We debunk the rumours
Glastonbury Festival and secret sets go hand-in-hand. Barely a year will pass without the timeless rumour of a ‘Daft Punk secret set at the Stonebridge Bar in the wee hours’, or a mystery headliner trekking up to The Park for a mid-afternoon show.
They rarely, if ever, come to fruition – but that doesn’t stop the endless nattering from eager punters hoping to get a top-secret scoop. This year, however, there’s genuine reason to become amateur detectives. Emily Eavis has spent the last few months fanning the flames by teasing a “really big” secret set somewhere at the festival and hinting that The Park will celebrate its 10th anniversary with an unannounced show or two.
Liam Gallagher has finally been announced to take one of the sets, and Emily has remained pretty tight-lipped on the exact acts, “well, it could be anyone, couldn’t it” she said. But could it? Here are the big rumours for this year’s Glastonbury secret sets debunked and analysed. Stay tuned to this page for updates closer to the festival.
Guns N’ Roses
The rumour: The band were heavily rumoured to be headlining this year’s festival, but likely priced themselves out of a slot at Worthy Farm. The wheels are yet to fall off their reunion tour, so if they’re feelimg generous, they could swing by for what might be the greatest secret set of all time.
Where/When: The band are available for all three days of the festival, but space on the lineup looks few and far between. Would have to be a tightly-guarded secret if this was to go ahead.
The rumour: The departing indie-heroes are set for a farewell tour starting on the Thursday (June 22) and a perhaps premature post on the EE website said that the band “will be playing one of their final farewell shows before they disband” at the festival.
Where/When: The band have tour dates in the UK on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday – so it leaves only Sunday the only day available for a set on the farm. Lucky there’s a gap on The John Peel Stage at 5:30 on Sunday, then…
The rumour: They’re playing festivals off the back of new single ‘Everything Now’ and recently played a secret set at Primavera Festival. They’re billed as a UK exclusive at Isle Of Wight Festival though and played Glastonbury just three years ago as headliners, so it may be too soon for a trip back. Saying that, everything is heating up around the new album, and Glasto might feel hard done by if it couldn’t hear the gigantic ‘Creature Comfort‘ until 2020. Plus guitarist Richard Reed Parry seems to be teasing something Glasto-related on his Twitter…
Where/When: Considering their low-key set at Primavera – it’s not inconceivable to see them just pop their stage down in a free field and play, but that’s a bold and risky move.
Sign up for the newsletter
Manic Street Preachers
The rumour: The Welsh legends will be playing a show in nearby Bristol on the Thursday (June 22) and it’s their only show of the month.
Where/When: Logic would say Friday, if they were going to stick around in the region, so that currently-empty 7:30 slot on The Park looks pretty likely.
The rumour: A few suggestions that they could be the “really big” secret have emerged on social media – but nothing of real note linking them to the festival. Especially considering that they’re currently billed as an exclusive for Reading & Leeds this August.
Where/When: The band are playing in Croatia on the Wednesday (June 21) and in the Czech Republic on Saturday (June 24) – so unless they’re willing to hop on several planes to squeeze a show in, it seems unlikely.
The rumour: Noel’s a Glastonbury regular, but this year he’s heading down to The Farm with a purpose – as he introduces a screening of Oasis documentary Supersonic. Perhaps he fancies picking up the guitar for a quick slot.
Where/When: If it is an acoustic set that does look the more likely, then theoretically he could slot in anywhere for a late night set. But we know Noel only fancies playing Glasto if he’s heading the bill – so would have to be seriously low-key to keep everyone happy
The rumour: The Manchester Artpop troupe have lined up a set of intimate shows in the week leading up to Glastonbury, teasing some new tunes as well. Could they round off their comeback gigs with an airing of new material at the festival?
Where/When: William’s Green currently has two TBA slots on Thursday – so they’d no doubt slot in nicely there, if free.
The rumour: They’re playing European festival shows in Denmark on June 22 and Greece on June 24, so could feasibly hop across to the UK on the way for their shows. But with a gigantic Hyde Park show in July, they may be saving the airing of new material in the UK until then. They also just returned with ’80s-nodding juggernaut ‘The Man‘, and a Glasto appearance would build on that momentum.
Where/When: Friday looks the most likely day, though finding a slot big enough for the band to fill in is likely impossible.
The rumour: The band are already set for a show on The Other Stage on Friday, and festival site eFestivals is currently listing them as TBC for a William’s Green show.
Where/When: Thursday at William’s Green looks like it could be the spot. It’s basically Glasto’s worst kept secret.
The rumour: There were strong rumours she could be headlining the festival this summer, but she was nowhere to be seen on the lineup poster. In October, she told NME that she didn’t “have permission to say anything about that”, suggesting that she could feature in some capacity.
Where/When: The last time she played at the festival was in the wee hours at Shangri-La – so we could be in for a similar late-night slot.
The rumour: With rage-filled new single ‘Yuk Foo’ announcing their return, what better way to keep things going than a secret show at a festival they’ve conquered time after time?
Where/When: They played a massive set on the Pyramid last time – so a smaller showing would be a welcome return. Perhaps they could take to William’s Green on the Thursday too?