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Arctic Monkeys’ Glastonbury set to go ahead, Emily Eavis confirms

Alex Turner appears to have shaken off laryngitis

By Joe Goggins

Arctic Monkeys press shot, 2022
Turner has passed a late fitness test. (Photo: Zackery Michael)

Arctic Monkeys will headline Glastonbury tonight (June 23), with frontman Alex Turner having overcome laryngitis.

Concerns were raised about the Sheffield outfit’s bill-topping slot on the Pyramid Stage, after the band cancelled a huge show in Dublin at Marlay Park on Tuesday (June 20). A bout of laryngitis for Turner was blamed, with fan-shot footage of the group’s final London show at Emirates Stadium on Sunday (June 18) indicating he was losing his voice at the gig wore on.

Now, though, he appears to be fighting fit for what will be the Monkeys’ third time headlining Glastonbury, after previously closing the Pyramid in 2007 and 2013. Festival organiser Emily Eavis, who had said earlier this week that she was confident Turner would be ready to go, confirmed that the set was going ahead to the BBC’s music correspondent, Mark Savage.

“It was a little bit close there for a minute,” Savage quoted Eavis as saying on Twitter. “We were thinking about whether we should have a serious back-up plan – but no, thankfully. They’re on.” Additionally, The Independent’s Jacob Stolworthy shared mobile phone footage of the band sound-checking this morning, in a further indication that the show will go ahead.

As Eavis referenced, there had been talk of back-up plans in recent days, were the Monkeys unavailable. Foo Fighters are widely expected to play a ‘secret’ set on the Pyramid today under the name The Churnups, which would have positioned them as ready-made replacements for the headliner if the need had arisen. The Foos are no stranger to such a position themselves, having had to drop off of the lineup in 2015 when frontman Dave Grohl broke his leg at a show in Gothenburg; Florence + the Machine stepped in to top the bill instead. The Foos’ Glastonbury appearance this year is expected to be announced imminently.

The festival is now underway in earnest, having opened its gates on Wednesday (June 21). Headline sets from the Monkeys as well as Guns N’ Roses and Elton John are in prospect, with the latter playing what is slated to be his final UK show.