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Glastonbury 2023: Arctic Monkeys and Guns N’ Roses join Elton John as headliners

Festival co-organiser Emily Eavis said its all-male line-up this year is a ‘pipeline’ problem

By Charlotte Krol

Artic Monkeys, Guns N' Roses, and Elton John headline Glastonbury Festival 2023
Artic Monkeys, Guns N' Roses, and Elton John headline Glastonbury Festival 2023. (Pictures: Wikimedia Commons/Raph_PH; Wikimedia Commons/Carlos Varela; Wikimedia Commons/Mustafa Doğan Özçelik)

Arctic Monkeys and Guns N’ Roses will join Elton John in headlining this year’s Glastonbury Festival, Emily Eavis has announced.

Eavis, the festival’s co-organiser, shared the news in an article discussing “pipeline” problems in light of the all-male headline bookings.

She told The Guardian that Guns N’ Roses replaced a female singer who “changed her touring plans”. Although Eavis didn’t name the act, it’s thought that it could have been Taylor Swift, who was originally set to perform in 2020 when Glastonbury was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Arctic Monkeys will headline the world-famous festival in Pilton, Somerset on the Friday night (22 June), Guns N’ Roses on the Saturday night (23 June) and Elton John on the Sunday night (24 June).

Eavis also announced the first wave of acts set to perform at Glastonbury – including Lizzo, Blondie, Fatboy Slim, Lewis Capaldi, Rina Sawayama, Lil Nas X, Lana Del Rey, Christine and the Queens, Alt-J, Royal Blood, Queens of the Stone Age, and many others – and said in response to the fact that that 53 per cent of the 55 names are men: “We are entirely focused on balancing our bill.”

black and white Arctic Monkeys press photo
Arctic Monkeys. CREDIT: Zackery Michael

“It’s not just about gender, it’s about every aspect of diversity,” Eavis added, going on to reveal that 43 per cent of those 55 names are non-white, or feature non-white members. Afrobeats star Wizkid will headline the Other stage on the Friday. “We’re probably one of the only big shows that’s really focused on this,” Eavis said.

According to the organiser, the music industry needs to invest in more female musicians to create future headliners. “We’re trying our best so the pipeline needs to be developed. This starts way back with the record companies, radio. I can shout as loud as I like but we need to get everyone on board,” Eavis told The Guardian.

Elsewhere on the line-up so far is: Alison Goldfrapp, Amadou and Mariam, Becky Hill, Candi Staton, Carly Rae Jepsen, Cat Burns, Central Cee, Ezra Collective, Fatboy Slim, Leftfield, Loyle Carner, Maggie Rogers, Mahalia, Måneskin, Manic Street Preachers, Nova Twins, Phoenix, Shygirl, Sparks, Stefflon Don, Sudan Archives, Texas, The Chicks, The War on Drugs, Thundercat, Tinariwen, Warpaint, Weyes Blood, Young Fathers, and Yusuf/Cat Stevens.

In other recent Glastonbury news, Brian May has doubled down on his attitude towards playing the festival with Queen, and explained why they will never do it.