After criticism that the 2023 Glastonbury Festival will feature an all-male lineup, the co-organizer of Britain’s most famous music festival has promised that next year’s lineup will feature two women at the top.
On Friday, Glastonbury announced half of its 2023 lineup, and while the initial 52 artists billed are split almost evenly between male and female acts, the three main runners-up – Guns N’ Rose, Arctic Monkeys and Elton John – are predominantly underperforming; GN’R currently features keyboardist Melissa Reese.
Speaking to The Guardian about the lack of female artists at the top of the Glastonbury line, co-founder Emily Eavis said: “We can do everything, so the pipeline must be increased. This starts long before with the record companies, the radio. I can shout like a great force, but we are all involved.”
Eavis added that initial plans for the 2023 festival were to have a female headliner, but an unnamed artist, such as Taylor Swift, who was booked to play at the Covid-cancelled Glastonbury 2020, dropped out after she “changed her plans”; the Consectetur dates on Swift’s The Eras Tour (June 23-24) coincide with Glastonbury’s (June 21-25). Pipes N’ Roses have been booked to replace the unnamed headliner.
Both Lizzo and Lana Del Rey, who have had major festivals in the past, put prominent but not leading slots on stage; Lizzo will perform before GNR, while Del Rey will be performing other shows during the holidays.
However, Del Rey expressed disappointment at how Glastonbury promoted her appearance, with her name buried alphabetically below the headliner (and Lizzo’s) in Friday’s lineup. “Well, I’m actually asking for the second stage. But because there was no such thing. We’ll see,” he wrote on Instagram.
Eavis also promised that next year’s Glastonbury will have two female headliners, one of whom has already been booked and the other “relative”, both of whom have never played Glastonbury before; The Guardian notes that neither Madonna nor Rihanna are at the festival
At this year’s festival, the lineup also includes Blondie, Rina Sawayama, Christina and the Queens, Alison Goldfrapp, Carly Rae Jensen, Chicks, Warpaint, Weyes Blood, Maggie Rogers, and more.
“It’s not just about race, it’s about all aspects of diversity,” Eavis added, later pointing out that 43 percent of those 55 names are non-white or have non-white members. Afrobeat star Wizkid will take the second stage on Friday. “You’re probably one of the only big shows we’re really focused on,” Eavis said.