Glastonbury line-up 2024 announced – and it’s historic. Here's why

Glastonbury 2024 will feature Dua Lipa (left), SZA (centre) and Shania Twain as the "legend" act
Glastonbury 2024 will feature Dua Lipa (left), SZA (centre) and Shania Twain as the "legend" act Copyright AP Photo
By David Mouriquand
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Dua Lipa, Coldplay and SZA top the bill at this year’s Glastonbury. It will be the first time ever that two out of the three headline performers will be women. But the announcement of the line-up comes as more than 20 UK festivals are cancelled or scrapped altogether.

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While we may love bellyaching about Glastonbury and how the experience of Worthy Farm’s finest is a headache at times, there’s no arguing with the sheer amount of talent they book – and today’s announcement of their 2024 alum is... Well, it’s eye wateringly good.

Last year’s pale, male and stale headliners – Arctic Monkeys, Guns ‘N’ Roses and Elton John – left much to be desired, and even sparked conversation over how the UK’s biggest festival’s co-organiser Emily Eavis had a serious issue when it came to booking top female acts. However, this year has not only rebalanced the scales, but offered up some very classy acts.  

Pop songstress extraordinaire Dua Lipa, R&B sensation SZA, and Coldplay (we can’t win them all) will headline the iconic Pyramid Stage this summer. Shania Twain, meanwhile, will perform in the coveted “legends slot”.

It will be the first time ever that two out of the three headline performers will be women.

Dua Lipa - pictured here at the BRIT Awards 2024 in March
Dua Lipa - pictured here at the BRIT Awards 2024 in MarchAlberto Pezzali/Invision/AP

It will be Dua Lipa’s Pyramid Stage debut – and the news comes fresh off the back of BRITs and Grammys performances earlier this year. It also comes the day after she revealed details of her first new album in four years.

Indeed, the singer unveiled details of her third album, ‘Radical Optimism,’ which will hit shelves on 3 May. The album is said to be inspired by the energy of Dua Lipa’s London hometown and the “rawness, honesty, confidence and freedom of ‘90s Britpop.”

SZA accepts the award for best R&B song for "Snooze" during the 66th annual Grammy Awards in February
SZA accepts the award for best R&B song for "Snooze" during the 66th annual Grammy Awards in FebruaryChris Pizzello/Invision/AP

It will also be a debut for SZA, who is "quite possibly the hottest hip-hop/ R&B act on the planet", organisers said. Damn right.

As for Coldplay, the band’s 2024 slot means they become the first act to lead the bill five times, having headlined previously in 2002, 2005, 2011 and 2016. Their inclusion will come as something of a letdown, as many were predicting that Madonna could round-up a historic all-female trifecta, or that Bruce Springsteen would make a welcome appearance.

Still, enough complaining – especially when Shania Twain is here.

Shania Twain at the Pre-Grammy Gala in February
Shania Twain at the Pre-Grammy Gala in FebruaryRichard Shotwell/Invision/AP

The five-time Grammy-winning Canadian star shared a video post on Instagram saying she was getting her wellies, raincoat and cowboy hat ready.

"Another jewel in my crown!" she wrote. "I feel so honoured and so excited about this one! Thinking about what to wear already... Let's make history this summer with this ultimate dream performance."

Twain follows in the “legends” footsteps of Diana Ross, Dolly Parton and Kylie Minogue – and her performance will surely be one of the highlights of this year’s edition.

What other acts are headed to Glasto?

The line-up is filled with terrific female acts, proving that the message clearly got across to Eavis & Co.

There are our favourites Little Simz and Jessie Ware; the peerless PJ Harvey (who is really going for it when it comes to this summer’s festivals); the legendary Cyndi Lauper; and the always brilliant Janelle Monáe, Corinne Bailey Rae and Arlo Parks.

Little Simz shared the Glastonbury poster and said: "The one and only festival I'll be at this summer. On the Pyramid, on the farm. Big big glasto you knowwww what a wow. See you there."

Other top acts this year include LCD Soundsystem, Michael Kiwanuka, The National, Justice, Danny Brown, Black Pumas, Nitin Sawhney, Fontaines DC, The Breeders, Bonobo, Kneecap...

Check it out for yourself – this list is endlessly impressive:

Sharing the headliner news, Emily Eavis said there would be "even more to come over the coming weeks".

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Considering the festival has a reputation for adding some A-list surprise talent and secret acts, attendees will have their hands, sorry ears, full this year.

Annoyingly, and as is always the way with Glastonbury - one of our main gripes, especially when compared to other European fests and their far saner approach to accessibility - tickets for this year's Glastonbury are already sold out.

They were snapped up in under an hour when they went on sale in November – before any names were revealed. A resale of any cancelled or returned tickets is expected at some time in April. So best of luck with that. Last year saw re-sale tickets for Glasto 2023 sell out in just six minutes...

And in case you don’t manage to snap up any tickets, fear not – we've got you covered with the Best European Music Festivals (Glasto excluded) that you could still head to.

Less good news for the UK festival scene

While the Glastonbury line-up is dominating headlines today, it's worth mentioning that 21 UK festivals have now been cancelled or postponed, and that 100 are at permanent risk without action.

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As reported by The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF): “The timing of this milestone suggests that the number of festival cancellations this year will far outstrip 2023, when a total 36 festivals cancelled before they were due to take place.”

Their statement continued: “Without intervention, it’s expected that the UK could see over 100 festivals disappear in 2024 due to rising costs. Without having had a single steady season since the pandemic in which to recover, the country’s festivals are under more financial strain than ever.”

Earlier this year, the AIF launched a campaign – The 5% For Festivals – which aimed for a VAT reduction on festival tickets that would save many event promoters from closure.

AIF CEO John Rostron said in a press release: “It’s with grave concern that we again sound the alarm to Government upon passing this critical milestone. UK festivals are disappearing at a worrying rate, and we as a nation are witnessing the erosion of one of our most successful and unique cultural industry sectors.”

He continued: “We have done the research: a reduction of VAT to 5% on festival tickets over the next three years is a conservative, targeted and temporary measure that would save almost all of the festival businesses that are likely to fall by the wayside this year and many more over the years to come. We need this intervention now.”

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So, while you desperately scramble for Glasto tickets, keep in mind that there is a wider, alarming state of affairs at the moment when it comes to saving the UK's music scene. 

Glastonbury will take place from 26-30 June at Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset.

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