Leicester PhD student with 2 million Spotify streams to make Glastonbury debut

Photo of folk singer Jessie Reid
-Credit: (Image: Jessie Reid)


A University of Leicester student will grace the Glastonbury stage next weekend. Jessie Reid’s music already has millions of streams online and will see her share the stage with film star Russell Crowe.

Folk singer Jessie is currently studying for her PhD in English at the University of Leicester, specialising in the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Virginia Woolf. Her studies started in lockdown, but music is in her blood, with the singer crafting songs since the age of 11.

They are the perfect tonic to isolation for studying and her collection of folk songs has been loved online too, amassing more than 2 million streams on Spotify. Now, Jessie, who released her debut album at the same time as her studies, is heading to Worthy Farm for a performance on Glastonbury’s Acoustic Stage.

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She said: “I am so excited to play at Glastonbury this year. I've always tried to get tickets but never succeeded, so to be asked to play on one of the biggest stages of the festival is amazing.”

The folk singer is among a collection of well-known names and up-and-coming stars performing on the Acoustic Stage over three days next week. Names on the bill include Scouting for Girls, Judy Collins and even the Gipsy Kings.

Photo of Jessie Reid mid performance
Jessie's music has millions of streams online -Credit:Jessie Reid

Jessie takes to the stage next Saturday (June 29) and is on the same bill as film star Russell Crowe who is also making his Glastonbury debut with his band, the Indoor Garden Party. Jessie’s imminent performance is something she finds truly surreal - especially when balancing it against her studies.

She said: “Even though my PhD is a bit of a passion project for me, it can be quite isolating at times. Music and performing is kind of cathartic in that way. I think I have found a good balance. The festival starts just over a week after my [PhD oral exam] so it will be quite surreal to go from the library to playing Glasto!”

Jessie’s music may be new to many, but it has already graced TV screens after an appearance on ITV’s Love Island. Her teachers at the university are excited for her Glastonbury debut next week.

Jessie’s PhD supervisor, Professor Martin Halliwell, director of research for University of Leicester’s School of Arts, Media and Communication, said: “Jessie is an amazing musical talent. She has a distinctive percussive guitar style and a voice that lingers with you long after a song has ended.

“Jessie’s 2022 EP ‘Other Hand’ and recent single ‘Let Your Love Run Cold’ are essential listening. We are all very proud that Jess has been invited to play Glastonbury this year and are delighted that she is gaining the recognition she absolutely deserves.”

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