Is Bruce Springsteen The Jack Johnson Of 2009?

noah | February 23, 2009 10:30 am

The Glastonbury Festival, Britain’s annual mud-covered extravaganza, has announced its first headliner for its already-sold-out 2009 edition, and it is… Bruce Springsteen. The Boss, who headlined the Super Bowl and is also going to be atop the bill at Bonnaroo, is going to headline the second day of the three-day festival, with fellow elder statesmen Blur and Neil Young rumored to headline the other two days. Glasto organizer Emily Eavis said that the Springsteen booking was “the icing on the cake of this year’s bill, which I’m sure will take everyone’s breath away when we announce the full details.” Hey, don’t put the icing before the cake, OK?

Anyway, this latest announcement makes me wonder if Bruce is going to be the No. 1 fixture on this year’s festival circuit. So far he’s only down to headline one weekend-long musical clusterfuck here, but that number may expand soon—and may even extend to Coachella, given the way attendees who are unhappy with the Killers’ Saturday-night headlining slot are throwing his name around. (His only real competition: The one-two punch of Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction, who are right now heading up the Sasquatch! lineup and who obviously have a fair amount of shared festival experience.)

In a lot of ways, booking Bruce makes sense; his live shows deserve the praise for being legendary, and thanks to his long-standing career and its high quality, he’s one of the few performers out there who can captivate (and bring in money from) a wide-ranging crowd. But part of me can’t help but wonder if this latest booking announcement—and, indeed, the rumors that Glastonbury is going to be headlined entirely by what we can call “heritage acts”—is yet another sign that the clock is ticking on the festival model, although said clock will probably run out much faster on this side of the pond.

Bruce Springsteen to Headline Glastonbury 2009 [Glastonbury]