Brian May has said Queen will not play Glastonbury next year after clashing with the festival’s founder over the controversial badger cull.
The 72-year-old guitarist and animal rights campaigner rubbished claims that his band had been booked to headline Glastonbury’s 50th anniversary event next year.
Founder Michael Eavis, 84, who is also a dairy farmer, has called May a “danger to farming” and criticised him for his opposition to the badger cull which is aimed at preventing the spread of bovine TB.
Last year, Eavis’s support for the cull prompted Downton Abbey actor Peter Egan to call on music fans to boycott Glastonbury.
Speaking on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 on Friday, May said Queen, who are touring with American Idol’s Adam Lambert, would not perform at Glastonbury in 2020 unless “things changed radically”.
He said Eavis had “frequently insulted” him and described the ongoing cull as a “tragedy and unnecessary crime” against the UK’s wildlife.
He said: “No, we won’t (perform), and there are lots of reasons for that. One is that Michael Eavis has frequently insulted me and I don’t really particularly enjoy that.
“What bothers me more is that he is in favour of the badger cull, which I regard as a tragedy and unnecessary crime against wildlife.
“So, no – there is a little bit of a schism there. I wouldn’t do Glastonbury unless things changed radically.”
May is also the co-founder of the Save Me animal welfare organisation, which campaigns against fox hunting and badger culling.
He started the body in 2010 alongside environmental campaigner Anne Brummer, and named it after Queen’s 1980 hit.
May appeared on Ball’s show alongside singer-songwriter James Blunt and Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas.
Blunt stayed tight-lipped about whether he might perform at Glastonbury’s 50th anniversary.
He said: “I’m off on my tour from February around the UK. I will be doing some summer festivals.
“Glastonbury has always been my favourite gig to play. I’ve played on the Pyramid Stage a couple of times and it’s an amazing place, absolutely.”
Diana Ross, who made her name in The Supremes, has already been announced as the performer for next year’s Sunday afternoon Legends slot, which last year was filled by Kylie Minogue.
Representatives of Glastonbury have been contacted for comment.