Emily Eavis has blamed the music industry for a lack of viable female headliners
The first wave of artists for Glastonbury 2023 have been announced, including a trio of all-male, all-white headliners.
Elton John had already been confirmed as the Sunday night headliner in December last year, but now festival organiser Emily Eavis has revealed the other two headliners to close out the Friday and Saturday nights.
Arctic Monkeys will headline the first night, their third time closing the Pyramid Stage, whilst legendary rock group Guns N’ Roses will make their first ever appearance at Worthy Farm by headlining the Saturday night.
Many more acts and attractions still to be announced. pic.twitter.com/dMnppdSf1U
— Glastonbury Festival (@glastonbury) March 3, 2023
The festival is likely to attract criticism though because of the lineup of all-white, all-male headliners for this year’s event.
Awful lack of diversity in the headliners. The undercard is excellent though.
— Felicity Pryke ? (@ICGenie) March 3, 2023
I totally get Arctic Monkeys. I totally get Elton John. It’s Guns’n’Roses I don’t get – and I am a fan. It’s hardly urgent, is it? Getting in a band to Glastonbury without new songs, singing old songs worse than they used to? Why not fill that slot with someone more… daring?
— Jonathan Dean (@JonathanDean_) March 3, 2023
But Eavis has said festivals are struggling with a dearth of viable female headliners due to an industry “pipeline” problem.
She explained to the Guardian that Guns N’ Roses were booked after a female headliner pulled out because she “changed her touring plans.”
I love #Glastonbury in a big way; Elton and Arctic Monkeys have special places in my musical make-up. But having three all-white, all-male headliners is SO far from leading by example. Yes there's diversity on the bill, but that trio topping the (literal) Pyramid is such a shame.
— Jimmy Blake (@jBlake92) March 3, 2023
Eavis didn’t name who this was, but Taylor Swift had been due to headline the 2020 edition of the festival before Covid-19 struck.
53% of the 55 names on this week’s partial lineup announcement are male.
Eavis said she remained “entirely focused on balancing our bill,” adding that it’s “not just about gender, it’s about every aspect of diversity.”
43% of those 55 names are non-white, or feature non-white members, and Afrobeats star Wizkid will headline the Other stage on Friday.
Eavis said Glastonbury was “probably one of the only big shows that’s really focused on this.”
The music industry needs to invest in more female musicians to create future headliners, she continued.
Eavis said: “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.”
But she said that two women are set to headline next year’s festival – one confirmed, one close, and both of them Glastonbury first-timers.
Rihanna and Madonna are among the top-billing acts who have never played the festival.
The 2023 lineup so far is:
Guns N’ Roses
Amadou and Mariam
Carly Rae Jepsen
Christine and the Queens
Lana Del Rey
Lil Nas X
Manic Street Preachers
Queens of the Stone Age
The War on Drugs
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