Eli Crossley, 16, won’t let his muscle condition stop his Glastonbury debut as one of the youngest ever performers
Friday 23 June 2023
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a progressive muscle-wasting disease that over time, causes the muscles in the body to become weaker. 16 year old, Eli Crossley, isn’t letting his DMD get in the way of him becoming one of Glastonbury’s youngest ever performers with his band, Askew.
Earlier this year, Eli featured on BBC Breakfast to talk about DMD and one of the latest innovations in paediatric technology, the Smart Suit. This project, led by Duchenne UK and supported by NIHR CYP MedTech, NIHR D4D and Medipex is to develop a wearable, assistive technology that helps to restore and support functionality in young people with DMD. While discussing the Smart Suit, Eli mentioned how he hoped it would help him “in fulfilling [his] dream of playing Glastonbury”.
The interview was quickly followed by an online social media campaign to the festival organisers to persuade them into giving Eli’s band the chance to play at Glastonbury 2023. However, it wasn’t until Eli’s band played at their school talent show at the end of term that this dream started to become a reality. One of the parents at the show, Jon Turner of Island Records, directly got in touch with the festival organiser herself, Emily Eavis. After seeing a video of Eli and his the band, she said she’d “absolutely love to have him” at Glastonbury.
Askew are due to make their Glastonbury debut at 17:30 today on the Rabbit Hole stage and they have carefully curated a set list with some originals mixed in with “a few crowd pleasers”.
After what we’re sure will be an incredible set, Eli and his mum, Emily Reuben, are excited to spend the rest of the weekend at the festival and see some brilliant acts. Once they’re back, Emily will continue running the amazing charity she set up with co-Founder, Alex Johnson, Duchenne UK. The charity has raised over £17 million and has enabled life-changing research for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy to take place. To learn more about the fantastic innovations this charity have pioneered, like the Smart Suit, please use the link below to visit the Duchenne UK website.