Glastonbury Festival has renamed the John Peel Stage “Woodsies” for this year’s edition.
Festival co-organiser Emily Eavis shared the news in an interview today (3 March), where two more headliners were confirmed and the line-up’s first wave was revealed. Arctic Monkeys and Guns N’ Roses were announced to join Elton John in topping the festival bill.
Speaking to The Guardian, Eavis said that the move is part of the Glastonbury‘s efforts to name stages after the areas that they’re located in. Eavis also said that a new family orientated area of the same name, which will feature a campfire, is being introduced at this summer’s event.
Formerly known as the New Bands Tent, the venue was rebranded as the John Peel Stage in 2004 after BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel and friend of the festival died that year.
“We’ve had 20 years of John Peel and it’s been an honour to use his name,” Eavis told The Guardian.
In 2022 a petition was launched urging Glastonbury organisers to change the name of the John Peel Stage due to the broadcaster marrying a 15-year-old girl in Texas in 1965 when he was 25. It was legal at the time.
The Change.org page cited the marriage as an example of misconduct. However, Eavis said that the name change was not a response to the petition, which gathered 1,820 thousand signatures.
“I haven’t got involved in that because it’s not our area,” she said of the controversy. “We’ve had a really good relationship with the Peel family and everyone’s on board.”
In the same article Eavis blamed “pipeline” problems on the fact that this year’s festival has resulted in all-male headliners.
She said 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.
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 said.