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Glastonbury Festival Headliners: What’s the Worst that Could Happen?

Everyone's writing about how Prince and Daft Punk could headline. But it might be worse.
Ryan Bassil
London, GB

The other night, at the Independent Music Awards, Michael Eavis, the Louis Vuitton Don of Glastonbury, said the same thing that he says after every festival. Something about how this year will be very difficult to top, everyone achieved some sort of enlightened state, and it was pretty much the best thing to happen since the last time Worthy Farm was filled with amphetamines, long drops, and over priced Buffalo meat.


Michael also announced that he had three headliners in place, all of whom haven’t played at the festival before. And, just like every year, people are wetting their pants, trying to second guess who the headliner will be. Presumably choosing to forget the fact that this year, we hoped for Daft Punk, and were left with Mumford.

These are dark times, no one has any money, chemical warfare is impending, and decisions need to be made over what’s more important, personal hygiene, or a place to live. There’s no room for optimism. Without being pessimistic, how else would the V Festival crowd be able to get so excited about Keane and their friends playing the festival each year?

Soooo, Glastonbury, and your festival headliners, in the words of Dr Pepper, what’s the worst that could happen?


On Friday night, after shelving a couple of pills at the Stone Circle, ingesting a birthday party worth of laughing gas, and belching the remains of a Pie Minister, everyone wants someone to remind them that, yes, they’re loved, they’re special, and everything is going to be just fine. At Glastonbury, there is a plenitude of baggies available for that, but for everything else, there’s Adele. She’s a monolith of pop music intended to make everyone feel like they’re living in the end credits of their life. She’d also be the most depressing Glastonbury act since Lou Reed. Yay for depression!

The Eagles



If you’ve got a Dad who owns a guitar and enjoys a crafty fag in the garage on the weekend, then you probably know the entirety of The Eagles back catalogue. And even if you don’t have a Dad, then you’ll at least know “Hotel California”, the worst song to be made popular since somebody decided that listening to the same riff for six and a half minutes was enjoyable. When that familiar plucking kicks in, you and your friends will feel complete, achieving what every festival goer strives toward: hands in the air, mouthing all the wrong words.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Let’s not beat around the bush here because no one wants Noel and his birds to come flying out. But, if they did, and they played at least three Oasis songs (“Wonderwall”, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” and “Live Forever”, in case you’re reading, Noel), it’d make the other hour and a half of the set semi-bearable. And by semi-bearable, I mean, everyone would be talking, shuffling their feet, and deliberating whether it’s worth sitting through one more song because “he’ll definitely play “She’s Electric”, he played it at Coachella!” or fucking off to Shangri-La before the queue.

Robin Thicke

Think about it.

Oasis (without Liam and Noel)

Yes, they’ve played a few times before, but only with Liam and Noel arm and arm. In the absence of two brothers who, despite being in their forties, haven’t learnt to grow up, Gem, Andy and Chris decide to reform the band for one last great time (read: a huge chunk of cash). In doing so, they’d decide to create an Oasis Superstar team, made up of all the past members of Oasis. Bonehead, Paul “Guigsy” McGuigan, Ringo Starr’s son. All the lads would be there. It wouldn’t matter that there’d be four drummers, because it would be Oasis. They’d be back. And the lead singer from Viva Brother would be the frontman.


The Stone Roses

The last time I read the dictionary, a reunion was a noun that can be defined as “an instance of two or more people coming together again after separation”, not “seeing how much money we can squeeze out of that one good record we made twenty years ago”.

The Strokes

Does anyone care any more? Anyone? (If you do, please send your care to the following address: 9th Floor, Blue Fin Building, LONDON, SE1 oSU.)


In all honesty, this would probably be a very good thing. Why? Because everyone would flock to see a pop star past her prime, leaving no queues for the toilets, no queue for The Rabbit Hole, and a one-on-one session with Primal Scream, or whatever nondescript band will be playing The Other Stage at the same time.

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RyanBassil

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