Glastonbury needs to lead the way for music equality – pale and male headliners won’t wash

IT’S so much more than the world’s greatest music festival – for a few days every year, a Somerset farm becomes the most wonderful place on Earth.

Glastonbury is a music-lover’s Mecca, but also a beacon for tolerance, diversity, intrigue and joy for people of every imaginable lifestyle.

Guns N’ Roses will be a headline act at GlastonburyGettyThey’ll also be joined by the Arctic MonkeysGettyAnd Elton John completes an all-male trioGetty

So it’s a shame that this year’s line-up has given critics the chance to berate an all-male trio of headline acts — and even more disappointingly it’s hard to disagree.

For months I have been revealing this summer’s performers, including all three of the headline acts, Arctic Monkeys, Guns N’ Roses and Sir Elton John, long before they were officially confirmed.

But I was certain another performer would be added to the mix for one of the headline slots.

From Rihanna, Beyonce and Taylor Swift to Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa, Katy Perry, Florence + The Machine, and Pink, there’s no shortage of A-list female talent worthy of the gig.

Cat Stevens makes up a rather male-dominated line-upLizzo’s name has been shoehorned into the top line in the space usually kept for the Legends slotRex FeaturesMadonna has yet to take to the Pyramid StageGetty

And clearly, organiser Emily Eavis was aware of the likely response — shoehorning Lizzo’s name into the top line of today’s announcement, in the space usually kept for the Sunday afternoon Legends slot — which this year is actually folk veteran Cat Stevens.

It felt like a thinly-veiled attempt to gloss over the issue, with Emily yesterday addressing their failure to secure any women or more ethnically diverse acts in the top slots with a carefully worded interview in which she blamed a “pipeline” problem in the wider music industry.

She revealed Guns N’ Roses were booked when a previously confirmed female headliner “changed her touring plans”, but declined to name names — industry sources pointed to Taylor, who tours this summer, as a likely candidate.

Female talent like Dua Lipa is missing from the headline actsGettyQuirky Florence and the Machine also won’t be headliningGettyRihanna also won’t be one of the acts despite her Super Bowl successGetty

Dubiously, Emily argued that Lizzo “could totally headline” — but admitted the “slot had already been promised to someone else”.

Admittedly the race and gender split across the whole festival is broadly even, with 52 per cent male acts and 46 per cent non-white, or featuring non-white members.

Emily added that next year’s festival should see two female headliners, with one already signed and another close to it — with Madonna yet to take to the Pyramid Stage.

It’s just a shame they could not deliver this sooner.

There’s no shortage of female talent like BeyonceGettyOr pop legend Katy PerryAlamy

LIZZO gave festivalgoers a taste of what they can expect in a revealing bodysuit for her gig in Milan.

She will bring her tour to the UK next week and then play dates in the US before jetting back over for Glasto.

The About Damn Time singer attracted a massive crowd when she last played Worthy Farm in 2019, so I am sure it will be a major moment this time.

Lizzo released fourth album Special last July so she will have a big job on her hands whittling down her setlist.


GLASTONBURY is renaming its John Peel Stage following sexual abuse claims against the late DJ.

The stage, which has hosted Primal Scream and Dua Lipa in recent years, was named after the broadcaster following his death from a heart attack in 2004, aged 65.

Glastonbury’s John Peel Stage is set for a renameSWNSThe stage was named after the broadcaster following his death from a heart attack in 2004, aged 65AFP

But festival bosses have decided to change it to Woodsies – after the field it stands in ­– amid outrage over the abuse allegations, as well as controversial comments made by the BBC DJ.

Confirming the move, festival organiser Emily Eavis said: “We’ve had 20 years of John Peel and it’s been an honour to use his name.”

In a 2004 interview, Peel – who famously championed emerging acts – admitted sexual contact with “an awful lot” of under-age girls.

Aged 25, he married Shirley Anne Milburn in Texas in 1965, when she was just 15, although it was then legal in the US state.

After his death, alleged victims spoke out, including Jane Nevin, who claimed in 2012 that Peel got her pregnant in 1969, when she was just 15.

