Glastonbury festival will "revisit its musical roots" next year with guitar-based bands returning to the headline slots. The move comes after the controversial decision to select the US rapper Jay-Z as the main headline act at this year's event.
Organisers are now considering Coldplay and Radiohead for next summer, bands that have delivered renowned festival performances.
The decision to abandon the experiment with more diverse headliners is likely to confound the music press, widely believed to have been won over by the rapper's show at the event. The hip-hop artist was warmly received by fans and sceptics alike yesterday.
But Michael Eavis, who runs the festival on his farm in Somerset, has indicated an unwillingness to take a similar risk again. He said Coldplay's lead singer, Chris Martin, sent him a congratulatory text message during Jay-Z's show on Saturday while watching the performance live from New York.
Jay-Z's arrival at Worthy Farm drew an enormous crowd to the Pyramid stage - 100,000, according to Eavis. The rapper capitalised on the hype, mocking his most public critic, the singer Noel Gallagher, by opening the set with a rendition of the Oasis star's Wonderwall.
At a press conference yesterday, a tired-looking Eavis, 72, expressed delight that the crowd knew Jay-Z's "New York street poetry" and said the festival was "an absolute triumph". He added: "We've done it now, we pulled it off." Speaking about Amy Winehouse, whose gutsy performance, despite diagnosis with the lung condition emphysema, received mixed reviews, Eavis explained that the soul singer's seeming punch to a fan had been made at a man who had groped her. "It's a Prescott situation isn't it? The general view is [the fan] deserved it."
But despite his optimism he has told fellow organisers he is unwilling to take such a large financial risk with future Glastonbury events. Tickets sold out for the three-day event on the last day but less than two months ago, with tens of thousands of tickets unsold, Eavis was contemplating £5m losses. To recoup costs, this year's charitable donations may need to be curtailed, from £2m to £1m.
Eavis, who says he pays artists a fraction of what rival festivals offer and relies on goodwill, has told friends that the fiasco over ticket sales this year caused him more stress than the pitched battles between travellers and police in the 1980s, and the mass gatecrashing of the 1990s. His daughter Emily, whose decision it was to entice a more diverse crowd, is keen to ensure Glastonbury retains its reputation as a springboard for the next big bands. Her Park area, celebrated by music critics, was a success, running a raft of new talent. Her father said this week that he expected to hand over the festival to her in 2016, when he reaches 80.
Today, most of the 150,000 visitors to Worthy Farm will have left for home. There were few complaints as the tent packing began. This was, after all, the year that the sunshine returned.