SO. LONG. TO. WAIT.
With 2018 a fallow year for Glastonbury, all focus for the festival is looking ahead to 2019, and next year’s dates are already confirmed as June 26-30 2019.
What has been said?
Speaking at the VO5 NME Awards in February, Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis dropped some hints about the festival’s 2019 headliners, stating there’ll be “two or three [acts] that have never played”.
Organiser Emily Eavis, meanwhile, told NME that they had “booked one headliner so far”, adding: “Headliners should be the best artists around – whether they’re rappers, pop stars or rock bands. The genre is irrelevant – it’s about who is going to produce the most exciting show and is making the best music.”
Who could headline?
Asked by Jo Whiley about the potential of Paul McCartney headlining, she responded: “Oh we always want him – he’s top of our list. We’ll have to see.”
The former Beatle last headlined in 2004, so he could be overdue a return to the Pyramid Stage – plus he will be dropping his 17th solo album ‘Egypt Station’ in September, ahead of a UK arena tour. Worthy Farm could be a’calling…
Kendrick hasn’t appeared at Glastonbury before, but he’s no stranger to headlining festivals, having topped the Coachella bill earlier this year and heading across the pond for a Reading & Leeds headline spot later this summer.
He’s also the favourite to headline the festival, according to Paddy Power’s latest betting odds.
Glastonbury’s organisers have shown they’re not afraid to recognise rap’s biggest stars, with Jay-Z and Kanye headlining in 2008 and 2015 respectively. However, with Kendrick’s latest album ‘Damn’ being released back in April 2017, will Lamar be too busy working on a new record next summer?
The ‘Like A Virgin’ icon is the latest artist rumoured to top the bill at Worthy Farm next year, with insiders telling The Sun that she is among the first to be booked during Glasto’s fallow year.
“Preparations are already well under way after they’ve taken this year off, and Michael and his daughter Emily Eavis want to make it better than ever,” they reportedly told the tabloid. “They have always been massive fans of Madonna and know she would put on an unforgettable show.
“It was really important that they had a diverse line-up for the 2019 festival after criticism of previous ones.”
Having recently announced his Yellow Brick Road farewell tour, an Elton slot at Glasto could be on the cards, especially given that the festival’s headliners have been short of veteran acts in recent years – The Who headlined in 2015, and before that The Rolling Stones in 2013.
Speaking to Heart recently, John left the door open, saying: “I don’t think I am a Glastonbury type of act, but having said that I played Bestival and had a great time… so we’ll see.”
Glastonbury has long courted Fleetwood Mac, with Michael Eavis saying in 2016 that the festival simply couldn’t afford the band. “Adele did it for less, Rolling Stones did it for a reasonable rate,” he said. “We can’t afford to spend £4-5m on people to play. Mick Fleetwood said he would do it himself, but come on. I’d like the rest of the band and they all want to be paid a lot of money.”
Eavis then added in 2017: “They’ve got so many managers I can’t agree a price. Stevie Nicks would be good. Maybe I could get her on her own.”
However, with Fleetwood Mac recently announcing new tour dates (amid their split from Lyndsey Buckingham), perhaps things could change.
Mick Fleetwood even teased a potential future Glasto appearance, telling the Daily Express last year: “One day we’ll just get on a plane and come over and do it”.
Earlier this year, pop legends ABBA announced that they’d be releasing their first new material in 35 years and that they were plotting a ‘virtual’ tour for 2019 using hologram technology.
While bookies at the time offered odds of 33/1 on the Swedes headlining Glastonbury next year, ABBA spokeswoman and manager Gorel Hanser told The Mirror: “No, definitely not. We should remember them how they were in the 1970s, and listen to how they sing today.”
Alex Turner and co don’t fit Michael Eavis’ description of having never played the festival before, headlining twice in the past – first in 2007 and then again in 2013. Their last outing was surrounding the release of ‘AM’, so don’t be too surprised if they take to the Pyramid Stage again in 2019 to mark the end of their ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’ album cycle.
