October 2016.

How much money does a band make from headlining Glastonbury?

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1 answer

It’s not public what the exact figure would be, but I know that Glastonbury pay a bit less than everybody else. Bands don’t play there for nothing, put it that way. They might pay a bit less, but at the same time, the act will get all that exposure from the TV coverage. If you are really smart – like the Beyoncés of this world – you can base your whole album launch and a new phase of your career around it.

Would someone get £1m for headlining Glastonbury? They might, but I would doubt it. But that said, £1m to headline a festival is not the highest figure in the world any more. AC/DC were rumoured to have been paid £8m to play Download in 2010. For the Desert Trip shows, industry rumours are saying the headliners are getting $7m and the support acts are getting $3m. But that’s across two weekends, so effectively the headliners are walking away with $14m and the support acts are getting $6m.

Glastonbury is also one of the festivals that all the acts want to play at least once. That’s how they eventually got The Rolling Stones. How much less would they be paid compared to another festival? Maybe two-thirds or half the fee. There has long been a rumour that Glastonbury gets bands for nothing – but that doesn’t hold any water.