All the artists who have turned down Glastonbury - including huge rock icons (2024)

Thousands of music fans will be getting their tents and wellies together for a weekend of live music at Glastonbury Festival.

Worthy Farm will play host to hundreds of acts, including Dua Lipa, Sza and Coldplay, with Shania Twain in the coveted legends slot.

But many have dubbed this year’s line-up ‘underwhelming’, with some stars coming out to say they even turned down a slot at the event.

Pop star Nadine Shah announced she had been approached to perform, but would not be among this year’s Glastonbury line-up because the fee was too low.

But she’s not the only one, with many famous artists and groups declining to appear at the Worthy Farm event – some vowing never to play full stop.

Lana Del Rey once admitted to repeatedly turning down a slot at the festival before eventually delighting fans with an appearance last year, and Taylor Swift reportedly couldn’t make a set work back in 2022.

Here are some of the top artists who have said ‘no’ to a coveted Glastonbury slot.

Duran Duran

Duran Duran are not Hungry Like The Wolf to play Glastonbury Festival.

Singer Simon Le Bon told The Telegraph in 2023 that the band has been approached to perform, but has always turned it down ‘on principle.’

‘3pm in the Disco Tent isn’t really where we see ourselves. A long time ago I vowed I would never set foot in Glastonbury unless it was on the Pyramid Stage at a decent hour of the night,’ he said.

‘I’ve been asked to camp, to glamp and invited to fly in and out by helicopter. I’ve always refused on principle.’

Queen

Queen’s live show has headline slot written all over it, but the band has so far refused to play thanks to one thing – badgers.

Guitarist Brian May, a staunch advocate for British wildlife and the conservation of badgers, has famously repeatedly turned down Glastonbury due to founder Michael Eavis’ pro-badger cull stance.

In 2019, May told Zoe Ball on her BBC Radio 2 show that Eavis has ‘frequently insulted him’ and is ‘in favour of the badger cull, which I regard as a tragedy and an unnecessary crime against wildlife.’

He reaffirmed his stance back in 2023, telling The Sun: ‘As the man who runs it advocates killing badgers for no good reason and I could never level with that [playing Glastonbury].

‘Have they tried to book us? I think the feeling is mutual so I think they understand how I feel.’

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The Black Keys

The Black Keys have played Glastonbury in the past, but have vowed never to return again.

Last year, drummer Patrick Carney said the band turned down the festival after receiving an ‘insulting’ offer – though it’s unclear whether this refers to pay, slot, or stage arrangements.

He claimed in an interview with NME: ‘We got an offer from Glastonbury that was so insulting, we’re never going to play the festival again.

‘We know it’s a big deal for people in the UK but the weight of what the festival is doesn’t translate to most Americans. We have no interest in playing it.’

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac has doused any hopes of playing live again following the death of Christine McVie.

But long before then, they have turned down a slot at Glastonbury reportedly due to being given a low offer to perform.

A source told The Sun in 2019: ‘Michael Eavis is a huge fan and really, really wanted to make it work. He knew getting them on board for the 50th anniversary would be extra special and conversations were positive.

‘They even hinted at it on stage when they played Wembley in June, joking to fans they still had, “a big field to play at a rained-out festival in England next year.”

‘But ultimately, while Mick Fleetwood was up for it with the money on offer, other members didn’t feel it was worthwhile.’

The Kinks

Once upon a time, The Kinks were due to play Glastonbury but reportedly pulled out.

Why? Rumour has it that the iconic rock band declined a performance after seeing it described as a ‘mini-festival’ in a newspaper.

They were set to perform at the first ever Glastonbury, which cost just £1 to enter with Eavis telling press ‘playing skittles’ was the pinnacle of local culture at the event.

Ray Davies from The Kinks, after reading the article, faked a doctor’s note due to a sore throat and the band never performed.

Other bands and singers who have turned down a Glastonbury slot

  • 10cc
  • Chaka Khan
  • The Darkness
  • Foals
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Richard Hawley

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All the artists who have turned down Glastonbury - including huge rock icons (2024)

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