Arctic Monkeys: are they pulling out of Glastonbury 2023 after cancelled show due to Alex Turner laryngitis?

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Could the band pull out of Glasto 2023? The latest on Alex Turner's health

Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis has announced that the Arctic Monkeys will be the Friday headliners on the Pyramid Stage, putting to rest doubts that arose earlier this week about their performance.

Uncertainties around their performance began to circulate after concerns regarding the health of their frontman, Alex Turner, who was battling acute laryngitis.

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The band were forced to cancel an open-air concert in Dublin as part of their 2023 UK and Ireland Tour. The news was announced on Monday (June 19) on the band’s Instagram page.

The update read: “We are extremely sorry to announce the cancellation of Arctic Monkeys’ show at Marley Park in Dublin tomorrow. Alex is suffering from acute laryngitis, and following medical advice, has been ordered to rest."

Will Arctic Monkeys still play Glastonbury?

It was feared that Turner's condition could affect his ability to perform the group’s Glastonbury headline slot.

But broadcasting from the grounds of the festival at Worthy Farm, Zoe Ball asked during her BBC Radio 2 show if the band were still set to play, and Eavis replied “they’re on”, which was welcomed with applause.

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“It was a little bit close there for a minute and we were thinking about whether we should have a serious back-up plan in place, but no, thankfully they’re on, so that’s great,” she added.

Eavis had expre confidence that the Arctic Monkeys will perform at Glastonbury earlier in the week, though she did say the festival has a contingency plan or two in place, just as a precautionary measure.

“I think we are going to be all right. They’ve cancelled that, he’s recovering. I’m sure we’re going to be all right,” Eavis told The Times. She added: “We’ve got a couple of back-up plans if not. We’ve always got back-up plans for everything.”

Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys during a concert in Amsterdam on 5 May 2023 (Photo: PAUL BERGEN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys during a concert in Amsterdam on 5 May 2023 (Photo: PAUL BERGEN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys during a concert in Amsterdam on 5 May 2023 (Photo: PAUL BERGEN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images) | Getty Images

It was at one point rumoured that mystery band "The Churn-ups", who are playing third from top the same day, could have replaced the Arctic Monkeys in the headline slot.

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When questioned about the potential inclusion of the Foo Fighters in the lineup and their ability to step in as headliners in the event of Arctic Monkeys' cancellation, Eavis said: “I wouldn’t like to give anything away. You’ve got to allow the surprise to happen. It’s all about the surprise.”

There have been instances in the past where Glastonbury headliners have cancelled their performances, including Oasis, who were set to headline the festival in 2009, but had to cancel at the last minute due to guitarist Noel Gallagher sustaining an injury. As a result, the band was replaced by the British rock group Blur.

The Foo Fighters famously had to cancel their appearance at Glastonbury in 2015 after frontman Dave Grohl suffered a leg injury during a concert in Sweden, resulting in a fractured leg. As a result, the band had to cancel their scheduled performances, including their headlining slot at Glastonbury.

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