It’s an annual tradition for festival-goers: set your alarm, gather every single device that can connect to the internet, cross every crossable part of your body, and hope to high heaven that you can beat the desperate masses and blag yourself a Glastonbury ticket.
The musical spectacular will return to the hallowed fields of Worthy Farm from June 21-25 next summer, and tickets will go on sale in November — head here for all the details on that.
It means that the rumour mill is now fully up and running, churning out poorly sourced claims as to who may or may not be on the line-up for 2023. It happens every year, and the vast majority of the rumours turn out to be nothing more than idle hearsay. But it’s fun all the same, right?
Here, we’ve gathered some of the more credible suggestions, picking out the artists whose place in the Pyramid Stage’s headline shot is eminently plausible.
Here’s a good quiz question: when was the last time Elton John played at Glastonbury? Not sure? It’s a trick — he never has! Quite incredibly, for an artist of his stature and longevity, the yellow brick road has never led to Worthy Farm. But he’s one of the most persistent rumours for 2023, owing largely to the fact his farewell tour currently has a big Glasto-sized gap in it, with shows in Paris on June 21 and 27, but nothing in between. Of all the rumours, this one makes the most sense — and what an unbelievable set it would inevitably be.
The pop music titan was all set to headline the Pyramid Stage in 2020, and then, according to reports, turned down the opportunity to play earlier this summer due to some scheduling conflicts. So, could 2023 be the one? She’s got a new album out in October, which means a tour will likely follow — which, in turn, means she could be over on this side of the pond around June time.
Mr Styles is basically as big of a celebrity as they come — stadium-selling musician, Hollywood film star, fashion icon — and so it wouldn’t seem impossible for him to take residence on Glasto’s biggest stage. Rumours of a secret set dominated the Chinese whispers darting around Worthy Farm back in June, but it never materialised. There are some small gaps in his 2023 tour dates — specifically the Friday and Sunday of Glastonbury — and his show on June 21 is in Cardiff. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility.
Queen Bey delivered one of the all-time great headlining sets at Glastonbury in 2011. The first black, female, solo artist to ever take the top spot, it was ground-breakingly good, enough to silence to “real music” bores who whined about her being booked in the first place, and only made all the more impressive by the fact that she was pregnant at the time. With word of a new tour seemingly imminent, eyes will immediately turn to that final weekend in June.
There’s no better way to prove you’re worthy of the Pyramid Stage by getting up there and absolutely owning it — and that’s exactly what Sam Fender did in 2022. His rousing set was an undoubted highlight of the weekend, and the spontaneous crowd singalong that followed a rendition of Seventeen Going Under was one of those indelible Worthy Farm moments. With plenty of big-stage experience now under his belt (that explosive Finsbury Park gig included), you wouldn’t be wholly shocked to see him invited back as a headliner next summer.
It’s a select group of artists who have headlined Glastonbury multiple times — Coldplay currently hold the record with four top-spot appearances — and Arctic Monkeys feel like they’ve got the heft to muscle their way into that pantheon. Unquestionably one of the biggest UK bands of the 21st century, they’ve already closed out the Pyramid Stage on two occasions, in 2007 and 2013. A decade later, could they return? They’ve just announced a UK and Ireland and tour for 2023 and, as luck would have it, there’s a conspicuous five-day gap between their last two gigs on June 20 and 25...
And what about the legends slot?
The Sunday afternoon slot on the Pyramid Stage is the stuff of, well, legend. Kylie Minogue, Lionel Richie and Dolly Parton jhave all filled it in recent years, and it’s usually one of the first parts of the line-up to be announced. There’s nothing concrete yet, but Roxy Music have been widely mooted for 2023, as have 10cc and Spice Girls (Robbie Williams has also said he’s keen).