Now that the full line-up for this year’s Glastonbury Festival has been revealed, I thought it would make for an interesting study to work out exactly what it takes to be a Glastonbury headliner.
I looked at all the Pyramid Stage headliners for the past 15 Glastonbury Festivals (which takes us all the way back to 1997 – due to the ‘fallow years’ in 2001, 2006 and 2012). There are three headliners a year, so that gives us 45 acts to look at – a few of them have headlined more than once (Radiohead, Muse, Blur etc…) so there’s actually been 37 different headline acts to analyse.
Here’s what I found when I crunched through the data:
So as it turns out, if you want to headline Glastonbury then your best bet is to be in an all-male UK band of between 3-5 members! If you’re a solo artist, then being a man from the US seems to be an advantage to getting a headline slot.
As I put this together I was surprised by the lack of female representation in the headline slot. Beyonce is the only female solo star to headline Glasto since 1997 – and of the accumulated band members that have headlined in that time, just 4% have been women (and that’s including Arcade Fire’s Regine Chassagne who will headline this year).
It’s worth noting here that Kylie Minogue was due to headline back in 2005 before being replaced for health reasons, but even so these stats don’t reflect well on Glastonbury organisers – or is it more symptomatic of a male-dominated music industry?
I’d love to get your opinions on this, so let me know what you think in the comments below – is Glastonbury guilty here or are they just reflecting what’s going on in the music industry in general?
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Is Glastonbury sexist? – An infographic by the team at Source: All-Noise.co.uk