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THE COUNT: U.K. FEST SEASON IS HOTTER THAN AFTERNOON TEA

Wonderers have wondered if, after humongous comeback years in 2022 and 2023, the U.K. festival market could sustain its unprecedented post-pandemic growth, especially with fewer major artists touring, fewer stadium shows and higher ticket prices.

The last two seasons were surely going to be hard to top, as such live industry giants as The Rolling Stones, Metallica (K2), Adele (WME), Billie Eilish (Wasserman), Elton John (Rocket Music Group), Eagles (CAA) and Bruce Springsteen (CAA) played lucrative and ultra-competitive U.K. tentpole events such as Live Nation’s preeminent metal gathering, Download Festival (6/14-16); Michael and Emily Eavis’ enormous Glastonbury Festival (6/26-30); the alternative/dance-oriented Reading & Leeds Festivals (8/21-25); and AEG’s traditionally star-studded British Summer Time concert series in London’s Hyde Park (6/29-7/14).

But it seems organizers have done a splendid job booking this year’s events given the talent available, as Glastonbury sold out upon announce and most of the Hyde Park shows are already clean or will be very soon. While single-day tickets are available for Reading, Leeds and Download, weekend passes are approaching sellouts for those gatherings as well.


Michael Eavis, Melvin Benn, Andy Copping

At Download, Live Nation’s Andy Copping has tapped headliners Queens of the Stone Age (WME), Fall Out Boy (CAA) and Avenged Sevenfold (CAA) this year, staving off a potential downturn even though sales will probably not hit last year’s Metallica-fueled numbers.

Headliners at the Melvin Benn-overseen Reading/Leeds include Liam Gallagher (Wasserman), Lana Del Rey (CAA), Gerry Cinnamon (CAA), Catfish and the Bottlemen (Primary Talent), 21 Savage (UTA), blink-182 (CAA) and Fred again.. (Wasserman), the first electronic artist to close the main stage in festival history.

Dua Lipa (WME), SZA (Wasserman), Coldplay (WME) and Shania Twain (CAA) will headline Glastonbury, the largest U.K. fest of them all. It’s the first time in the event's history that three of the four top acts are female. In addition, Avril Lavigne (CAA), Cyndi Lauper (UTA) and Camila Cabello (WME) will make their Glastonbury debuts, and Coldplay will become the first act to headline the festival five times.

At British Summer Time, SZA will reappear to open the series, which also features Kings of Leon (WME), Morgan Wallen (The Neal Agency) (on U.S. Independence Day, of all times), Andrea Bocelli (Klassics Music), Robbie Williams (CAA), Twain, Stevie Nicks (CAA), Kylie Minogue (CAA) and Stray Kids (JYP). Get those comfortable shoes ready.


Lana Del Rey, Shania Twain, SZA

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