Glastonbury is pressing ahead with preparations for its 50th anniversary year despite coronavirus fears, announcing a wave of more than 90 artists including Friday-night headliner Kendrick Lamar.
The festival is still scheduled to take place 24-28 June in its usual home of Worthy Farm, Somerset. At 15 weeks away, it would happen just after when Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, placed the likely peak of the outbreak in the UK during a Downing Street press conference today, at 10 to 14 weeks.
Emily Eavis, who heads Glastonbury festival along with her father Michael, said they were still “working hard” to deliver it, and were announcing the lineup “after much consideration given the current circumstances, and with the best of intentions … No one has a crystal ball to see exactly where we will all be 15 weeks from now, but we are keeping our fingers firmly crossed that it will be here at Worthy Farm for the greatest show on Earth!”
Earlier this week, the festival put out a statement to say its team was “closely monitoring developments” in the spread of the disease.
The UK government is not currently planning to ban large-scale events, though Boris Johnson has warned of future events being cancelled because of the burden they would place on emergency services. In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has brought in a ban on gatherings of over 500 people to come into force on Monday.
If Glastonbury does go ahead, headlining the Other stage will be Pet Shop Boys, Dua Lipa and Fatboy Slim, though their respective days have not been announced.
Other newly announced artists include major pop stars Camila Cabello, Mabel, Burna Boy and Robyn; soul legends the Isley Brothers and Candi Staton; and 90s indie-rockers Manic Street Preachers, Primal Scream, Supergrass, Lightning Seeds, and Noel Gallagher with his band High Flying Birds, who will play the Pyramid stage set before headliner Paul McCartney on the Saturday night.
Thom Yorke brings his Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes electronic solo work, while Radiohead bandmember Ed O’Brien performs solo as EOB, billings that will spark hopes for a secret Radiohead set (Yorke and Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood performed a secret set together in 2010). Another regular Glastonbury visitor, Jarvis Cocker, will appear with his band Jarv Is.
AJ Tracey, whose verse on his track Thiago Silva went viral at Glastonbury 2019 when performed by bucket-hatted teenager Alex Mann, will appear along with other British rappers including Dizzee Rascal, Aitch and Kano. From further afield will be the Avalanches, Herbie Hancock, Seun Kuti, Tinariwen, Black Uhuru and the re-formed Crowded House, who will appear as part of their first tour since 2011.
Brazilian singer-songwriter Gilberto Gil, 77, lived at Worthy Farm during his exile in the UK in 1970, and played the very first festival that year – he will return to perform with four generations of his family.
They all join the previously announced headliners Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift, plus Diana Ross playing the Sunday teatime “legend” slot, and Lana Del Rey, who is scheduled to play the set before Lamar on the Pyramid stage.
Lamar will be the fourth rapper to headline the Pyramid stage, following Jay-Z, Kanye West and Stormzy, whose 2019 set was widely hailed as one of the greatest ever. Lamar recently announced a new company, pgLang, described by his business partner Dave Free as “focused on cultivating raw expression from grassroots partnerships”, and he is expected to release new music this year.
Further names will be announced closer to the festival.
Glastonbury 2020 lineup so far
Kendrick Lamar, Friday headliner
Paul McCartney, Saturday headliner
Taylor Swift, Sunday headliner
Diana Ross, Sunday teatime “legend” slot
Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals
The Big Moon
Cage The Elephant
Cate Le Bon
Gilberto Gil & Family
The Isley Brothers
The Jesus and Mary Chain
Lana Del Rey
Lianne La Havas
The Lightning Seeds
Manic Street Preachers
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Pet Shop Boys
Sampa The Great
Thom Yorke Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes
Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes
Tones and I