Glastonbury confirms Sunday afternoon legends slot

Jeff Lynne’s ELO will follow the likes of Dolly Parton and Leonard Cohen.

Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis has confirmed Jeff Lynne's ELO will play the legends slot
Bring on the blue sky Michael Eavis celebrates finding a performer for the Sunday legends slot at Glastonbury Image Picture Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Glastonbury has confirmed that reformed 70s popsters Jeff Lynne’s ELO will play the festival’s Sunday afternoon legends slot on June 26.

Lynne reformed the band in 2012, since when they have played just two concerts. Both gigs – at Hammersmith Apollo and Hyde Park – were in London, with the latter 2014 show selling all 50,000 tickets in just 15 minutes.

Formed in 1971, the original Electric Light Orchestra line-up released 12 albums featuring hits such as Xanadu, Mr Blue Sky and Roll Over Beethoven before splitting in 1986.

Glastonbury’s legends slot has featured the likes of Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie and Leonard Cohen. It began when Rolf Harris was the first veteran singer to perform on the Pyramid Stage on Sunday afternoon.

The slot has traditionally given a boost to ageing cults’ careers, with a wayward Shakin’ Stevens the notable exception when he played in 2008.

ELO now perform under the name Jeff Lynne’s ELO in an agreement reached with founding drummer Bev Bevan, who owned part of the copyright on the band’s name before selling it back to Lynne in 2000.

Three of the original band members – bassist Kelly Groucott, cellist Mike Edwards and violinist Wilf Gibson – have died. Lynne and keyboardist Richard Tandy are the only members from ELO’s first incarnation.

Since reforming, Jeff Lynne’s ELO have released one album, Alone In The Universe in 2015. They first performed at the Grammys the same year, singing Mr Blue Sky with Ed Sheeran.

As well as his work with ELO, Lynne produced The Beatles’ singles Free As A Bird and Real Love in 1995 to coincide with their TV series Anthology.

Lynne was also a member of 80s supergroup The Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty. He rarely performed live after ELO disbanded in 1986, preferring to concentrate on studio and production work.

It’s widely thought that Adele, Coldplay and Muse will headline Glastonbury this year.

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Loaded’s deputy editor John Earls has covered entertainment and sport across a range of national newspapers, plus several football and music magazines, since 1990. Follow him on Twitter at @EarlsJohn

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