Festival rumours round-up 2011: part one

We take a look at the Glastonbury Festival gossip


United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Chris Eustace | 06 January 2011

In part one of this three part series, we look at the daddy of all festivals, Glastonbury.

Glastonbury Festival 2011
22-26 June at Worthy Farm, Pilton.
Tickets: Currently sold out, more will be available in the Spring

The biggest rumour mill at the moment, you can choose from about ten different headliners if you believe everything you read.



After Bono's back injury KO'd their headline appearance last year, it was revealed that Michael Eavis had asked them back for 2011. While nothing is definite yet, manager Paul McGuinness was subtly advising U2 fans to buy Glastonbury tickets on the band's messageboard, merely saying "watch this space" when pushed. We are indeed watching this space, especially the huge one in U2's tour schedule on Glasto weekend. Also, a very appropriate place to show off that new song of yours, ‘Glastonbury’, eh, lads?

Towards the end of last year, Michael Eavis let it slip that that two headliners had already been booked, both were returning to the festival and one was a woman. If that still holds true, at least one of these three bands should be returning heroes:

Glastonbury '95's heroic last-minute saviours have reformed, and with slots at Wireless and Isle Of Wight already confirmed, Jarvis is hinting at a third big festival appearance: "Glastonbury 2011 Tickets already sold out. And I was really hoping to go. What to do, what to do...." Bookmakers reckon they know the solution, slashing the odds for Pulp to headline to 5/2 after hefty bets were placed.


Michael Eavis already set tongues wagging last May by saying of Chris Martin and Co: ''They've played four or five times already but they'll be back next year, I'm sure." There should be a new album out or at least imminent by the summer, surely there's no better launch pad for it?


Another Glastonbury favourite, with two legendary headlining sets already, they should also have a new album ready sometime this year. Was Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood’s secret show there last year a taste of things to come?


Kylie Minogue

Having finally made it onstage at Glastonbury last year (which therefore means she could be "returning" in 2011) during Scissor Sisters' set, if there is to be a female headliner this year, it surely could be Kylie. Sadly forced to cancel her headlining appearance in 2005 due to her being diagnosed with cancer, she's come back strong, and an appearance here would follow on nicely with her own arena dates. However, while she's up for it, she's unsure, publicly at least, as to whether she'll be asked.

Another hint from Mr Eavis is that one of the headliners is an "American artist I've wanted for yonks." Cue fanfare that the perennially-tipped Purple One is finally coming to Worthy Farm. The papers seem convinced it's going to happen this time , and if it does, it'll most likely be a set that goes down in Glasto folklore, but he's been mooted so many times we'll keep this one under "Warm" for now. He has played some critically acclaimed US shows recently though, so maybe he's in the mood...

The Strokes
The long-awaited new album should be out in time, there's still massive goodwill for the men that killed off nu-metal, and hopefully they'll return revitalised to the UK festival scene after last year's triumph. Possibly a Other Stage headline show, or a secret Park Stage appearance this year? A good stop-off before a probable Reading and Leeds headline spot.



Another artist tipped to headline pretty much every single year, she'd fulfil the "American/yonks" part of the big Eavis hint, and a few messageboards are getting excited, but with no new material on the horizon just yet, it's likely Madge will have to wait to sample the delightful Glastonbury toilets for a little bit longer.

Take That
Despite Robbie's reluctance to play for the "dickhead" festival crowd and the band's flat denial they could play on Radio 1 the papers still insist there's a chance. It's worth noting that they have June 25 and 26 off...

Bon Jovi
Good ol' Jon Bon threw his hat in the ring the other week for a Glasto slot, and indeed the poodle-rockers are in the country that weekend for Hard Rock Calling, but a headline slot here seems unlikely, and they probably wouldn't settle for a big mid-afternoon singalong slot.

That female act Michael Eavis has said will appear could be one of the USA’s most popular pop contemporaries, Rihanna. She’s dropped a hint to Q Magazine and it’s that old adage of “following in the footsteps of Jay-Z” that seems to stabilise the cause of having an R&B star at Worthy Farm. She’s also rumoured for V Festival, so if she’s over here doing one event, the Eavises may get her cheap for theirs as well.



The Daily Star briefly got excited about Beyonce playing, but given it's reasoning for this was that she was inspired by "Jay-Z's triumphant headlining set last year" (Er...it was in 2008?!), it's best not to get too excited.

One little interview in which Agnetha said that she might be willing to talk about playing again has turned into a full reformation with 400-year long tour. The odds of them getting back together are the same as Robbie rejoining Take That were this time last year, but unless Bjorn Again are playing again, it's likely they'll be no ‘Waterloo’ on the Pyramid Stage this year.


The Rolling Stones

Ronnie Wood says he'd be up for it, but it looks like another of Glastonbury's annual rumours will bite the dust again.

Already self-confirmed: Fatboy Slim, The Coral


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