You made it. You’re here. Or you’re on your way. The infinite world of Glastonbury Festival stretches before you in numerous dimensions over several days. It would take about four years to live out every aspect of the Eavis’ party and you only have 76-odd hours from Friday AM to Monday AM. With that in mind, we’ve been rifling through endless listings and tip-offs and keeping an ear to the rumour mill to present a daily round-up of the things you really should try and experience.
From the secret gigs to the slots you’ll be bummed you missed via a selection of the best sideshows, food options and hidden treats, these daily dispatches will keep you up to date with the latest developments. Here’s how we think your Friday should pan out, posted nice and early so you can plan accordingly before the khat kicks in. Chip in below with your own tips for the day.
12.15pm – Watch Brother sink or swim
Given that half the country’s talking about them for one reason or another, and you’re not going to pay actual money to endure the show at a dedicated gig, first thing Friday is the perfect time to investigate the most Marmite thing to come out of a shitty London suburb since Richard Archer. Fuelled by that first Brothers of the day – plus a big dollop of Glasto vibes benevolence – you might actually enjoy the lairy likes of ‘Time Machine’.
1.30pm – Decide which indie pop camp you’re in
Two Door Cinema Club make their long overdue step to the main stage at the coveted hour of, ahem, late lunchtime. The Naked & Famous, meanwhile, hit the Other Stage at the same time. Essentially it comes down whether you want to pound mud to ‘I Can Talk’ or ‘Punching In A Dream’.
The Naked & Famous:
Sign up for the newsletter
2.30pm – Watch the first rising star of the weekend
Camden saw queues round the block, past the Gremlin guy holding the SALE sign, and almost up to the station when Ed Sheeran played a several night stand recently. Partially because the gigs were free, and partly because his looping of samples and frenetic scatman lyricism is a sight to behold. Say you were there. At Croissant Neuf. Wherever that is.
3pm – Grab some Measteasy BBQ
The Meat Wagon was a burger institution for years across south London, and saw fanatics queueing for up to an hour for their patty perfection, until they got their van stolen. The chefs set up in the New Cross Inn as the Meateasy and won as much affection for their BBQ as their burgers. Hit this place up at the Beat Hotel (Twitter here) in the market area between Pyramid and Peel and you’ll never touch soggy nachos again.
Mid-afternoon – Behold the Rastamouse in all his glory
Rastamouse, Scratchy and Zoomer (a.k.a. Da Easy Crew) make their worldwide live debut in the Kidz Field, where the motto is: “it’s never too late to have a happy childhood, or enable someone else to”. If you want to see a field full of grown-ups agonising over how ironic their appreciation for an act is, this is the place to be. The time is TBC but he’s (he’s?) there every day.
4pm – Head to the Spirit Of ’71 Cafe for Arthur Brown
Like East 17 and Snap before him, Arthur Brown is a classic Glasto must-see, in the sense that you’ll probably not find him anywhere else. While Friendly Fire appearances are ten-a-penny, it’s the random shows that stick in your head and are really worth catching. While the full Crazy World Of Arthur Brown is on at 8.15pm, it causes a pretty nasty Mumford / Morrissey clash, so watch the demented hero do his thing earlier on. Flaming headpieces optional but encouraged. It’s that or Darwin Deez, and the grandkids will be more impressed with the firework / druid story. Hellfire beats ‘Bartman’.
Early evening – Do the Buffalo Stance at Shangri-La (The Hub)
Ditto all we just said about classic Glasto showings. Probably not worth a massive trek, but if you’re nearby Neneh Cherry’s slot will go down in moderate history. Time’s TBC so check the boards there. She’s after Two Bears (feat. Joe Hot Chip) and it gets you in the area too before the masses descend and the place gets blocked off. Alternatively, head to Four Poofs And A Piano at the Cabaret Tent at 6.30pm.
Early evening – grab a chai latte at the Chai Wallah tent
This place couldn’t epitomise Glastonbury more if it came dressed in lank dreadlocks (as most of its denizens do). Head over for chai lattes, Shisha, what they call “unique ambience, positive vibes and shiny happy people”, an antidote to the chaos elsewhere, and a programme of acts from Ed Sheeran to Guillemots via numerous obscure collectives that will sound great if your brain is detuned sufficiently.
8pm – Head to The Park for the “special guests”
We’re not saying who, because we want to actually get in ourselves, but trust us on this one. You don’t want to tell people you were at Ke$ha when the event of the weekend happens. Shoot to the Other Stage for Mumfords afterwards (8.45pm).
10.30pm – Watch Oh Land at The Rabbit Hole
If you really can’t handle Bono or the Primals, the Danish duo are another white hot tip for the weekend. Playing Cubehenge at 4.30pm too.
12 Midnight – Mong out to James Blake at the Stonebridge Bar
Something you may miss in the minutae of the listings, but a decent late night prospect if you still know where you are.
2.30am – Mong out to Jamie XX at the Unfairground
Something you may miss in the minutae of the listings, but a decent late night prospect if you still know where you are. You’ll find him at Reverend Sharky’s Church Of The Holyroller.
Post-headliners – Find the wine bar power ballad disco
Look for the inflatable wine bottles or listen for the toe-curlingly bad Boston impressions. Keep walking until you’re surrounded by people air guitaring. Congratulations, you’ve found your new home for the weekend.
Things To Skip
Wu Tang Clan – it’ll be a disappointment, honestly, unless they’ve dramatically improved since we last saw them at Sweden’s Way Out West or a Force Nine wind is pelting you in a face. NME scribe Ben Myers explains further at guardian.co.uk. We’d also recommend giving the Avalon stage a massive berth, unless you’re into Barenaked Ladies, Newton Falkner, The Wombles or Chumbawumba. Jeez, there’s a playlist to piss off your camping neighbours.
And don’t forget to…
Avoid people like this at all costs.