Why a year out is a good thing for Glastonbury, and who can headline in 2019?

On Sunday night, Ed Sheeran closed 2017’s Glastonbury festival after another weekend of music, art and Jeremy Corbyn at Worthy Farm. Glasto is set to take a year out in 2018 and return the year after, leaving many people pulling their hair out in withdrawal, but is there evidence to suggest that it’s maybe not all bad?

This years headliners split opinion across the board. For some, Radiohead’s set on Friday night was a hypnotic spectacle, and for others it was all too plain. Foo Fighters headlined the Saturday and were perhaps the only headliner that you could say really did the slot justice, Dave Grohl is a master performer and played the occasion tremendously. And Ed, well, I didn’t really get Ed. From the reaction to my article on Sunday, I’ve gathered opinion was split on him too; some thought it was magnificent how he could “have the audience in the palm of his hands”, others agreed with me that it just wasn’t really fit to headline the famous Pyramid Stage.

This rung alarm bells with me, and I asked the question; who next? If Glastonbury was to return in 2018, who would headline? The issue we seem to have is that the bands we most associate with headline sets have either been there and done that or are not currently active. Michael Eavis revealed this week there is one band who’s reformation would make him put on the festival next year, the name on everyone’s lips was of course Oasis. But having headlined in 1995 and 2004, there’s a danger of festival headliner regurgitation (that’s what we’re calling this, by the way). It is also well known that Eavis is a huge fan of The Smiths, but the likelihood of Morrissey and Marr embracing at Worthy Farm is only a touch shy of completely impossible.

Kasabian, The Libertines, Kings of Leon have all headlined Glastonbury, The Stone Roses are maybe the only band who would want to set the record straight after their no-show back in 1995. They were replaced by Pulp back then, and with their apparent split surfacing in the midst of Saturday’s Hampden Park gig, that doesn’t seem likely.

So, when you think of new bands that might have a headline slot in their sights, who comes to mind? The Courteeners are fresh from a 50,000 sellout gig at Old Trafford cricket ground, but their set on The Other Stage on Sunday was not a indication of their quality. Catfish and The Bottlemen are another band that divide opinion, they’re heading out across the world from July, will they have Glastonbury 2019 in mind as they continue to expand their fan base?

Thoughts spring to The 1975. Sure, I might have very little desire to see them myself, but their popularity and stunning visual effects make them candidates at the very least. Fronted by Matt Healy, their gigs have seen 21st century Beatlemania, with screaming girls queuing outside the venue from the night before to get as close as possible to the band at their gigs. Could they be seen under the white glowing pyramid in a couple of years time?

Who else is there that pull off an historic Glastonbury headline slot? A years set-aside might just give the chance for the in between band to really go for it, perhaps I can look back at this article then and shake my head.

Glasto headliners in 2019? Over to you.

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Photo: Andrew Alcock

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1 Comment

  1. I’d love to see The Stone Roses take it but like you said, it doesn’t seem likely. Other than Catfish and The Bottlemen, I can only think of Blossoms or i’d love to see a golden oldie to have a go, maybe Paul Weller? Who knows though, things could be very different in 2 years time.

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