The veteran soul singer will follow in Dolly Parton’s footsteps by playing the Sunday teatime slot
Lionel Richie has been confirmed to play Glastonbury 2015. The veteran soul singer, whose hits include Easy, Hello and All Night Long, will play the Sunday teatime slot, which has hosted Kenny Rogers, Paul Simon and Dolly Parton in recent years.
“I’m really excited to play Glastonbury next year as it’s one of the most iconic festivals in the world,” said Richie. “It has a phenomenal history and the alumni of artists who have previously played is incredible so I’m honoured to be joining that club. It will be a really special moment for me and I can’t wait to share it with everyone. I can now say ‘Yes, I’m playing Glastonbury.’”
Richie is the first big-name artist announced for Glastonbury 2015, and festival organiser Emily Eavis said she was thrilled with the booking. “He’s one of the great soul legends. He’s got all the songs, some incredible songs, and I think he will get people on their feet. There will be a lot of love out there for Lionel.”
The Sunday afternoon slot, which caters for music industry legends, has grown in stature over the last decade. Past performers include James Brown, Leonard Cohen and Brian Wilson, who played an emotional set as the sun finally came out during 2005’s particularly muddy year.
Eavis believes that Dolly Parton’s standout performance at this year’s festival, which drew a huge crowd, has helped open the door for even bigger acts in the future. She said: “In many ways it’s its own headline slot. And I’d say Dolly probably opened the door for Lionel. We got the phone call from his agent saying he was up for coming down, pretty much as we were packing the tents away from this year’s festival!”
Richie will be embarking on a series of European dates from February next year, and arrives in the UK at the end of that month. This year’s Glastonbury festival has already sold out, with all 150,000 tickets snapped up in record time after they were put on sale in October. The Guardian is the official media partner of Glastonbury festival.
This article was written by Tim Jonze, for theguardian.com on Sunday 30th November 2014 16.00 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010