In Defence Of Florence: Five Reasons Why She’s Glastonbury’s Perfect Foo Fighters Replacement

Well, that was cleared up quickly. Florence + The Machine, previously positioned just below Foo Fighters on the Glastonbury lineup, have been bumped up the bill to Friday night headliners after Dave Grohl was forced to pull his band from the bill following a painful fall in Sweden. To some, it might seem like the obvious choice, like simply crossing Foos name off the flyer. The truth is, people should be excited about the prospect of Florence Welch rising to the occasion on the Pyramid Stage. Here’s five more reasons why her set’s going to be a big, beautiful carnival of emotion that will leave Glastonbury-goers both blubbing and dancing uncontrollably come next Friday.

She should’ve been chosen in the first place

As NME’s resident soothsayer Leonie Cooper said way back in February, if anybody encapsulates the Glasto vibe of utter escapism and not giving a shit about what anybody thinks, it’s Florence. “In the testosterone-fuelled midst of this year’s rumoured headliners – AC/DC, Foo Fighters, Noel Gallagher and Muse – we can’t think of more suited person to top the Pyramid Stage bill,” wrote Cooper. Sure enough, Florence has the necessary sense of melodrama and theatre needed to take on that huge stage and captivate such a large crowd – in the field, and at home.

She’s earned it

Not only has she got the love – she’s got the profile too. Flo been one of the biggest-selling British artists around the world since her debut was released in 2009, shifting almost 10 million albums. She’s played at the festival twice before, in 2009 and 2010: enough to make her seem like a safe bet, but long enough ago for her not to feel like part of the furniture. Plus, both those performances, particularly 2010 when she drew an enormous crowd to The Other Stage, were highlights of the weekend. No matter what anyone says, she’s earned this headlining spot.

She’ll have a point to prove

If Florence agrees with us that she should’ve been chosen in the first place, she’ll have something extra to prove on the night. It’s time for her to dig in and show the Eavises why they should’ve booked her in that spot, and join a long list of artists that have gone on to even bigger and better things after a career-changing coming of age on the Pyramid Stage.

She’s got the crossover songs needed

What do you need in a festival headliner? Well, lots of things, but the songs are the most important thing, and Flo has plenty of hits, more than enough to keep casual listeners interested. Rest assured the likes of ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’, ‘Kiss With A Fist’, ”Dog Days Are Over’, ‘Spectrum’, ‘Lover To Lover’ and her cover of Candi Staton’s ‘You Got The Love’ are going to be special moments.

It’s about time a woman headlined

The line ups for most festivals are pretty dude heavy, let’s face it. Beyonce was the last woman to headline the Pyramid Stage in 2011. Every year, there are the same complaints about there not being enough young artists coming through to headline festivals, and that there aren’t enough female acts to choose from, yet young bands and women are never given the chance. Here’s a young woman, headlining. Let her be the first of many.