Manic Street Preachers to headline Park Stage at Glastonbury 2020: “There’s a real sense of fun about it”

“We have an association with the festival, the good and the bad, so it’s great to be part of the 50th anniversary"

Manic Street Preachers have revealed that they’ll be headlining the Park Stage at Glastonbury 2020 – and have promised that their set will be quite the celebration.

The band were among the long list of names on the main line-up for Glasto 2020 to be revealed last night, joining the likes of Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Dua Lipa, Elbow, FKA Twigs, Robyn, Lana Del Rey, the Pet Shop Boys, Charli XCX and many more.

“I think we’re headlining The Park Stage,” bassist and lyricist Nicky Wire told NME. “I can’t remember if it’s the Friday or Saturday, but on Sunday we’re playing with British Sea Power in Halifax.

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“We wanted to play Glastonbury because we’re not selling anything. It’s not a big promo run, we haven’t got an album out, there’s no pressure – it’s just us having a real sense of fun about it. It’s something a bit off-kilter.”

The Manics have played the festival five times throughout their career – including a Pyramid Stage headline set in 1999 (where they got into a spat with Billy Bragg for bringing their own private portaloo), as well as infamously calling for “building a bypass over this shithole” during their appearance in 1994.

Wire added added: “We have an association with the festival, the good and the bad, so it’s great to be part of the 50th anniversary.”

Manic Street Preachers
Manic Street Preachers CREDIT: Jo Hale/Redferns

Glasto will be among a few festival headline dates for the band this summer, when they’ll also be supporting The Killers in the UK and Green Day in Scandinavia,

“It’s been a great couple of years,” Wire told NME. “We’ve been able to support Bon Jovi and Guns N’ Roses, and now Green Day and The Killers. We’ve always really loved supporting bands. We loved supporting Oasis back in the day. You get up on stage, play for an hour, there’s less pressure, then you enjoy watching the headliner. It just felt like a no-brainer to us. It allows us to enjoy ourselves a bit.”

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Asked about the band’s relationship with The Killers and Green Day, Wire said: “I think there’s definitely a connection. Both are bands that I’ve really enjoyed over the years. I can’t speak for another generation, but my kids love them and have found them to be a great way of getting into other music as well. The Manics have always been about setting people off on different pathways.”

  • Check back at NME soon for more of our interview with Nicky Wire

Manic Street Preachers, live in Glasgow
Manic Street Preachers. Credit: Ross Gilmore/Redferns via Getty Images

Manic Street Preachers’ deluxe ‘Gold Against The Soul’ reissue will arrive on June 12. Check out Wire discussing the legacy of the album and what to expect from the re-release here.

The band are also working on the follow-up to 2018’s acclaimed ‘Resistance Is Futile‘. Wire told NME that the record was sounding “expansive” and would be due next year, while frontman James Dean Bradfield prepares to release a solo album this summer.

Meanwhile, Manics fans can stream their ‘The Holy Bible’ live movie Be Pure, Be Vigilant, Behave for 10 days from today on The AM Service – a new streaming platform celebrating the best of Welsh art and culture. Watch an exclusive clip of the track ‘Yes’ above.

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