Having recently headlined Primavera Sound in Barcelona, the band’s 2018 summer schedule has headline slots at loads more festivals still to come, including TRNSMT, Mad Cool, Open’er, Nos Alive, Oya, Way Out West and Flow Festival. A potential headline slot at Glastonbury 2019 could be a decent one-off appearance set for next summer.
Having originally been booked to headline the festival in 1995 (eventually being replace by Pulp), the Stone Roses have a bit of unfinished business when it comes to Glastonbury.
The star’s Reputation Stadium Tour runs worldwide until the end of 2019, but don’t be surprised if the stint gets extended beyond that. With UK dates in London, Manchester and Dublin this June, Swift could potentially head back to Europe next summer.
However, the singer’s close pal Ed Sheeran cast doubt on any potential Glasto appearance from Swift, telling The Sun in 2014: “I’d bet you a large amount of money she doesn’t – a large amount of money. Taylor doesn’t like festivals. So for any bookies reading… I think Taylor likes doing her own show because she’s in control and it’s how she wants it to be. With Glastonbury or any festival, you’re at the mercy of the people who run the festival. She wants it all to be perfect.”
Although, maybe Sheeran’s 2017 Glastonbury set has changed Swift mind? She did recently play BBC’s Glasto replacement, The Biggest Weekend, in Swansea recently.
Incredibly, The Strokes have never played Glastonbury (although band’s frontman Julian Casablancas played an eventful solo set in 2010, when he climbed the lighting rig.) So a headline set would be quite the way to mark their first performance at the festival.
However, the latest odds for the band getting a headline slot aren’t favourable. We can only wait and see…
Emily Evis has admitted she’d love the rock icons to headline Glastonbury – but that, realistically, it’s probably never going to happen.
“There’s a few people who I’d love to get like Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush, people that haven’t done it”, she said last year.
“Obviously it would be great if we could get Led Zeppelin for example, but not sure if that would ever happen.”
While most Glastonbury rumours involve a Oasis reunion (which we don’t look like we’re getting any time soon), it would be more probable to see either Noel or Liam Gallagher headlining separately in 2019. Imagine if they both got booked – what a tense backstage that would be.
Asked recently by NME whether Liam could top the Pyramid Stage as a solo artist, Emily Eavis simply replied, “We love Liam”, while also pointing to the success of his Other Stage performance in 2017.
One of the most divisive Glastonbury bookings in recent memory, Kanye seems to have a point to prove when it comes to the festival. His 2015 headline set received mixed reviews and West later said that the experience left him in a “depressed state”.
NME asked Emily Eavis if Kanye could return in the future, to which she said: “Maybe, but it’s a little bit too soon to talk about it now.”
Just imagine seeing Kanye’s floating stage at Glastonbury though…
Stereophonics would be considered a massive outsider by most, but frontman Kelly Jones definitely backs his band, telling NME last year of his desire to headline Glasto again.
He said: “Up until the last few years I don’t think people were allowed to do it more than once, then Coldplay did a couple of times then Muse. All of a sudden, you’re like ‘oh, that is possible’. So, we’re waiting for the offer.”
Who are the bookies tipping?
Kendrick, Elton and Fleetwood Mac are the bookies’ favourites for 2019, with a Paddy Power spokesperson telling NME: “There’s a big Glasto-shaped hole in our lives this year and we’re already excited to see the line-up for 2019. It’s Kendrick in at the top spot – after consistently blowing everyone away this year. Then, an oldie but a goodie, Elton John.”
Paddy Power’s Glastonbury 2019 headliner odds:
Kendrick Lamar 1/5
Elton John 1/2
Fleetwood Mac 2/1
Arctic Monkeys 4/1
The Stone Roses 12/1
Taylor Swift 12/1
The Strokes 14/1
Led Zeppelin 14/1