Brian May explains why Queen will never play Glastonbury

Brian May and Michael Eavis
(Image credit: Jim Dyson/Getty Images, Samir Hussein/Redferns)

Queen guitarist Brian May has reaffirmed why his band “could never” play Glastonbury festival.

May has been clear on his disdain for the event and its founder Michael Eavis in the past, previously stating how he thinks the badger cull that takes place on Worthy Farm is “an unnecessary crime against wildlife”.

In a new interview with The Sun, the legendary guitarist doubles down on his view after being questioned on whether Queen would ever play Glastonbury in the future. He says, “Would I ever do it? No. As the man who runs it advocates killing badgers for no good reason and I could never level with that.

“Have they tried to book us? I think the feeling is mutual so I think they understand how I feel.”

When pushed to elaborate on whether the badger cull is still the reason for his animosity towards Eavis and the festival, he adds: “Not really but it does have a bearing on it. I have to say, it does have a bearing on it.”

In previous years, the Glastonbury founder took aim at May’s view of the divisive cull, while dubbing him a “danger to farming”. Eavis argued that the method reduces the impact that bovine tuberculosis can have on infected livestock.

In response to Eavis, May said: “We won’t [play Glastonbury] and there are a lot of reasons for that. One of them is that Michael Eavis has frequently insulted me, and I don’t particularly enjoy that.  What bothers me more is that he’s in favour of the badger cull”.

He continued: “There’s a little bit of a schism there, I wouldn’t do Glastonbury. Unless things changed radically.”

Although May seems steadfast in his opposition to play the festival, Eavis has made previous claims that Queen’s manager had actually sent him a “hand-written postcard” as an attempt to get the band booked at the top of the bill. In spite of Queen’s alleged bid, the founder said that the band were simply “not quite our thing”.

Glastonbury 2023 is set to take place from June 21 until June 25, with Elton John as the first confirmed headliner, with strong rumours of Guns N' Roses playing continuing to circulate. 

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.