As the full Glastonbury lineup is revealed, the organiser discusses this year’s tributes and the event’s future plans
As Glastonbury announces its full lineup for 2016, with Damon Albarn, Tame Impala, Christine and the Queens and more added to the bill, Emily Eavis has addressed rumours regarding this year’s festival, and the event’s future ambitions.
Discussing previous suggestions that the festival may move from the Worthy Farm site in Somerset to another location, Eavis denied this would be the case, but revealed the organisers behind Glastonbury would host a new event “in 2019 or 2018, but probably 2019,” in a new location.
“We are going to do a show somewhere else with the same team behind Glastonbury but it hasn’t got a name yet and we’re still not entirely sure what shape it’s going to take,” she told the Guardian. “For now we’re all [focused] on Worthy Farm. We’re not thinking too far down that road because we’re quite busy with this one at the moment!”
A number of established names have been newly confirmed for 2016’s event: Damon Albarn and the Africa Express musicians will join The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians opening the Pyramid stage on Friday morning, Aussie psych group Tame Impala will warm up the stage for Adele on Saturday night, while other new additions include White Denim, Michael Kiwanuka, Anoushka Shankar, the Shibusashirazu Orchestra, Mystery Jets, Alessia Cara and Rat Boy.
This year’s festival will also pay tribute to the many icons the music world has lost in the past 12 months. Footage from David Bowie’s 2000 performance will be screened across the site this year, while the careers of Lemmy and Prince will also be celebrated throughout the weekend.
“There will be all sorts of things popping up all the time. At the moment we’ve got a few Prince visual tributes and a few late night parties in Block 9 and various other places across the site,” said Eavis. “With Bowie we’re going to put the [Aladdin Sane] flash on the Pyramid stage. Obviously with his relationship with the festival going back so far to 1971, we really wanted to mark it as if it were his stage, because he had such a relationship with Glastonbury. We are also doing a Lemmy tribute on the Other stage which is really good but it has to remain a surprise because if I try to explain what we’re trying to make it look like it wouldn’t sound half as good as it’s going to be!”
Eavis also stated that the festival had come close to booking Prince numerous times. “Prince was rumoured every year, and we often came close. He confirmed about three times then pulled out in recent years. Unfortunately it never happened. I don’t know why, but I think there was always a lot of tabloid rumour which didn’t help,” she explained.
Addressing Glastonbury’s “secret performer” slot – which Prince and David Bowie were often hoped to fulfil – Eavis denied the rumour that Radiohead would perform at 2016’s event. “There’s no planned Radiohead gig at the moment. But obviously we would love to have Radiohead back. Personally I’d love to have them play next year but at the moment there’s no confirmation, so we’ll have to see.”
A surprising addition to the lineup is the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir, who will open up the Pyramid stage on Saturday morning – a particularly pertinent booking following the birth of Eavis’ third child.
“I’ve obviously got a very close relationship with the NHS having just had a baby and experiencing how incredible the whole NHS was, and also just talking to the staff about the experience of the cuts and what an impact that’s having on people. Seeing it firsthand, it really makes you treasure it and realise what an incredible thing it is,” says Eavis. “We just wanted to invite them down to perform here on the Pyramid and this feels like a year that’s more important than ever.”
Glastonbury festival takes place from Wednesday 22 to Sunday 26 June. Adele, Coldplay and Muse headline the main stage this year.