Glastonbury Festival is famed for honoring the best musicians in the world, but if the 2023 list is any indication, there won’t be any female musicians performing there. The festival’s three headliners—Arctic Monkeys on Friday, Guns N’ Roses on Saturday, and Elton John on Sunday—were revealed on March 3.
The absence of female headliners was brought up by co-organizer Emily Eavis, who told The Guardian that the business has a “pipeline” issue. After a previously announced female headliner withdrew owing to a change of touring plans, Guns N’ Roses were supposedly also booked. Although Eavis omitted to identify the performer, it is commonly believed to be Taylor Swift, who was scheduled to serve as the festival’s headlining act before the Covid epidemic forced the festival to cancel.
Lizzo, Lana Del Rey, Lil Nas X, Fred Again, and Cat Burns are all on the full schedule. This year, the coveted “legends slot,” which takes place on Sunday afternoon, features a double slot, with singer Cat Stevens performing first and rock band Blondie following. Although there are still more performers to be announced, the list now features 43 percent non-white artists and 53 percent male artists. Eavis continued, “I’m also” “completely absorbed in paying off our debt. It concerns every facet of diversity, not just gender.”
This is just the latest event of the year to have been called out for its lack of representation. The 2023 Brit Awards came under fire for failing to nominate any woman acts in the artist of the year category; a misfire that Harry Styles called out in his acceptance speech. Just a week later, the BAFTAs was criticised as there was not one person of colour who won an award across all of the categories.
Fans took to social media to express their disappointment at the lack of diversity with the headliners. Singer Self Esteem tweeted: “I have nothing to say about festival line ups for the rest of my life. Or awards. You only get a finite amount of life in which to say the same thing over and over and I like to do that in the songs.”