Nadine Shah says she’s not playing Glastonbury as it’s “too expensive”

Nadine Shaw has revealed that she will not be playing this year’s edition of Glastonbury due to it being “too expensive”.

The musician took to her official X/Twitter account to share that despite the rumours of her allegedly playing the Worthy Farm festival, she will not be performing at all. “The rumours are untrue. I am NOT playing @glastonbury I would have liked to but I wasn’t offered a televised stage so I declined. It’s too expensive a hit for me to take otherwise,” she tweeted.

In a separate tweet, she wrote: “It’s just a reality that playing live is super expensive and if you can justify the costs (like being on telly and having a wider reach) then sometimes you take the hit. Otherwise no, we’ve all bills to pay.”


Shaw has been very vocal about the struggles that smaller artists face and has previously criticised streaming services for lining the pockets of “superstars and super record labels” while smaller acts are left to rely more on income from live shows.

In a piece for The Guardian published back in December, the Mercury Music Prize-nominated singer stressed that the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused a near-total shutdown of the live music industry worldwide, has left artists such as herself without a stable income.

“The pandemic obliterated festivals and gigs, meaning we were forced to survive on streaming income alone,” Shah wrote. “As a cocky northern lass, I thought I’d be OK: ‘C’mon Nadine, you’ll be all right, you’ve been nominated for a bloody Mercury prize, you’ve over 100,000 monthly Spotify listeners. You’ll make the rent.’”


She continued: “I was foolish. The situation was such that I temporarily had to move back in with my parents over the summer. Not the worst thing to happen, but still not a great look for a thirtysomething pop star. Like most of my musician friends who rely on gigs, I found myself in dire straits. (If only I actually were in Dire Straits.)”

At the beginning of the year, various artists revealed the biggest challenges they faced in 2023 and the things they would like to see changed within the new year.

Echoing the FAC’s advocacy for venues not taking a cut of musicians’ merchandise sales at gigs, Easy Life frontman Murray Matravers called for more action to be taken on money landing in the pockets of artists otherwise “live music just isn’t going to be a feasible thing”.

“I’m actually talking with the band and management about our next tour, and we’re having to think about it in a whole new way because touring just isn’t financially sustainable at all,” he said.

Spotify also came under fire for its model of paying artists. The company previously announced a streaming threshold of 1,000 plays before songs are able to generate royalties.

When asked about what other changes he’d like to see in the music industry in the year ahead, Matravers hailed Spotify as a “great thing” for discovering music but said that “the royalty rate is terrible”.

“I assumed as a naive young man that if we got to where we are now then I would be really, really rich,” he said. “That’s just not the case sadly. I just want to see artists getting paid for selling records. Wouldn’t that be good? That would be a good place to start.”