How much were headliners in Glastonbury paid when Billie Eilish joined the Pyramid Stage

From Billie Eilish to Paul McCartney, Glastonbury has some big ads this year, but they don’t pay as much as you might think. This is how much they actually get for the gig

Billie Eilish performs during the Austin City Limits (ACL) Music festival at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas.
Glastonbury headliners are paid significantly less than other festivals

Glastonbury performers will take to the stage today as the much-anticipated festival gets underway.

This year’s event will see some major artists, including Sam Fender, Diana Ross and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

Billie Eilish is set to make headlines tonight (June 24) and is set to become the youngest head-to-head ever to appear at Glastonbury.

Meanwhile, Paul McCartney is set to break another age record on Saturday, as he becomes the festival’s longest-serving head.

The final headline performance was Kendrick Lamar, the American rapper and musician who wrapped up the festival on Sunday night.

It’s one of the biggest gigs of the year and a dream come true for most artists, but they may not pay as much as you think.

Here’s how the fee to perform in Glastonbury works.

How much do headliners in Glastonbury get paid?

Paul McCartney, who made headlines again this year, was paid £200,000 for his performance in 2004


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Glastonbury is one of the biggest festivals of the year. It’s internationally famous and has had some huge headlines over the years, including David Bowie, Beyoncé and Adele.

With such big names, you would think that musicians are being paid huge sums for their performances on the Pyramid Stage, but you might be surprised to find that they are actually getting paid. Pay less than you think.

Glastonbury co-founder Michael Eavis once revealed that Coldplay and Paul McCartney were both paid around £200,000 for previous title sets.

He said at the time: “I paid £200,000 for Paul McCartney and Coldplay, and while that sounds a bit much, they could have charged me much more.”

In 2017, Michael’s daughter Emily, now a co-host of the event, revealed that festival performers are often paid 10% less than what they normally get for other performances. .

In an interview with BBC Radio 6, she explained: “We’re not in a situation where we can give people huge amounts of money.

“So we’re really grateful to the bands that we have because they’re basically doing it for the love of it.”

The exact amount each advertiser is paid is kept private, but in an interview with Somerset Live, Bestival organizer Rob Da Bank revealed that Glastonbury’s budget is under £500,000 per poster advertisement.

He said: “They limit their budget and even the headliners don’t get paid more than $500k, I think, that’s cheap for some headliners and they’ve got a lot in that number.”

Why does Glastonbury pay less than other festivals?

Beyoncé is reported to have been paid $4 million for Coachella, but will be paid significantly less for Glastonbury


Aced1500 / Splash News)

As for other UK festivals, celebrities can earn up to £1m for their performances and according to Billboard, Beyoncé has been paid $4m (£3.2m) for her Coachella performance in 2018.

However, it is highly unlikely that the Single Ladies singer was paid close to this amount for her 2011 Glastonbury appearance.

This is because Glastonbury is a festival aimed at raising money for charity, and so celebrities are paid much less than usual.

Each year the festival raises funds for charities including Oxfam and Greenpeace, which means they have a smaller budget, especially in a wet year as expected.

Emily explains: “In a wet year it’s more difficult because of the higher costs, but we’d only give close to £2m if we could.

“That’s why we’re not commercial, in that respect. We’re not in the same bracket as everyone else when it comes to paying huge fees to artists.”

But it’s not the money that attracts the huge performers to Glastonbury, it’s the reputation of the festival and the repertoire that can generate huge sums of money after the show.

Emily told the George Ezra podcast: “Because of the TV and because of the exposure they got, they kept doing really well after that, so they sold the disc after that.

“So we’re saying ‘look, come and do this’ but even though there’s a small fee we can almost guarantee you’ll make up for it later”.

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Fry Electronics Team

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