What other metal bands could play Glastonbury?

Unless you’ve been under the planet’s largest rock for the past 24 hours, you might have missed the news that Metallica are playing Glastonbury. This has split fans of the band and festival across the board, but will this somewhat surprise booking lead to a surge of metal bands heading to Glasto? And who would actually be welcomed on the hallowed ground? We think we know…


It might come as a shock to you, but Chino and co. played Eavis’ farm back in 1998, and they could do just the same now. There’s enough of the ethereal elements in the vocals to songs like Passenger to not scare away any newcomers, and their unrelenting energy will kick the face right off the new-age hippies. Imagine playing My Own Summer to the Glasto crowd now, they’d do a mess in their knickers.

Faith No More

Nowhere near Deftones on the heavy scale, but Faith No More have far more crossover appeal. The hip-hop and funk elements will slot nicely in between some of the more mainstream acts (and loveable weirdos like Sun Ra). Seeing thousands of straw hat sporting festival-goers lose their minds to Epic while bouncing off the cheap pills they bought from Dodgy Dez will be excellent.


Who doesn’t love Mastodon? We certainly do (have you seen our latest issue?!), and they’re one of the few heavy bands that could join the ranks. Not only are they supremely talented musicians and pumping out some of the most accessible metal in years, but they were on Jools Holland not so long ago – surely that’s kudos enough for Glastonbury?

Nine Inch Nails

If Trent Reznor doesn’t belong at Glastonbury then we don’t know who does. Nine Inch Nails played one of the biggest arenas in the country – the O2 – recently and are constantly high on the bill at Reading/Leeds, so surely NIN could fit in at Glastonbury? Hurt is known the world over by rock fans, and realistically the quality of the live show will be enough to win people over.

The Algorithm

Not strictly a metal band, but then again, The Algorithm aren’t strictly anything. Throwing EDM, djent, trance and mathcore into one neon mixing bowl will break minds in Shangri La late at night. But that’s just what’s missing, none of this joker with an acoustic guitar nonsense. Give us something heavy and silly!


Consistently on top form live and with enough party oomph to start a fire in any crowd, the ragga-metal heroes would completely wipe the floor with the majority of avant-garde oddities floating around the festival. If Benji found his way onto the Pyramid Stage the intensity levels would go through the bloody roof. And 100,000+ people doing the Newport Windmill would possibly be the best thing our eyes have seen.


This is a no-brainer. Tool step it up every year and have the alternative vibe that Glastonbury strive to support. They’re adored by metallers across the globe but are nowhere near the household name that Metallica are – they could easily sneak up on an unsuspecting Somerset crowd and melt their minds with everything from Schism to Jambi.


Since Opeth have fully opened the doors to prog and steered away from being solely heavy metal, the opportunities for festivals like Glastonbury could be heading their way. Of course, headlining isn’t an option, but a solid 45-minute set in a tent in the middle of the day would really kick the cobwebs out of the revellers who didn’t find their waterlogged tent until 7am.


You have to admit, the Head would attract a bloody massive crowd. Admittedly it might only be for Ace Of Spades but would that matter if you were lagered up and loving the sunshine? You get the same sort of fans at metal festivals who only turn up for the hits, and something just feels right about Lemmy still winning over new fans at age of 68. And because they’re in the middle of sodding nowhere, they can be as loud as they want!

Devin Townsend

Devin’s back catalogue is so vast that he wouldn’t have to play any metal – although a Strapping Young Lad set would be earsplittingly fun. Devin’s a character and such a talented musician he could jam for 30 minutes and still turn the curious crowd into a frenzy of poorly tie-dyed dancing and poi.

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.