The truth about Adele’s Glastonbury talks

Festival booker on the real state of play with the powerhouse.

Glastonbury organisers say they are in the final stages of talks with Adele about a festival headline spot
Hello? Crowd-fearing Adele is being pushed hard by organisers to perform at Worthy Farm. Image Picture Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Adele has previously ruled out a Glastonbury headline spot because she suffers a touch of enochlophobia.

But festival bookers are in the final stage of discussions with the powerhouse to get her to appear on The Pyramid Stage this summer.

Glastonbury festival advisor and long-time booker Martin Elbourne told Loaded the possibility of the crowd-shy singer headlining at Worthy Farm is looking increasingly likely.

“There’s lots of talk about Adele and it’s in there in the mix,” Elbourne said. “Adele is in a situation in her career where frankly she can do whatever the hell she likes. Hopefully it will happen and it still needs to be confirmed. She’s not into festivals but obviously, every promoter in the world wants to get her so fingers crossed, we are hoping it’s going to happen.”

Adele has been tipped to headline the Glastonbury Festival many times, but recently dispelled rumours she is one of the six headliners lined up for the next two years.

“I think I have made myself pretty clear on Glastonbury,” she said in October. “The crowds are too big – I don’t know if I could do it.”

The Skyfall singer said she was at Glastonbury this year, and decided against wanting to play when she saw the crowds at Kanye West’s set.

“I went this year to watch Kayne and I literally just crapped my pants on the size of the audience. It was pretty insane,” she said. Mum-of-one Adele added that the toilet habits of the front of the crowd also put her off, saying, “Well, the front row – they always do a poo and a pee so they don’t lose their spot. I have seen it happen! I nearly did it myself years ago. It’s true, that is why it stinks down the front.”

Adele said watching the masses at Kanye’s headline spot put her off performing at Glasto
Kanye not create such big crowds? Adele said seeing the swarms who turned up to watch Kanye’s headline set has put her off playing Glastonbury. Image Picture Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Elbourne’s fellow booker Emily Eavis has said Adele, 27, has been on the Glasto “wish list” since 2012.

Coldplay, Muse and The Stone Roses are bookies’ picks as possible headliners at Worthy Farm next year, and Chris Martin and Co have tellingly left the weekend of the festival in late June free in their latest tour scheduling.

Elbourne admitted booking bands can sometimes be years in the making.

“We were trying to get Prince for the last couple of years, but it just goes on forever,” he said. “You have to get in early and the process takes so long with these bookings. Years ago, you could leave it until January, you can’t do that now. It has to be done early. I book The Other Stage and The John Peel Stage and I can’t book The Other Stage until The Pyramid stage is done and people know who is playing on that.”

Elbourne added, “The Pyramid Stage is pretty much done. I’ve just secured two of my headliners for John Peel, so now it will be down to firming up three and four.”

The Glasto organiser was speaking at the M For Montreal music summit, an event he co-founded in Canada 10 years ago with former NME photographer Jayne Houghton, who owns Brighton-based PR agency Excess Press. 

The four-day event is attended by delegates from the music industry who watch showcases performed by signed and unsigned Canadian talent.

And Loaded can reveal Canadian artist Grimes, who brought M For Montreal to a close this year, has already been signed up for Glastonbury, with Elbourne admitting, “We are going to put Grimes on… we just have to figure out where.”

For more information on MForMontreal, visit

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