A petition launched last July to rename the stage now has 1,820 signatures.

But Emily said: “I haven’t got involved in that, it’s not our area.

“We’ve had a good relationship with the Peel family and everyone’s on board.”

A festival source said: “Glastonbury bosses are feeling the pressure.”

Good on them for doing the right thing.

PUNTERS will now be able to keep in touch with pals back home while at Glasto thanks to its new deal with Vodafone.

The mobile phone giant has signed up to be the festival’s official connectivity partner and has promised to deliver more network capacity to the event than ever before.

And it will be offering its customers the chance to gain access to free tickets via its VeryMe Rewards programme.

An official Glastonbury app will be available from Vodafone in the coming months.


EMILY EAVIS has defended the new entry price for the festival – after it rose by £55 to £340.

The event still sold out in just over an hour when tickets went on sale in November, but there was criticism of the increase during the current cost-of-living crisis.

Emily Eavis defends the steep rise in price of a ticket for GlastonburyGetty

Emily said: “We put it up by the minimum that we could.

“In order to do the exact same show as last time, we would have had to put £100 on the ticket.

“That’s the amount that costs have gone up.”

But she said that the festival – which costs £50million to run – was focused on continuing to give punters free experiences once on site and keeping food affordable.


 Flowers – Miley Cyrus
Boy’s A Liar – PinkPantheress
Kill Bill – Sza
Die For You – The Weeknd
Sure Thing – Migel
Calm Down –   Rema
Ceilings – Lizzy  McAlpine
As It Was – Harry Styles
Players – Coi Leray
   10. 10:35 – Tiesto & Tate McRae

MILEY Cyrus’ Flowers is the longest-running No1 by a female solo artist since Adele’s Easy On Me.

It has now racked up seven weeks at the top – one week shy of the Brit superstar’s total.

The Weeknd’s 2016 track Die For You has become his 14th Top Ten hit after Ariana Grande jumped on the remix.


THE Spice Girls have teased us by talking about reuniting for Glastonbury, but there’s no chance of it happening soon.

Melanie C previously reckoned even Victoria Beckham would rejoin the group – along with Emma Bunton, Geri Horner and Mel B – if they bagged the Sunday afternoon legends slot.

Even though Mel C teased getting back together with Posh – the Spice Girls’ plans now seem to be on iceGetty

But organiser Emily Eavis said: “That is not a conversation we’re having.”

Given the cost of the girls getting it all together for one show, I can’t see it happening.

But Mel C is set to return after performing last year too.


Cracker Island – Gorillaz
Trustfall – Pink
Good Riddance – Gracie Abrams
The Highlights – The Weeknd
High Drama – Adam Lambert
SOS – Sza
Harry’s House – Harry Styles
Midnights – Taylor Swift
Curtain Call: The Hits – Eminem
Diamonds – Elton John

GORILLAZ have topped the charts for the first time in 17 years with their latest album Cracker Island.

The cartoon group, below, created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, beat off new entries from Gracie Abrams at No3 and Adam Lambert at No5.

So who’s in line-up so far…

Aitch will be in the line-upSplash News

Arctic Monkeys
Guns N’ Roses             
Elton John        
Alison Goldfrapp        
Amadou and Mariam
Becky Hill
Candi Staton
Carly Rae Jepsen

Cat Burns will also be thereGettyAs well as Fatboy SlimSplash News

Cat Burns
Central Cee
Christine And The Queens
Ezra Collective
Fatboy Slim
Fever Ray
Fred Again   
Hot Chip
Joey Bada$$
Lana Del Rey
Lewis Capaldi

Lil Nas X will also be thereGettyAs well as Rina SawayamaGetty

Lil Nas X
Loyle Carner
Maggie Rogers
Manic Street Preachers
Nova Twins
Rina Sawayama          
Royal Blood
Stefflon Don
Sudan Archives
The Chicks
The War On Drugs
Weyes Blood
Young Fathers
Yusuf/Cat Stevens

Wizkid will also be thereRex Features