The Vaccines’ Justin Young: ‘Florence should have been headlining Glastonbury in the first place’

Band say they could be ready to headline Glasto after one more album

The Vaccines frontman Justin Young has expressed his opinion that Glastonbury Festival should have booked Florence And The Machine as a headline act even before Foo Fighters‘ cancellation.

Florence Welch and band stepped up from a support slot after the US group’s frontman Dave Grohl broke his leg in Gothenburg earlier this month. During her performance, Welch covered the Foos’ track ‘Times Like These’ in tribute to the singer-guitarist.

After Welch returned to the top of the UK Albums Chart following the set, now Young has stated in an interview with NME that the singer was always deserving of headliner status.


“I think [Florence] should have been doing it in the first place… or not just her specifically but of someone, you know, of that ilk,” Young said in a video interview (see above).

The band’s Freddie Cowan added: “I think it would be hard pressed and more diverse line-up than this year’s Glastonbury. I think having Florence filling that gap just kind of fulfils the balance.”

NMEWunmi Onibudo/NME
Florence And The Machine on stage at Glastonbury 2015

Prior to Welch’s promotion, Young had stated that he would have preferred Florence And The Machine headlining than Sunday’s festival closers The Who. Speaking in this new interview, he says that he stands by the statement.

“I actually think that the point that I made about The Who, which I stand by, has been nullified slightly by the fact that like by default that Florence stepped up and that just ticks so many boxes for me, it’s like a great pop act like I suppose in the grand scheme of things, a new artist certainly compared to like Foo Fighters or Kanye and a female at the top of the bill which has obviously been like kind of an issue of late,” he said.

“So yeah, I sort of, I stand by, you know I love The Who but I stand by on what I said on it feeling like an obvious choice or a safe choice when I think that there’s so many bands that people have been moaning that are not stepping up to that level.”

The singer continued: “Nostalgia pays and I understand that… because they know they can sell tickets by putting heritage acts at the top of the bills but it does make it difficult for newer artists to break through and reach that level.”


Asked whether The Vaccines would be open to headlining, the group said they didn’t feel ready at the moment but would definitely be keen in the future.

Young said: “We’ve headlined for smaller festivals but I wouldn’t feel comfortable being anywhere closer to the top than we are right now… I don’t think we are at that sort of level really, yet.”

“There’s no rush… but in two years and another record down the line and maybe I wouldn’t feel the same way,” Cowan added. “It’s an absolute ambition of ours to headline at festivals, it just is.”

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