- By Paul Glynn
- Entertainment reporter
Glastonbury Festival organiser Emily Eavis has said she has recently been offered a “really big American artist” who she hopes will headline next year.
Next year’s “legend slot”, effectively a fourth headliner – has already been filled by a female act, she revealed.
Speaking to podcast hosts Annie Macmanus and Nick Grimshaw, Eavis – who runs the Worthy Farm event alongside father Michael – said headliners are normally booked by this time of year, but 2024’s are “still a little up in the air”.
‘Thank God we held the slot’
“I thought it was kind of taking shape, and then last week I just got a call, and this is what happens if you wait a little longer, because quite often we’ll be booked up from July. But this year we’re holding out for a little bit longer.
“And then last week I got a call from [a representative of] a really big American artist saying, ‘This person’s around next year’, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is incredible. Thank God we held the slot.'”
Explaining the booking process, Eavis said she speaks to an agent or manager. “They’ll say, ‘Hi I’ve got such and such around next summer, are you interested?’ And it’s like, ‘Yeah.'”
She didn’t suggest that Madonna was the really big American artist in question, but did say she has always wanted the Queen of Pop to play Glastonbury.
Talking about seeing her show at the O2 Arena in London, Eavis said: “It was incredible. I just was blown away by it to be honest.
“I walked away and I was like, ‘I’ve got a post about this’. I’ve posted about going to lots of gigs before, but I didn’t expect it to be quite such big news.
“Everybody knows that I’ve always wanted Madonna to play Glastonbury,” she continued. “It’s not a big news story.”
Earlier this year it was widely reported that Taylor Swift was the favourite to grace the Pyramid Stage, before she appeared to rule herself out by booking a series of gigs over the traditional Glastonbury weekend at the end of June.
Madonna was then installed as one of the bookies’ favourites, alongside acts like Coldplay, Dua Lipa and the Spice Girls.
Who could headline? The bookies’ favourites
- Dua Lipa
- The 1975
- Olivia Rodrigo
- Foo Fighters
- Spice Girls
Eavis, who faced criticism for this year’s all-male headliners, said a female star had been booked for 2023 but pulled out, with Guns ‘N Roses stepping in.
She noted she had “always been really passionate about gender split” line-ups.
“Everybody who knows, knows that it’s top of my list. I’m always trying to make it the most balanced, diverse bill,” she said.
“It is difficult with female artists because there aren’t enough headliners, but we’re also creating them by putting bands [and] female artists on smaller stages and bringing them through all the time.
“So I feel like the pool is going to be bigger soon. And who knows? Next year, we might get two [female headliners], and certainly I can say that the legend is female.”
The Glastonbury organiser said she hoped to reveal the full line-up at the start of next year. Tickets will go on sale in November priced at £360.
Sidetracked with Annie and Nick is available weekly on BBC Sounds.