The Arctic Monkeys and Guns N’ Roses are set to headline this year’s Glastonbury music festival.
The iconic British fest, which returns to Somerset’s Worthy Farm from June 21-25, announced the top acts as part of its poster reveal (pictured below) on Friday morning. Organizers had previously unveiled their other headliner, Elton John, in December. John’s rare festival act will be the final U.K. show of the singer’s worldwide farewell tour.
Arctic Monkeys will hit the Pyramid Stage on Friday night, while Guns N’ Roses will play on Saturday evening. Lizzo will co-headline on Saturday and open for the American rock band, though the four-time Grammy winner isn’t officially considered a headliner for the festival.
The two bands rounding out Glasto’s most high-profile slots reflect an all-male, all-white headliners set, which immediately sparked outcry online. “Glasto could quite easily give a headline slot away to an under-represented artist group to be part of the necessary change in the industry,” tweeted Nadia White, chair of the U.K.’s Association of Independent Music.
Elsewhere, the Independent journalist Roisin O’Connor called out the failure to support female acts earlier in their careers. “Situations like this year’s Glastonbury lineup are a direct symptom of industry failures to support female artists from the ground up. Getting them on the smaller stages, on radio, at live venues,” O’Connor tweeted.
Explaining the decision, festival organizer Emily Eavis told the BBC: “We try our best and we obviously aim for 50:50. Some years, it’s more, some years, it’s less…This year, we did have a female headliner, and she unfortunately had to pull out…It changes all the time.” It’s unclear who the female act is, but Eavis has noted that she needed to pull out due to a change in touring plans.
Eavis later told the Guardian: “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.”
Eavis added that the 2024 edition will likely have two female headliners. The rest of this year’s event has an almost 50-50 split between male and female acts, in accordance with Glasto’s gender parity pledge.
Other acts heading to Somerset this year include Lil Nas X, Lewis Capaldi, Chvrches, Weyes Blood, the Chicks, Alt-J, Amadou & Mariam, Carly Rae Jepsen, Fatboy Slim, Kelis, Lana Del Rey, Måneskin, Manic Street Preachers, Phoenix and the War on Drugs.
The Sunday afternoon “legend” slot will this year go to Yusuf, also known as Cat Stevens, with Blondie taking the stage right afterwards.
Organizers are expected to announce many more acts as part of its lineup in the weeks to come.
Check out the 2023 festival’s official poster below: