If you’re heading down to Pilton this week you’re probably trying to work out how to fit a million and one things into three or four days. Here’s 25 things we really think you ought to experience while on the farm, starting with soul legend Stevie Wonder. Headlining the Pyramid Stage on Sunday night, this is the 60-year-old’s penultimate show in the UK.
Snoop Dogg was banned from the country for four years after a brawl at London’s Heathrow Airport in 2006. The British government finally agreed to let the rapper back in and Glasto promptly booked him, so don’t miss his set (and potential Gorillaz collaboration) on the Pyramid Stage on Friday.
Having seen Slash solo behind his head during ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ at the recent Download festival, we can personally vouch for this one. Whether or not he gets attacked by a punter again, the set will be packed full of GnR classics and will see Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy do his best Axl impersonation. Catch him before Ray Davies on Sunday on the Pyramid Stage.
The Drums are doing an acoustic set around the Strummerville campfire, which is run by the Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music. Set in the exact same spot where Joe Strummer used to have his fire, the sessions will run from midnight to 3am every night of the festival.
Some of the best Glastonbury experiences are the random run-ins with acts you’d never pay to see live (East 17, we’re looking at you). So stumble by the Pyramid Stage on Saturday afternoon to howl along to the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa ‘Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)’.
Keeping Lady Gaga’s ludicrious legacy alive this year will be Marina And The Diamonds. Elton John glasses? Disney jumpsuits? Clown shoes? Only time will tell what she’ll pull out of the box, but good tunes are guaranteed. Her infamous USA hotpants might not go down too well after our 1-1 ‘loss’ recently though. On the John Peel Stage on Saturday.
No weekend in Pilton is complete without some kind of wackiness. Attitude Is Everything is an organisation that works to improve deaf and disabled people’s access to live music. It also puts on one hell of a show at The Hub in the Shangri-La Zone of Glastonbury so stop by for what they are calling “a mayhem of cowboy hats and broken hearts, godzillas and skank-flavoured adrenaline makers”.
Kele Okereke is no stranger to Glastonbury. Bloc Party played at the festival in 2005, 2007 and 2009, but this is his first time going solo. Stop by the John Peel Stage on Friday to hear ‘Tenderoni’ and other tracks from his forthcoming album ‘The Boxer’ and see if he can make the transformation from indie kid to club hero.
Night time at Glasto offers numerous nefarious pleasures. Annie Mac’s Essential Mix at The Hub in that vortex of confusion Shangri-La on Friday night features genre muddler (and boyfriend) Toddla T alongside Rusko and should provide the perfect diving board into the abyss.
If you feel like giving something back to that booze-addled brain, The Free University of Glastonbury is a literary tent featuring a series of lunchtime talks and this year features the likes of Joy Division/New Order bassist Peter Hook.
Watch England’s last group game against Slovenia on Wednesday June 23. It will be shown on the Pyramid Stage screens, with kick off at 3pm. And when (not if) we qualify, our second round game will be on either Saturday 7.30pm or Sunday 3pm (depending on where we finish in the group).
One of our favourite new bands Avi Buffalo will be playing at the Queens Head Stage on Sunday just before Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip. Show these Californians some UK love because this should be a moment.
Klaxons aren’t playing this year (and no, they’re not about to spring a surprise set on us like last year). However, Jaimie is DJing at the Stonebridge Bar from midnight after Gorillaz, if he’s not disappeared into a rabbit hole by that time of night. See you there.
James Cameron’s 3D epic ‘Avatar’ is showing at the Cinema Tent and should look appropriately bent on shrooms (or whatever’s your poison). ‘The Hangover’ might be appropriate, too, but we advise giving ‘Food Inc’ a miss if you’ve been eating festi-burgers all week.
One of NME Breakthrough’s current top five bands May 68 will be playing on the BBC Introducing Stage on Saturday before Pulled Apart By Horses. They call themselves “disco house / French pop/ bossa nova” so go see how that translates live.
James Murphy has said that LCD Soundsystem may soon be no more, so go sing drunkenly along to ‘Drunk Girls’ by the Other Stage before Orbital on Sunday for what may be one of your last chances.
There’s numerous new attractions at this year’s festival, including the enticingly-named Sam Haggerty’s Joker’s Sideshow Alley as well as a hedonistic-sounding place called The Acid House, which is hosted by Happy Mondays caner Bez at the Unfair Ground.
Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene finally released their new album this year after a five year wait, so don’t miss this first chance to hear the new stuff live. They hit the John Peel stage on Sunday after electro punks Holy Fuck.
Make sure you stumble into Glastonbury’s worst kept secret, the Rabbit Hole where the likes of Dreadzone (Friday) play Annie In Wonderland, a show co-curated and co-hosted by Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale.
What is it: Temples, waterfalls, mayhem. A bit like The Crystal Maze but with more rum.
What happened this year: Mike Skinner played ‘Fit But You Know It’. Swoon.
Sure, The xx, Vampire Weekend, Hot Chip, Muse and the rest will be amazing, but one of the best sets for nostalgia or irony’s sake will be reformed surf rockers Reef (Other Stage, Saturday), who are coming back brighter for a handful of shows this summer. All together now: “Oh place your haaaands…”
Fionn Regan is returning to what looks like might be (fingers crossed) the first dry Glastonbury festival in years. The underrated genius deserves your attention and joins the best Park Stage line-up ever, including Broken Bells, Beach House and Dirty Projectors. No rain would make the trek up there a lot easier too. See Fionn on Sunday.
The Stonebridge Bar also has the strongest line-up we’ve seen, including Greco Roman ft. Joe Hot Chip and Drums Of Death, Four Tet, Silver Columns and some special guests on 2am Monday morning that will hopefully make staying on site worthwhile.
Gorillaz are stepping into U2’s shoes as headliners on the Pyramid Stage on Friday, and we hear that they’ve got some special guest appearances up their sleeves. Murdoc told NME that he is looking forward to seeing “Snoop Dogg, Mos Def and The Hypnotic Brass. But then I can watch them with us when we play… maybe”.
If you only do one thing, keep an eye on NME.COM on your phones. We’re coming live from the site all weekend with rolling news, gossip, live photos and updates on those “special guest” slots. Who knows, maybe Pete will crash our mobile office again…