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Entertainment: Glastonbury 2016: Adele headlines Pyramid Stage but why aren't more women topping the bill?

The Weeknd and Adele win big at Billboard Music Awards

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Adele Grammys performance © Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for NARAS Adele Grammys performance

This Saturday (25 June) Adele will become the second solo female performer to headline the main stage at Glastonbury in 25 years, following in Beyonce footsteps in 2011.

Gracing the iconic Pyramid Stage may be run-of-the-mill for Muse and Coldplay – who, staggeringly, have headlined a collective seven times – but a women headlining is viewed as momentous despite the record-breaking feats Adele has chalked up over recent years.

One of the biggest, most respected music festivals in the world – with more than 100,000 clamouring to get to Somerset's Worthy Farm each year, and global superstars jostling for a slot on the prestigious Pyramid Stage – Glastonbury began as a small gathering, inspired by progressive hippies and the counterculture movement.

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Some question if Adele is festival material let alone a headliner. Critics complain her string of heartbreak hits, such as Someone Like You, will do little to trigger the festivalgoer spirit.But there is no diminishing her status as one of the most successful music artists in the world – with second album, 21, just trumping her third, 25, by selling 20 million copies worldwide – two of the biggest-selling albums of the 21st century.

Beyonce headlining Glastonbury © Reuters/Cathal McNaughton Beyonce headlining Glastonbury

Pretty much everything Adele touches turns to gold so her place on the Pyramid Stage is deserved. But there are many who deserve headline slots, not just at Glastonbury. For instance, it is puzzling as to why Madonna – queen of pop – has never headlined a major festival this side of the pond.

Adele's 25 now streaming on Spotify and Apple Music as she headlines Glastonbury

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This weekend's line-up is undeniably male dominated but it isn't the only festival guilty of blatant gender imbalance. IBTimes UK asks why popular festival organisers are still afraid of women topping their bills in 2016?

'Music fans aren't listening to women'

Melvin Benn, the CEO of Festival Republic – that runs Wireless, Reading & Leeds, Latitude and V Festivals, and was operator of Glastonbury from 2002 - 2012 – says he is not against women headlining events but only if they can guarantee ticket sales.

Benn explains: "Yeah I do [see that point of view] but the point about us – festival producers and promoters – is that what we put on is representative of what people are listening to. Trust me, if the majority of people were listening to female headliners then I would have them because they would sell me more tickets. It's not very complicated for me so I'm a conduit for what people are listening to and what they want to see live. I can only be the representative of what people are listening to."

Adele: 'Performing at Glastonbury is best moment of my life'

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'The music industry is sexist towards women'

Is Benn's reasoning valid or is there truly an issue of sexism in the music industry? Critically-acclaimed soul singer Laura Mvula, who is performing at Glastonbury 2016, told Radio Times: "I think that's sad and surprising and it highlights we have so far to go, so much to do. [The public have] become brainwashed into just experiencing what mainstream media thrusts into our faces. These are the 'Donald Trump' times for music."

Coldplay Super Bowl © Christopher Polk/Getty Images Coldplay Super Bowl

The Green Garden singer also shed light on the attitudes towards women in the music industry, telling IBTimes UK: "There are lots of mini teams within the big team and people are looking to me at the top of the pyramid. For me, it's different for a man than it is for a woman and the amount of times I can feel myself being frightened of being perceived as diva the minute I say something with assertiveness. It's sometimes easier to stereotype as she's just being difficult because she's a diva. No, I'm making this decision because it's the way that I want it – it's my music. It's difficult."

Coldplay set for record-breaking fourth Glastonbury headline show

  Coldplay set for record-breaking fourth Glastonbury headline show The band will close the famous music festival in style.After performing in 2002, 2005 and 2011, the band will set a new record, becoming the first act to headline the festival four times.

Laura Mvula © Rich Polk/Getty Images Laura Mvula

In recent years, Glasto founder Michael Eavis has handed over more responsibility to his daughter Emily Eavis who is making it her mission to ensure women are equally represented at future Glastonbury festivals, starting with 2016's line-up of "strong women". Emily told Radio Times: "Hopefully we're doing our bit to support the new female artists coming through. We're a proper women's army down here!"

As the saying goes: "Behind every strong soldier there is an even stronger woman", so let's hope this women's army has gotten even bigger when Glastonbury 2017 rolls around. Booking a female singer as a festival headliner should not be seen as a risk or gamble by promoters – ultimately if the right artist is chosen, tickets will sell regardless of whether the performer wears a skirt or not.

Adele is dazzling in candid make-up free photos .
Adele looked as radiant as ever as she went make-up free for a series of photos on Instagram.Adele has floored her social media followers with a series of striking photos in which she has ditched her trademark winged eyeliner and gone completely make-up free. The notoriously private Hello hitmaker delighted her fans as she gave them a rare glimpse into her life offstage as she enjoyed some rare downtime during her tour.

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