After a fallow year in 2018, the Glastonbury Festival is back this summer, and that means the familiar feverish speculation over which of music’s top stars will earn the prestigious headline slots.
In 2017, that honour went to Foo Fighters, Radiohead and Ed Sheeran, and this year, Glastonbury goers already know the identity of one of the three main headliners, as award-winning grime artist Stormzy was announced as the Friday headliner.
But that still leaves two headline slots up for grabs, and bookies are making goth legends the Cure and US rockers The Killers the big favourites, with both available at 2/5 with Skybet.
For The Cure, a headlining slot at this year’s Festival would be their fourth, following appearances in 1986, 1990 and 1995, but their relationship with Glastonbury hasn’t always been harmonious. Their 1990 set saw a fan air-lifted to hospital after being crushed at the Pyramid Stage, and Smith publicly criticised the organisation at the venue. But with the band celebrating their 40th anniversary last year and set to release a new album in 2019, their Festival return would be good timing.
The Killers have also attracted plenty of support and are also available with Skybet at 2/5. A surprise appearance at the 2017 Festival coincided with the release of their last album, and having previously headlined in 2007, they are arguably overdue a return in 2019. American super-band, The Strokes are also prominent in the betting marckets, with Julian Casablancas and co available at 3/1. Surprisingly, the US indie group have never played Glastonbury, although Casablancas did put on an entertaining solo show in 2010.
The Festival has a long history of mixing the old with the new when it comes to their most prominent performing slots, and two potential headliners who definitely belong in the former category are Madonna and Fleetwood Mac. Rumours that both acts were in the running to top the bill on Saturday or Sunday were apparently quashed by Festival co-organiser Emily Eavis last October, but that hasn’t deterred punters from backing them in to odds of 11/2 in recent weeks.
For music fans looking for bigger prices, the Eavises have a history of springing surprises – most notably the booking of Kanye West in 2015 – and there are plenty of options that would fit that bill, including a re-united Oasis at 33/1, although a headline slot for Liam Gallagher (14/1) would seem to be more likely than a brotherly reconciliation. Indie legends Stone Roses (50/1) are also available at a big price, along with veterans Rod Stewart (50/1), Abba (28/1) and Bon Jovi (25/1).
And punters hoping to back the winner in this market may not have much time to get their bets on. While it is tradition for the full Festival line-up to be revealed shortly before April’s ticket resales, there are regular exceptions. Ahead of the last Festival in 2017, Foo Fighters were announced at the end of February, while Ed Sheeran’s appearance was revealed on March 16.