Glastonbury festival is almost upon us. Planning your schedule already? Here’s 50 acts you just can’t miss. Arcade Fire have already headlined some of the world’s biggest festivals so they’ll be more than ready when they get to the stage on Friday evening. Don’t bet against them bringing a few surprises.
Kasabian told NME that after topping Glastonbury they can “die happy”. That’s how much this show means to them. You can practically already see the photograph of Tom Meighan stood atop of a monitor speaker, arms outstretched smiling like a Lottery winner.
There’s always a legend appearing at Glastonbury. This year is no exception. Sunday afternoon in the sun with Dolly Parton, cider in hand, what could be better than that?
As anyone who saw Jack White’s solo show live around the release of ‘Blunderbuss’ knows, when he’s on his own Jack transforms into an entirely different beast. His shows are intense, dark, freak-outs. He headlined the Pyramid Stage with The White Stripes in 2005, so knows the score well.
Another huge moment on the line-up will be The Black Keys. Dan and Pat have an envious arsenal of hits to rely on now, and a sack full of new tunes from their new album ‘Turn Blue’ to air.
One of the most intriguing confirmations on the bill – Lana Del Rey’s live shows are generally softly-delivered, noir-pop affairs. We’re excited to see how that translates to a squelchy farm field in Somerset.
In 2013 Skrillex snuck into Glastonbury and performed as part of his Dog Blood side project – his set flew under the radar. By the sounds of it this year Sonny will be bringing his full-on mutant-robot live show. It’ll be one of the most brain-shaking moments of the weekend.
Pixies recent shows at the Roundhouse suggest even sans Kim, Pixies will be magnificent at Glastonbury this year. New album ‘Indie Cindy’ is full of excellent anthems and a rare example of a band releasing an record well worth buying 20 years after their heyday. Grunge legends haven’t played at Worthy Farm since 1989 so this’ll be a special moment.
And talking about special moments… Can you imagine ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ carrying across the fields as the crowds have it in collective euphoria. Massive Attack is going to be good,
So many anthems to look forward to at Glasto this year. And Disclosure have already written their fare share during their relatively short career. Bring on ‘White Noise’, ‘Latch’, ‘F For You’ and inevitably some special guests.
And so many legends on the Glastonbury 2014 line-up. “We always knew it was going to be hard to be away,” says Manic Street Preachers’ frontman James Dean Bradfield said recently, and we’re glad of that. Last year’s album ‘Rewind the Film’ had some corkers on it but we’re sure to be singing along in unison to the 90s hits.
Judging by Blondie’s set at NME Awards this year – where they won the prize for Godlike Genius – crowds won’t be disappointed by the NY’s return to Worthy Farm.
Off the back of superb 2013 album ‘2013’ following ‘XXX’, the mixtape that made his name, Danny Brown’s been tearing things up at festivals in the US. Now he heads to Glastonbury to represent hip-hop. Can’t argue with that choice.
Though the songs we’ve already heard from Lily Allen are a bit iffy – and she’s admitted her new songs are ‘rubbish – Lils is a Glasto stalwart and hopefully she’ll play tracks for her excellent 2006 debut ‘Alright, Still’.
Continuing the alternative Radio 1 vibe, MIA will be hitting one of the stages at Worthy Farm. She hasn’t played live in the UK much recently so it’s an exciting spot.
Classic jazz hip-hop legends De La Soul know how to put on a show. Hopefully they’ll drop tracks from new Dilla-inspired mixture Smell the D.A.I.S.Y.
Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden’s MGMT bring their woozy psych-pop to a setting that seems made for amplification. No doubt ‘Kids’ and ‘Electric Feel’ will be highlights.
Jake Bugg played the Pyramid Stage last year and despite his young age completely took it in his stride, drawing a huge crowd and playing his music with a chilled air. No doubt he’ll step things up this year, playing songs from his latest album ‘Shangri La’
Since Jurassic 5 reformed in 2013 after breaking up in 2007, Chali 2na, Akil, Zaakir, Mark 7even, DJ Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist have been on the road, pleasing fans across Europe and the rest of the world. Seeing ‘Concrete Schoolyard’ live in the rain or shine would surely be a Worthy Farm highlight.
Another one for nostalgia heads, not forgetting how good 2012 album ‘One Day I’m Going To Soar’ is. Kevin Rowland et al will no doubt get the party started with ‘Come On Eileen.’
Reports of Warpaint’s live shows performing their January album ‘Warpaint’ were glowing. The band last played the festival in 2007 and in an interview with Zane Lowe Emily Kokal remembered: “The mud and Radiohead, who played after us. The mud was great. Jen (Lindberg, bassist) tried to pull me in it.” Lolz.
Theresa Wayman from Warpaint’s boyfriend will also be playing. James Blake’s festival live shows have become legendary since his first album dropped in 2011. his last album ‘Overgrown’ won the Mercury prize which introduced him to a wider audience. Bring on ‘CMYK’ even if it’s pouring with rain.
Swedish band Little Dragon have garnered a solid fan base since they formed in 1996. New album ‘Nabuma-Rubberband’ – their fourth – sounds just as fresh as anything they’ve ever done, especially the brilliant lead single, ‘Kapp Klapp.’
Seun Kuti, the youngest son of afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, leads his father’s former band Egypt 80. He’s led it since he was 14 and his father died in 1997. It’ll be chance for fans to experience Kuti rhythms live.
One of the most exciting live bands to come up in recent months, Royal Blood absolutely smashed it on the NME Awards Tour recently. The Brighton duo only formed last year so it’s pretty exciting for them.
Since going solo in 2010 from band The Czars, John Grant has won a devoted fan base for albums ‘Queen of Denmark’ and ‘Pale Green Ghosts’. He’s sure to carry a hushed crowd in one of the smaller tents.
We don’t yet know who’ll be playing which stages but how good would Metronomy’s 2014 anthem ‘Love Letters’ sound belting out of the Pyramid stage? And can you imagine if Sugababes pitched up to do backing vocals, as they did at the NME Awards this year?
Even though original leader and jazz afro-funk pioneer Sun Ra died in 1993, the Sun Ra Arkestra continue to spread the love – and it’s a very good thing too. At a recent slot at Field Day in London they wowed the crowd.
Parquet Courts debut album was an absolute stormer – and their second album sounds just as good. Those 2-minute punk blasts will got down a treat at Worthy Farm and they totally deserve a prestigious slot.
DJ Pierre! A random, wonderful booking. The pioneer of Chicago acid-house will play Block 9. Judging by his recent Boiler Room set, it’ll be magic.
Perhaps Chance The Rapper will join flatmate James Blake on stage or vice versa. One things for certain: ‘Acid Rap’ will sound amazing at Glastonbury – and hopefully we’ll hear more of his new material.
Generally an intriguing and curious live performer, Connan Mockasin’s 2013 album ‘Caramel’ was a gem. The New Zealand psychedelic wizard is a Glasto coup.
One of NME’s most favourite new artists, Australian Barnett’s live shows have sold out and some whenever she’d played the UK. Her NME session is one of the best of the year and hopefully she’ll play the Lemonheads cover, ‘Being Around’.
After spending time learning dance and drumming in Haiti, Merrill Garbus has returned with the most propulsive and curiously rhythmic albums of her career. Always stunning live, she’s unmissable.
‘Sleep Sound’, the track Jamie xx out out last week, is just another sign that the xx man is one of the most exciting producers to come out of the UK at the moment. His festival DJ sets are always epic.
Jagwar Ma’s set at Glasto last year was a ravey, banging vibe – even though it was midday or some ungodly hour. Since then the Australian psych-dance band have had even more live experience. Get your dancing shoes on.
So Led Zeppelin won’t be playing Glastonbury this year, but their frontman Robert Plant will, taking to the Pyramid Stage in his solo guise. Expect big hair, massive riffs and songs from his new album, which due later this year on The Black Keys’ label, Nonesuch.
This’ll be the breakout gig everyone’ll be talking about. The Way On Drugs’ Adam Granduciel’s booking on the Pyramid Stage is a masterstroke and his Friday lunchtime set is the perfect way to kick off the weekend, with hazy, classic rock-infused anthems. Cross your fingers for sunshine.
If it’s a party you’re after, then US rapper Lizzo is your woman. Superslick rhymes, killer soul vocals and blessed in the ways of whipping up a crowd into an utter frenzy, check out the talent behind ‘Lizzobangers’ over in La Pussy Parlure Nouveau.
Subtly working her way from poet to popstar, Londoner Kate Tempest is one of the most intriguing performers at this year’s festival. With sets in both the Rum Shack and the Leftfield, this award winning talent will add some edge to your weekend.
Live on Saturday night in the Glade, Jon Hopkins plays at the same time as Metallica – so if James and Lars are a bit too much for you, why not try Hopkins’ intelli-bangers instead. The Coldplay-collaborator graceful invitation to an all night rave should set everyone up well for a huge night.
Pulling a festie first, Gruff Rhys will be doing a ‘multi-media’ tour of Worthy Farm over the weekend, taking fans across all of the platforms of his ‘American Interior’ release. He’ll be playing a solo show, screening its accompanying film, hosting a discussion about the book and DJing in the Stonebridge tent.
The most controversial Glastonbury headliners of all time, Metallica’s set will be worth checking out even if you don’t think you’re a fan, because these guys know how to put on an epic show. There’ll be pyro. There’ll be showmanship. And one heck of a story to tell everyone back home when you’ve washed the grime from your boots.
Rapper Angel Haze has scored herself one hell of a show – playing on the Pyramid Stage on Saturday lunchtime. She’ll be playing tracks from ‘Dirty Gold’ – her debut album, which she leaked last year. A ferocious but fun live performer.
It’s rare that a band will return to play Glastonbury two years in a row, but Haim have been doing things differently from the get-go. This year the sisters swap the Pyramid for the Other Stage and a Friday afternoon slot. Hopefully Este won’t have a diabetic attack onstage this year.
Bringing the ‘Good Stuff’, soul singer and gourmet chef Kelis will be playing songs from throughout her career – including numbers from her recent LP ‘FOOD’. A nice one to watch whilst you’re diving into your truck-bought halloumi kebab, maybe.
At its heart, Glastonbury is a hippy paradise, so where better to soak up some folksy sounds than over on the Avalon Stage? Johnny Flynn and his band the Sussex Wit will be proving a bucolic jangle that’s akin to sonic cider scrumpy.
Interpol returneth! And with the promise of a new album, no less. The New York gloomsters release ‘El Pintor’ on September 8, and dropped a trio of impressive sounding new tracks into their NME Awards Tour gigs earlier this year – keep an ear out for those songs on Worthy Farm.
Nothing less than a legend, Yoko Ono brings the Plastic Ono Band to Pilton, for a set of avant-garde art inspired rock and roll. At 81, Ono is not only one of the oldest performers on this year’s bill but also one of the most experimental.
Glastonbury just isn’t Glastonbury without Billy Bragg. The Bard of Barking will be heading up the Leftfield on Friday night, mixing pop and politics with his usual flair. Like it has been for roughly the past 100 years, ‘New England’ will be one of the rowdiest sing-alongs of the weekend.