Springsteen to headline Glastonbury

Tue May 26, 2009 12:02pm EDT
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By Paul Lauener

LONDON (Reuters) - Glastonbury, the world's largest green field arts and music festival has shied away from rap and chosen Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Blur as its headline acts this year, a return to its guitar-based roots.

Hip-hop superstar Jay-Z headlined the British music festival last year in an effort to attract a younger crowd but ticket sales dragged, and although the rapper was widely judged a success, some criticized the organizers for abandoning the festival's origins.

This year, old favorites dominate with Tom Jones, Status Quo and Madness playing the main stage and hip-hop artists Q-Tip, Roots Manuva and Black Eyed Peas relegated to the smaller areas, the official line-up showed.

"We know that there will be objections to whatever we do but if last year taught us anything, it was that we have to follow our gut instinct," festival organizer Emily Eavis told Britain's Guardian newspaper.

"Risks pay off, and featuring Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen in one weekend was a choice ... and we had to take it," the paper quoted her as saying.

One notable hip-hop exception on the main stage is British rapper Dizzee Rascal, who was topping the UK singles charts on Monday and has rocked British festivals this year.


Other artists likely to appeal to a younger crowd include indie pop group The Wombats, Australia's Gabriella Cilmi, electro-pop musician Little Boots, and pop artist Lady Gaga.   Continued...

<p>Crowds cheer and dance to the music at the Glastonbury Festival 2008 in Somerset in southwest England June 27, 2008. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>