The band are hotly tipped to be headliners in 2005 - and they've made their mind up...

U2 have been ruled out of a headline slot at GLASTONBURY 2005 – but organiser MICHAEL EAVIS has hinted as to who will be playing.

At the close of this year’s festival, Eavis announced that U2 were first on his wish list of headliners. However, it transpires that they will be unable to play due to touring commitments.

Eavis told the Virtual Festivals site: “U2 are not doing it. We heard last week. They are doing a tour with Clear Channel and it would get in the way of their schedule. But their manager said they will do it at some point in the future. We’re always talking to potential headliners from a very early date, because they are the most complicated to sort out.”

However, it’s better news for fans of this year’s British big-hitters, three of which are set to make a return appearance.

“In terms of what you could call the ‘second division’ of artists, who are still massive of course but not headliners, we’re confident Snow Patrol, [/a], [a] and [a][/a] will all play. They’re all brilliant and hopefully they will play. I expect to see them there.”

As for the headline slots, Eavis hinted that he is looking at names just as big as U2, prompting speculation that he is in talks with Madonna – who was in the frame to play when in 2001 before that year’s event was called off.

Eavis said: “We know who we want the three headliners to be, but I can’t tell you who! What I will tell you is that we have sent someone out to the States this week to pursue an artist we want. Yes, they are American and yes, they are of superstar proportions. That’s all I can say!”

Glastonbury 2005 will take place on the weekend of June 24-26, license permitting.