The Guardian Critical Of Paul McCartney As Glastonbury Headliner

Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Linda McCartney

The main takeaway from the news that Paul McCartney is headlining Glastonbury in 2020,” The Guardian‘s Alex Petridis writes, “may be that the festival is running out of authentic rock legends that have never before graced the Worthy Farm stage.”

The British newspaper’s resident critic then notes that Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Kate Bush and reformed Pink Floyd might occupy a higer place on festivalgoers’ wish lists than McCartney previously headlined in 2004.

Petridis’ main contention is that Paul McCartney’s appearance would be somewhat of a do-over.

In other words, it would lack novelty.

In this respect, Petridis makes a fair case, noting that while the former Beatle‘s current live set is exciting, it hasn’t changed that much since when he first performed at the long-running festival 15 years ago.

The last time [Paul McCarney] played the UK, at the end of 2018,” he notes, “it still featured a number of elements familiar from his first Glastonbury appearance: a solo rendition of ‘In Spite of All the Danger‘, the McCartney-Harrison composition recorded by the Quarrymen in 1958; a performance of a George Harrison song on ukulele in tribute to his late bandmate’s love of the instrument; and his John Lennon elegy, ‘Here Today’

It would be better if he didn’t repeat them all again,” Alex contends, “although he could probably get away with it. Such was the effect of the barrage of Beatles’ hits last time, that the crowd chose to ignore his between-song patter (a lot of ‘hey wow man’ stuff about ley lines, his vision of Glastonbury apparently having been fixed in the early Sevetnies) and instead streamed away from the Pyramid stage still singing en masse the refrain from ‘Hey Jude’.

It would be a brave person who bet against something similar happening this time around,” he concludes.

McCartney, of course, could not be more excited to be returning to the festival.

You can read Petridis’ full piece here.





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