No Fleetwood Mac or Led Zep at Glastonbury for 50th anniversary, says organiser

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis has ruled out Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin appearing at next year’s 50th anniversary festival.

She said fans would have to wait at least another year to see the two veteran bands perform on the famous Pyramid stage.

Led Zeppelin have yet to play at Worthy Farm and it has been more than a decade since they last performed together.

Earlier this year, Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood hinted that the band could play the festival next year but Eavis – the daughter of festival co-founder Michael Eavis – said it would not be happening.

“They are a band I’d love to have at Glastonbury,” she said.

“I’ve always been quite open about the fact that we would really love to have them. I’m so hopeful that one day they will do it.

Glastonbury 50th anniversary
Bass guitarist John McVie, drummer Mick Fleetwood and singer Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac (Yui Mok/PA)

“But it’s not going to happen for 2020, forget it. I’m sorry. The other one is Led Zeppelin. People keep coming up to me again and saying ‘Is it true?’.

“Let’s clear that up now. I do not think that is going to happen.

“But we have got a really good line-up coming together. We’ve got two out of three headliners so far.

“We are still negotiating, and all summer on the last one, to the point where every day the kids go ‘Any news?’”

Eavis was in conversation with Hugo Rifkind at the Cheltenham Literature Festival to mark the forthcoming anniversary.

One member of the audience asked about ticket allocations and the speed at which they sell out and whether a ballot would be introduced.

Eavis replied: “It’s a really interesting question and we go through this every year.

“The thing about a ballot is there are 2.4 million people registered and many of those people won’t be trying for tickets.

“I’m not saying this always happens but there are some people that are not as bothered.

“You can see in the figures, we watch it live and it’s happening at around 15 and 20 minutes in, the numbers really drop.

“And so I think when the ballot might end up with people that don’t necessarily really want to come, they’re kind of semi-interested in coming but they’re not as bothered.

“So this is why we did the 50 pairs because we felt we needed to do some kind of ballot.

“But obviously it’s not enough. To be honest, for every person that argues, there’s someone else that would say ‘absolutely not’. It’s a really, really heated, divisive kind of subject.

“We do need to think about it. It’s really hard. When there’s that much demand it’s incredibly hard to manage, but the demand now is much higher than it was.”

Eavis said that in 2004 it took four-and-a-half months to sell out, whereas the 135,000 tickets for 2020 sold out in just 34 minutes.

“I feel like this is about 50th year and they will all just come down again after,” she added.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CONCERT/Robert Plant
Robert Plant, of Led Zeppelin, who have not performed together for more than a decade (Peter Jordan/PA)

Glastonbury regularly has surprise acts playing and there are often secret areas hidden away at the festival.

Eavis was asked whether there would be any new additions next year.

“I think we’re going to stick with what we’ve got for now,” she replied.

“We’ll probably not do anything really dramatic because (this year) was the beginning of a five-year cycle.

“So we start with that and we kind of build on what we’ve got and make them even better.

“There are some surprises being planned and, because it’s the 50th, we should really create some special moments. But it’s hard to beat this one because it felt almost like the 50th.

“There are a few secret places – there is the underground piano bar, which I don’t think is that secret anymore.

“I think we probably need to create another secret venue for next year. Somebody just had the idea of walking into a long-drop loo and there are steps down to a club underneath.”

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