Q Magazine

Column – Glastonbury Festival 2015: time for Elton John?

Column – Glastonbury Festival 2015: time for Elton John?
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With the dust just settled for another year – actually after the first downpour on Friday there was only a muddy sludge at the festival this year and much of that still seems to be attached to my boots – the annual game of predicting who will headline the next Glastonbury is already in full swing.

The race for breaking the names of the three acts who’ll top the Pyramid Stage in 2015 is already gathering pace, not least because the organisers say they pretty much have the them all booked. “Believe it or not, we’ve nearly confirmed all three headliners,” Emily Eavis told the festival’s website. “I couldn’t be happier with how it’s shaping up.” And there are plenty of artists already in the frame. William Hill have Kate Bush and Oasis as 8-1 favourites – although as Noel Gallagher, who was actually there as a punter this year, seems a better bet for a solo set at 10-1 – while AC/DC, Foo Fighters, Coldplay and U2 all make up the early running, probably in large part due to expected album releases and world tours next year.

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However as the Eavis family have repeatedly proved they’re happy to go off piste when it comes to headliners, so let’s chuck a different name into the ring and ask, isn’t it time Elton John headlines Glastonbury?

After sets from Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen in recent years, The Rocket Man seems to be a classic shaped gap on the event’s dance card.

Partly his absence from festival folklore can be explained by the fact the musical knight hasn’t really been keen to play Worthy Farm in the past. In 2005 he told Scottish DJ/producer Mylo in a joint interview for The Guardian (it was a different time) he was “too much like the Queen Mother” to headline the event.

“I think there are some things best left to younger people,” he added. “I think Coldplay are headlining Glastonbury this year. I played live with them once and the audience knew every word of every song. [huffily] That never happens with me.”

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However that was before he topped the bill at Bestival in 2013, and perhaps playing the Isle Of Wight event has opened the door to Glastonbury. “I had the best time there, I had the best crowd, we played really well, the crowd were unbelievable I’ve never had response like that in Britain in the whole of my career, so it was definitely one of the most memorable things we’ve ever done,” he admitted to Radio 2 afterwards. “I was very reluctant to play a festival, I haven’t played one since 1969 in Crumlin near Halifax and I was talked into it and thank God I was because it shows you don’t know what’s good for you sometimes!”

Well Glastonbury would be good for you too, Elton. William Hill quoted Q odds of 12-1 for him doing it next year, but better still while we were in Somerset at the weekend we heard several whispers from those who lived near Pilton saying that in recent weeks Elton John’s management had been making enquiries about renting houses in the area for next June (although if Rocket Music are looking for a base so fellow client Empire Of The Sun can play a glorious full show set at Worthy Farm this correspondent would be very happy with that), suggesting that finally, Saturday night could well be alright for headlining.

Paul Stokes@Stokesie

Listen to Q’s backstage interviews from Glastonbury 2014 now via Audioboo.fm.


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