couldn’t do the same in Somerset. He’s always full of surprises too: imagine a holographic Tupac entertaining the Worthy Farm masses. Tantalizing in the extreme, right? Get on the blower Emily Eavis…

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 09 Jun 2014

  • Bob Dylan

    Bob’s Never Ending Tour hasn’t taken in Worthy Farm since 1998, and surely it’s time the Bard rolled into Glastonbury one more time, especially considering the fact his albums of late have actually been pretty good. There’s a whole new generation out there eager to lay eyes upon the legendary folk icon and genius.

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 10 Apr 2014

  • Jesus and Mary Chain

    The Reid brothers are speaking again, or at least they’re playing together again. If this detente holds, then now may be a good time to book the Jesus and Mary Chain for Glasto. They’re touring later this year, so perhaps the promoters could even slot them in this time around before it’s too late!

    Photo: Press

    Added: 08 Feb 2012

  • Aerosmith

    They’ve been one of the greatest and most durable rock ‘n’ roll acts of the last 45 years, laughing in the face of overwhelming adversity and rare periods of underwhelming indifference. Aerosmith are tenacious titans of the arena and their anthemic power ballads alone would rock Worthy Farm to it’s core. A wee cameo from Run DMC would see everyone lose their shit.

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 04 Mar 2014

  • Led Zeppelin

    If Robert and Jimmy can start singing from the same page then a Led Zep reunion could finally be on the cards (but that appears to be one big ‘if’ right now). A headline slot on the Pyramid Stage would surely tempt Mr Plant, and it would be seen as a coup that might even trump the Stones in 2013.

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 25 Apr 2014

  • Justin Timberlake

    He wouldn’t be the obvious choice, but then nor was Beyoncé a few years ago. Mr Timberlake has some great moves, some tricks up his sleeves and a snake in his trousers, and a two hour set from the singer and actor might just be a glitzy surprise smash with a partisan audience who’ve already bought their tickets before the bill announcement.


    Added: 15 Jul 2013

  • Kate Bush

    You wait ages for a bus and then two come along at once. Similarly you wait decades for a Kate Bush gig and then she goes and books twenty two shows at the Hammersmith Apollo sprawled over two months in one fell swoop. How about a 23rd Kate, on the Pyramid Stage in 2015, and might I blag a +1 for suggesting it?

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 08 Apr 2014

  • Linkin Park

    Scoff all you like, but try arguing with 60 million albums sold and two Grammys. 'Hybrid Theory' sold just under five million copies in 2000, making it the biggest selling album of that year, and they’re still pretty massive even now. A headline slot at Glasto might sound incongruous, but you would have said that about Metallica not so long ago...

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 03 Jun 2014

  • Green Day

    They seem to have headlined every Reading and Leeds since the mid-90s so maybe Green Day might fancy a change of scene this year. In the carnival atmosphere, an old classic like ‘Basket Case’ might just hit the right note with some of the crazies in the crowd.

    Photo: Amy Brammall/NME

    Added: 05 Dec 2013

  • Calvin Harris

    Scotland may not have gained independence, but at Glastonbury it’s a body of people partying under one sky irrespective of where they come from. But it wouldn’t hurt to have a massive Scottish solo artist on the biggest stage of all to show there are no hard feelings, and surely nobody wants to endure Rod Stewart again. Calvin Harris might fit the bill...

    Photo: Dan Dennison/NME

    Added: 22 Aug 2010

  • Katy Perry

    Katy Perry on the Pyramid Stage? You know it makes sense! If it’s a great time you’re after as well as a feast for the eyes you're after then look no further than dancers being pushed around in cupcakes and foam being fired out of breast-shaped receptacles. The Jazz World Stage is still there for anyone who’d prefer to be elsewhere stroking some chin.

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 20 Feb 2014

  • Lady Gaga

    Her music might err on the side of cheesy Eurodance at times, but in the live arena Lady Gaga is like the modern day Alice Cooper, giving us a spectacle that’s always preposterous and impossible to forget. She’ll unite the weirdos too, and thankfully there are plenty of those at Glastonbury.

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 17 Mar 2014

  • The Strokes

    The New York five-piece have already got a mammoth show at Hyde Park coming up in June, and Julian Casablancas and the boys are reportedly heading back into the studio for album six. What better way to crown a triumphant comeback than a headline slot at Glastonbury?

    Photo: Pooneh Ghana/NME

    Added: 09 Jun 2014

  • Avicii

    Like it or not, there’s nobody bigger than Avicii right now (even if nobody can be quite certain how to say his name properly). This set - taking a prominent position in the Glastonbury schedule - would no doubt lead to many a hands-on-hips soul searching moment. Do I still have it? Am I still in touch with what young people really like? Depressing, isn't it?

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 28 Mar 2014

  • Rage Against The Machine

    Imagine 60,000 people leaping in a field in unison shouting the words “fuck you I won’t do what you tell me!” It kind of reminds you of that “you’re all individuals” scene from Life of Brian doesn’t it? Still, Rage Against The Machine at Glastonbury would be a unifying experience. Probably.


    Added: 11 Oct 2012

  • Miley Cyrus

    Cyrus just gets more and more popular as time goes by, and everything she touches turns to gold lamé and glitter. She may not be everyone’s cup of tea (to say the least) but her recent shows in London proved entertaining on an industrial scale - exactly what you need for that big occasion. Unless you’d prefer some Bieber of course...

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 17 Feb 2014

  • Take That

    This could be the greatest day of our lives, especially if you’re a 45-year-old manicurist from Cleethorpes. Take That would unite the family element at Glastonbury for some singalongs, though ardent lefty Michael Eavis might have something to say about any booking following this year’s Icebreaker tax scandal.

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 11 Jun 2014

  • Madonna

    Somewhere below anglophile Madonna’s hard abs must exist a hankering to take on Glastonbury one year and show us all what she’s got. You don’t get any more famous than Madonna, so the eyes of the world would be watching. It would also be her chance to make amends for trashing that other well-loved British institution, the James Bond theme song.

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 11 Apr 2014