Bruce Springsteen is to headline the Pyramid Stage in the prestigious Saturday slot at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, Q can exclusively reveal.
Making his first ever UK festival appearance, he will be backed by the E Street Band. Festival organiser Michael Eavis revealed to Q that he secured Springsteen, a long-time Glastonbury target, after sending him a handwritten letter. “It was one of my most passionate [letters],” he said in the new edition of Q, which goes on sale tomorrow.
“My daughter Emily liked it so much she asked me to rewrite it and have it framed for her. I think [Springsteen’s appearance] will be one of the biggest festival moments of all time.”
Springsteen will follow his Glastonbury appearance with his second headline set of the weekend at Hard Rock Calling 09 in London’s Hyde Park on Sunday, 28 June supported
by The Dave Matthews Band and The Gaslight Anthem.
Other strong rumours for the festival are that Neil Young will be the Pyramid Stage headliner on the Friday night. Fleet Foxes and Doves are also expected to be among the names to be added to the bill.
Springsteen and the E Street Band are enjoying a commercial purple patch – their last two albums, 2007’s Magic and this year’s Working On A Dream, topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic – and recently played shows at President Obama’s inauguration celebrations and Superbowl XLIII before a TV audience of 98.7 million.
Springsteen and the E Street Band kick off their next world tour in the US on 1 April in San Jose. They will also appear at the Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tennessee on 14 June.
This year’s Glastonbury is already a sell-out, although Eavis says a small number of unclaimed tickets, no more than a few thousand, will be released at 9am on 5 April. The bill is slowly beginning to take shape, with Franz Ferdinand confirmed to headline The Other Stage on the Saturday night. Other names linked with this year’s festival include Blur and The White Stripes, while Lily Allen has announced that she will play. And as official sponsor, Q will once again host its own stage, The Queen’s Head.
Michael Eavis is determined to keep one act a secret until they go onstage, saying only that they are a “major band” and will occupy the slot below Springsteen. Q understands re-formed ska legends The Specials and Neil Young’s erstwhile bandmates Crosby, Stills & Nash are under consideration, although it is unclear whether this is for the “secret” slot.