The Glastonbury 2023 lineup poster has confirmed that Arctic Monkeys and Guns N’ Roses will join Elton John to headline the Pyramid Stage at the Worthy Farm festival in June.
Friday’s announcement means the three acts that finish each day on the Pyramid Stage are made up almost entirely of white males.
Festival organizer Emily Eavis tells The guard that a previously scheduled headliner had to cancel due to her touring schedule when Guns N’ Roses were booked.
She didn’t name the acts that dropped out, but expressed hope they could play the festival in the next five years.
The lack of diversity is despite the festival’s previous efforts to move towards a 50:50 split of male and female artists.
In 2022, Billie Eilish headlined Friday Night’s Pyramid Stage alongside Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar, while British grime legend Stormzy headlined the Pyramid Stage in 2019 and Adele was among the headliners in 2016.
Eavis has also stated that Lizzo will be headlining alongside Guns N’ Roses but will still open for the ‘Paradise City’ rockers, noting that “the headlining slot has already been promised to someone else”.
She added that she is “completely focused on breaking even our score. It’s not just about gender, it’s about every aspect of diversity. We’re probably one of the few big shows that really focuses on that.
“We’re trying our best, so the pipeline needs to be developed. It started a long time ago with record companies and radio. I can scream as loud as I want, but we need to get everyone on board.”
Taylor Swift was previously announced alongside Kendrick Lamar and Paul McCartney for the 2020 edition of the festival, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, only the latter two returned to headline the next festival in 2022.
Arctic Monkeys last headlined Glastonbury in 2013, while both Guns N’ Roses and Elton John will make their Glasto debuts, with the Rocket Man musician currently embarking on his final Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. This will be his last show in the UK.
In terms of LGBTQ+ representation, it’s worth noting that Elton John and American rapper Lil Nas X, who will perform before him on Pyramid Stage, have both come out as gay.
Meanwhile, Afrobeats star Wizkid will headline the Other Stage on Friday, while Lana Del Rey will also headline the same stage later in the weekend.
To date, 52% of the names announced for Glastonbury are male and 46% of those 54 names are non-white or have non-white members. Many more acts are to be announced.
Other non-male acts in Friday’s lineup announcement include Becky Hill, Alison Goldfrapp, Carly Rae Jepsen, Rina Sawayama, Maggie Rogers and Kelis.
Eavis said the 2024 lineup will see two women headlining, with one in talks and one already confirmed. She added that no one has played the festival before – there is speculation that former Super Bowl headliners Madonna and Rihanna could be in contention.
However, Eavis has denied that the Spice Girls would be playing but added that Mel C would be returning to the festival solo.
In other news about the festival, Vodafone has announced that it will be the event’s official connectivity partner, providing boosted mobile data to more than 210,000 attendees.
The network will provide the official line up app previously provided by EE, as well as phone charging at the festival.
Vodafone customers can also secure tickets to the sold-out event by taking advantage of the VeryMe Rewards program available on the MyVodafone app.
Glastonbury 2023 will take place from 21st to 25th June. Tickets are currently sold out, but post-sale is expected in spring.
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