Elton John will headline Glastonbury next summer in the last British show on his lengthy global farewell tour at the renowned music festival on Worthy Farm.
One of the biggest selling artists of all time, John has never played Britain’s leading music festival and said an appearance on the Pyramid Stage on the last night of the 2023 event would be the perfect way to bow out in Britain.
The 75-year-old activist and singer of hits such as “Tiny Dancer” and “Rocket Man” is coming towards the end of a “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour after more than 50 years on the road.
John had his first big hit in 1970 with “Your Song”, the same year that the first Glastonbury festival took place in southwest England, when tickets cost one pound and revellers drank free milk from the farm.
“Every week I speak to new artists on my radio show and Glastonbury is often cited as a pivotal moment in launching their careers – the festival’s genuine, enthusiastic support for the best emerging talent is something I’ve long admired,” he said in a statement.
Glastonbury is unique in selling out before any headliners have been announced, given the strength of previous line-ups with stars ranging from Beyonce to David Bowie, Dolly Parton to Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones.
Paul McCartney, 80, played at last year’s Glastonbury, becoming one of its oldest headliners as the festival returned after a three-year absence due to the COVID pandemic.
Tickets for the 2023 event sold out in just over an hour.
“This will be the final UK show of Elton’s last ever tour, so we will be closing the Festival and marking this huge moment in both of our histories with the mother of all send-offs,” Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis said.
John, who has reigned over pop music with piano-led rock songs and ballads such as “Candle in the Wind”, announced a farewell tour in 2018, saying he wanted to focus on his family.
The tour had been due to run from September 2018 to 2021, encompassing five continents and over 350 dates but it was disrupted by the pandemic and John’s hip problems.
It brings down the curtain on one of the most glittering careers in show business. John has sold more than 300 million records worldwide, won every industry award going and raised millions of pounds in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.
John performed for U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House in September, before he ended the U.S. leg with a star-studded show at the Los Angeles Dodger Stadium in November.
He performs in Australia and New Zealand in January before kicking off the British tour in Liverpool in March.