With today's unfortunate news that Irish rockers, U2, have pulled out of Glastonbury this year, festival organisers now have just under a month to find a replacement for the headliners on the Pyramid Stage. We look at the possibilities...
All sorts of rumours are hitting festival news ranging from rock legends to RnB gods, even Kylie Minogue has been thrown in there for good measure. What’s assured is that whoever gets the slot will have some very large and rather legendary shoes to fill, so keeping that in mind, here the acts we think are the closest to snatching that infamous Friday night slot.
Writing the setlist:
Gorillaz – Following two highly successful African Express shows at Glastonbury and an unforgettable headline show with Blur last year, Damon Albarn is the go to man for Glastonbury Festival organisers. Gorillaz is his only project to not get an airing at Worthy Farm and with some of the group’s latest collaborators (Mos Def, Snoop Dogg…) already onsite over the weekend it’s a little bit of a no-brainer. VF has also heard from an inside source at their label to expect some big news on the subject and it doesn’t come much bigger than this.
They have one foot in the farm:
Coldplay – If the red tops are anything to go by, the band will already be in talks with Michael and Emily Eavis. Chris Martin has long been hailed as a friend of the family and without a UK festival show for some time, Glastonbury seems like the perfect opportunity.
Groove Armada – These guys are already on the bill, playing the John Peel Stage on the Friday, and with years of headlining experience behind them the move from one field over shouldn’t be a problem. It would be much easier to give their John Peel slot away to a smaller band than to find a brand new bill-topper.
Dizzee Rascal – The rapper was set to perform below U2 originally and he has more than enough live performance experience to steal the show. The Rascal has plenty in his album cannon to fill the time as well; the only question that remains is if he’s a worthy replacement for such a legendary band.
The Chemical Brothers – With a new album on the horizon and after drawing one of the biggest crowds the festival has seen in 2000, the dance duo may be a perfect fit for the show. They haven’t played the festival for a couple of years either and, out of the two ‘big’ live dance acts missing from the festival’s original line-up, only they and Basement Jaxx remain.
A Pilton possibility:
Paul McCartney – The former-Beatle is already touring and has a show in Hyde Park the same weekend. It would be easy enough to get him to pack his guitar and head to Somerset for the Friday evening to repeat his triumphant 2004 show. Not song for song, obviously, but we expect it would be fairly similar.
Kylie – The Aussie singer pulled out in 2005, but admitted to the papers earlier this month: “It’s too late for this year, they’ll have booked everyone, but I really want to get there some day.” That day might be closer than she thinks but the star has been off the radar for some time now.
Radiohead – It seems like we’ve been waiting a lifetime for them to return to Pilton and their insurmountable performance at Reading Festival last year would be the perfect aperitif for Glastonbury’s 40th anniversary. The only thing standing in the way would seem to be Thom Yorke concentrating on his solo work, but hey, they could kill two birds with one stone here.
Kings Of Leon – The band are already booked for Hyde Park just three days after the event, which could this work to their advantage. Glastonbury is a known favourite of the group after Michael Eavis gave them their UK festival debut and the nod for their first headline show as well. Is it time to repay the favour?
Beyonce – Her husband’s show did great things back in 2008 and Beyonce’s live concerts are just as revered by music critics. With an armour of musical assaults, the RnB queen is certainly ready to step up and make her first festival appearance, but is it too late to take the gamble?
Kasabian – Three albums down and they always seem to be left to do their thing on second billing. T In The Park and V Festival have given them the chance to prove themselves as top dogs this year, but it doesn’t seem like Glastonbury will too.
Lady Gaga – Her 2009 performance on the Other Stage was remarkable and today’s first lady of pop could certain bring the Pyramid Stage to life with pyrotechnics, crazy shaped fashion mishaps and glorious pop numbers. But with just one album it may have come too soon.
Worthy of a slot, but it ain’t gunna happen:
David Bowie – As much as fans want him there, David Bowie just isn’t going to perform. The Daily Mail learned their lesson back in November when they said he’d appear at Glastonbury this time around. His answer? “Sadly, there is absolutely no substance to this story."
The Rolling Stones – It would be fitting for the festival’s 40th anniversary, but they’ve already said no and U2 pulling out probably ain’t going to change that.
Prince – If he was available, the Eavis’ wouldn’t signed him up ahead of U2 and probably Muse. UK festival fans will have to wait a little longer to see him on the Pyramid Stage.
Led Zeppelin – Earlier this year Robert Plant suggested that he might appear in 2010 but so close to the festival starting, the rock legends look likely to watch it all from home instead.
The Cure – They have the credentials, certainly, but they’re notorious for turning down the advances of festival organisers and it doesn’t look like things are going to change now.
Arcade Fire – Perhaps one of the only contemporary groups able to fill the U2 boys’ boots, but Reading and Leeds usually sew their acts up with exclusives so they can forget it.