Festival bosses want the US rockers to return after their acclaimed performance at the festival in 1999...

REM are favourites to headline GLASTONBURY 2003.

As previously reported, REM plan to release their new album within a year. The three founding members, guitarist Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and singer Michael Stipe are working on songs in Vancouver.

NME.COM understands that Glastonbury bosses want REM, who headlined in 1999, to return next year.

A source close to the festival told NME.COM: “REM are planning on playing shows next summer, and the festival is right in the middle of the proposed tour.”

Speaking recently, band manager Bertis Downs revealed how recording for the new album will work. He commented. “The guys plan to work in bursts on this record – a few weeks here, somewhere warmer in the winter, different in the spring, possibly some shows next summer. All should result in a new disc, available in panoply of formats in a matter of months (more likely a year or so).

“Peter, Mike, and Michael are doing great individually and collectively, and all seem supercharged to be back in the studio, writing, playing, trying things out, getting sounds, working with Pat and Jamie (McCarthy and Candiloro), and while October everywhere is a pretty spectacular time of year, it seems especially crisp, cool, and vivid in British Columbia right about now.

“It’s sort of like Seattle if Seattle was in Europe – very cosmopolitan -a true melting pot of cultures, and a wonderful city to explore on foot. Anyway…they’re off, early days, but good vibes about the next one.”