What makes Glastonbury the greatest festival on Earth is also the very same thing that can make it the most maddening, too: choices. Lots and lots and lots of choices. Almost too many choices, in fact –because while there’s more amazing bands to be found on the fields of Worthy Farm than anywhere else, it’s also inevitable that you won’t be able to fit them all in to your weekend. And so it is for this year’s line-up, too. Do you go and see NME’s Godlike Geniuses, Suede, on Saturday evening? Or, in the battle of the deities, do you head to the Pyramid and marvel at Kanye ‘I Am A God’ West instead? Your whole Glastonbury experience is going to be defined by choices like these, which is why we’ve lent a helping hand: below, you’ll find 10 of the most tricky line-up clashes you’ll have to navigate. And by studying it now, you can make the difficult decisions now so you can focus on having fun come June 26 instead…
The Cribs vs Hinds – Friday, 12pm
And the hard choices start almost immediately on the Friday, as you’re plunged into your first scheduling nightmare before you’ve barely had chance to rise from your tent and shake off the hangover. Do you plump for the guaranteed good times of The Cribs, with their thrashy, punky fun, or the lo-fi charms of Hinds? Or perhaps you’re not in the mood for either, and fancy something a bit more cerebral and political – if so, make your way to The Park Stage, where you can see feminist punk heroes Pussy Riot in conversation. Balaclavas optional.
Catfish And The Bottlemen vs The Districts – Friday, 3pm
If you were to ask Van McCann, this one would be a no-brainer. Let’s be honest: if you were to ask Van McCann whether you should go and watch Catfish And The Bottlemen or the reincarnated corpses of John Lennon and Kurt Cobain in a beyond-the-grave duet, he’d tell you to ignore the stiffs and focus on yelling out the chorus to ‘Kathleen’ instead. But if we’re being objective, The Districts are more than worthy of your attention: their debut ‘A Flourish And A Spoil’ is already one of the year’s best, and this is a perfect opportunity to see the Pennsylvanian teens in a more modest slot before they shoot up the bill.
Florence And The Machine vs Run The Jewels – Friday, 7pm
A heartbreaker, this: on one hand, you’ve got the mighty Florence Welch bringing her high priestess shtick to the Pyramid Stage as she gives new album ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ a Glastonbury debut. Flo’s built for these kind of occasions – huge choruses, rousing anthems, mass sing-a-longs et al – but then, over at West Holts, you’ve got the fantastic Run The Jewels to factor in, too. EL-P and Killer Mike made one of the year’s finest hip-hop albums in 2014, and they’re a righteous force to be reckoned with live, too. A very tricky decision.
Caribou vs Sharon Van Etten – Friday, 8pm
Caribou’s ‘Our Love’ was one of 2014’s most heartwarming stories: a tale of slow-burn success as Canadian producer Dan Snaith quietly went about delivering his best album yet, after a decade in the game, and its warm, thick looms are practically tailor-made for a Friday evening at Glastonbury as the sun goes down. But Sharon Van Etten is another artist who continues to get better, too, as she takes heartbreak and lost love and spins it into gorgeous songs. Both of these should be special – you can’t really lose.
Young Fathers vs Slaves vs Sleaford Mods – Saturday, 2pm
Tricky. On The Other Stage, Mercury Prize-winners Young Fathers are sure to provide one of the most inventive and innovative sets of the whole weekend. They start at 2.45pm – but, that’s slap bang in the middle of a terrific double-bill over at The John Peel Stage, where two of the UK’s angriest, thrilling bands – Slaves and Sleaford Mods – will be holding court from 2pm onwards. Do you settle in for the long haul there and enjoy the speckle-flecked anger, or do you watch a bit of Slaves before setting off to find the Scottish clan? A decision to be made using your legs, and how much more walking they can handle, rather than your head.
Pharrell Williams vs Todd Terje – Saturday, 8pm
This one will be determined by exactly how much you can tolerate the sound of tens of thousands of pissed-up people butchering the chorus of ‘Happy’. Can you stomach another rendition of 2014’s most ubiquitous song? Or would you rather enjoy something a bit subtler and Scandinavian? If so, bypass the Pyramid and go to West Holts instead, where the marvellous Todd Terje will be bringing the best cuts from last year’s LP ‘It’s Album Time’.
Future Islands vs Fat White Family vs Django Django – Sunday, 4.30pm
A three-way ding-dong! Here, you’ve got a triptych of bands to squabble over. If you want to see synth-pop brilliance that includes the best song of last year, go to The Other Stage at 5.15 pm to witness Future Islands, who’ll probably unleash ‘Seasons (Waiting On You)’ to rapturous scenes. But if you fancy seeing dizzying, complex art-pop courtesy of Django Django, you’ll need to be at The John Peel Stage at 4.40pm, with their set scheduled to overlap with the Baltimore band’s. And then, throwing another spanner into the works: do you actually want to see a crazed man stripping down to his underpants, soundtracked by chaotically sleazy rock’n’roll? If so, Fat White Family are your friends, and they’ll be The Park Stage from 4.30pm.
Perfume Genius v Belle And Sebastian – Sunday, 6pm
Time for a breather and something a bit… gentler, now. Which means you have two choices: do you go and see Perfume Genius at The Park Stage at 6pm, which could be one of the weekend’s most underrated sets, or do you give your attention to Scottish indie stalwarts Belle & Sebastien instead, who’ll be lording it over The Other Stage from 6.45pm?
FKA Twigs v Jamie T – Sunday, 8.15pm
We’re on the home stretch now, but sadly, the tough choices aren’t getting any easier. And two of the UK’s finest are both vying for your attention here, as the wonderful, experimental pop/R&B wunderkind FKA Twigs goes head-to-head with Wimbledon troubadour Jamie T. If you want sultry, sophisticated electro brilliance, stick with Twigs; if it’s rabble rousing anthems you’re after, Jamie’s the one for you.
The Who v FFS v Chemical Brothers – Sunday, 9.45pm
And it all boils down to this: the final send-off, the last hurrah, and just one more decision for you to make. How are you going to see out Glastonbury 2015? You can join the masses who’ll have gathered to watch The Who roll back the years on the Pyramid, you can lose your mind to The Chemical Brothers on The Other Stage, or you can go for the left-field choice and take in the bonkers collaboration between Franz Ferdinand and Sparks at the John Peel Stage. This is all assuming, of course, that you’re in any fit state to make a decision come Sunday evening – Glasto has a funny habit of wrecking your best-laid plans, after all…