From Worthy Farm to worldwide stardom? We look at the prize's previous winners
Every year, a promising bunch of new acts bid to prove they’re, err, worthy of a spot on Worthy Farm. The Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition sees 40 taste-makers sieve through a huge supply of fresh faces to pick a longlist of 120. A selection of judges, including Michael and Emily Eavis, narrow the list down to eight, before live finals at Pilton Working Men’s Club in April decide the winner. Plenty of previous Emerging Talent winners have gone on to do great things, while others fizzled out faster than you could say ‘Hello Glastonbuuuurry!!’ We’ve taken a look at previous picks.
When did they win? 2015, when McKenna’s anti-FIFA corruption single ‘Brazil’ was just beginning to turn major label heads.
What are they doing now? Tipped as part of the BBC Sound of 2017, all eyes are on the teen sensation’s debut album, which is due out this year. Of all the Emerging Talent winners, McKenna has it in his hands to be the most successful. Last year’s ‘Isombard’ single was a breakthrough, and he’s already picked a Twitter fight with Piers Morgan – nice work.
Bridie Jackson and the Arbour
When did they win? 2013, which led the folk outfit to performing five times over the weekend.
What are they doing now? They split midway through 2016, but after the Glastonbury nod, they picked up plenty more prizes: PRS for Music Foundation’s Women Make Music award and an Arts Council England grant for their Music In Museums project. Their final album was 2014’s ‘New Skin’.
Ellen and the Escapades
When did they win? 2010. “When we got the call telling us we’d won, the reaction was shock first, then tears, manic laughter and whoops of joy,” they said upon winning.
What are they doing now? After becoming 6 Music staples, the Leeds via San Francisco group announced their split in 2015. Debut album ‘All the Crooked Scenes’ came out in 2012.
We Have Band
When did they win? 2009 saw the does-what-it-says-on-the-tin band beating eleven other contestants to the prize.
What are they doing now? The trio’s dance-pop hybrid has picked up its fair share of plaudits. They’ve released three albums, remixing Gorillaz and Bloc Party along the way. Third album ‘Monuments’ came out in 2014. The band’s Tom Wegg-Prosser recently started his own project, SALTA.
When did they win? 2008, with Michael Eavis comparing the experimental-pop outfit to Coldplay and Oasis at the time.
What are they doing now? They didn’t quite live up to Eavis’ grand comparisons, splitting after their debut album and a spot on the NME Radar tour. Vocalist Gwylim Gold remains in the spotlight, though – in 2012, he made a record purpose-built to never sound the same, each time you played it. An ambitious release concept that probably made Kanye West pay attention.
When did she win? 2007, after which she landed a record deal on [PIAS].
What are they doing now? 2014 saw her releasing second album ‘Haul Away!’, the follow-up to acclaim debut ‘O, Devotion!’. She was in the studio working on new material last Autumn – her Twitter bio lists her as being “on sabbatical.”
When did they win? 2004, when the competition started. They landed a scoop on the Other Stage and began a stampede of playing to thousands at big-name festivals.
What are they doing now? They remain good friends with Michael Eavis, although they’ve yet to relive the heights of 2005 debut ‘Young for Eternity’, which earned them a support slot on Foo Fighters’ UK stadium shows, a main stage billing at Reading & Leeds and an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Scouting For Girls
When did they win? Err, technically never. Scouting For Girls are amongst a handful of acts who lost out on the Emerging Talent prize but still managed to find success. Others include Izzy Bizu (runner up in 2014) and Stornaway (a finalist in 2009).
What are they doing now? The dubiously-named trio have released some truly criminal singles (remember ‘She’s So Lovely’, anyone?) and will be celebrating their first record deal with a 10th anniversary party at London’s Bush Hall on February 14.