John Peel Stage at Glastonbury Festival to be renamed after 18 years

Glastonbury’s Emily Eavis has revealed that the John Peel Stage has been renamed after almost 20 years.

The news arrives at the same time as the remaining headliners for the 2023 festival were announced, with Guns N’ Roses and Arctic Monkeys joining Elton John on the billing.

Eavis discussed the “pipeline” problems related to the all-male headliners, as well as an overarching 53 per cent male lineup so far.

In an interview with The Guardian, Eavis also disclosed that the John Peel Stage, which replaced the previous named New Bands Tent in 2005, will now be called Woodsies.

Eavis said the decision was part of a push to name stages after the fields they stand in, such as West Holts and Silver Hayes.

“We’ve had 20 years of John Peel and it’s been an honour to use his name,” she said.

Last year, a petition was launched to rename the stage after the late Radio 1 DJ’s comments about engaging in sexual activity with young women and underage girls resurfaced.

The petition, created by “Jack O”, said renaming the stage was “long overdue, considering the serious sexual abuse he has been accused of and even admitted, against women and children”.

“It’s a slap in the face to sexual abuse survivors, women, children and decent people to have to stand in a stage with his name on it, which has the sick words ‘teenage dreams so hard to beat’ written on the side,” O continued.

“Please rename it for the next year’s festival. He’s been put up on a pedestal for too long.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

In 1989, Peel told the Sunday Correspondent: “Girls used to queue up outside. By and large not usually for shagging. Oral sex they were particularly keen on, I remember. […] One of my, er, regular customers, as it were, turned out to be 13, though she looked older.”

Meanwhile, an interview originally published inThe Herald in April 2004 stated that Peel admitted to sexual contact with “an awful lot” of underage girls.

Addressing the all-male headliners for this year’s Glastonbury Festival, Eavis said the struggle to secure more female artists was a “pipeline” issue.

She called on the industry to develop more opportunities: “This starts way back with the record companies, radio. I can shout as loud as I like but we need to get everyone on board.”

She also said that one female headliner who was booked to play this year had “changed her touring plans” and pulled out. While she did not confirm the name of the artist, Eavis was likely referring to Taylor Swift, who was scheduled to headline in 2020 before the festival was cancelled due to the pandemic.