As everybody knows all too well by now, Glastonbury isn’t entirely about the headliners on the Pyramid Stage. And while the prospect of Stormzy slaying Worthy Farm’s most iconic stage on the Friday night this year is undeniably exciting, you’d be ill-advised to spend your festival weekend grumble-worrying about how everything was better in the old days in terms of the calibre of the so-called “big names” on the bill.
Despite a year off, Glastonbury hasn’t shed its reputation as a staging ground for those special festival “moments” – which, let’s face it, any and all of the acts on their famously stacked bill will have the opportunity to grasp and make their own this summer. We’re talking instances when an act who’s booked to play at 2:30 PM goes on to deliver the defining set of their lives, or when an established name goes and reminds everyone just how good they are with a knock-out performance on one of the main stages hours ahead of the main headliners.
With today’s first major line-up announcement for 2019 re-igniting excitement levels among ticketholders about which acts to see between June 26-30, we’ve gone and selected which of the just-announced artists look most likely to realise their very own “Glastonbury moment” this year.
Ms Lauryn Hill
The Fugees legend’s debut appearance at the festival was all-but-confirmed last year when Glasto organiser Emily Eavis tweeted her glowing review of Hill’s London gig at The O2. That show was part of a retrospective tour which celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the release of her classic debut album ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’, and we can’t wait to hear the likes of ‘Doo Wop (That Thing)’ and ‘Everything Is Everything’ (hopefully alongside renditions of some Fugees tracks, please) when Hill takes to the stage. Ready or not, Glastonbury: Lauryn’s coming.
Another act who are set to make their Glastonbury debut this summer, everyone’s favourite Bristol punks IDLES will make the short trip to Pilton with their usual and honest intention of seizing the day. Expect unscripted chaos, joyful mosh pits and broad smiles all round: IDLES could very well come away from Glastonbury this year with the unofficial award for ‘best set of the weekend’ proudly on display in their tour van.
The hype train that the 17-year-old Californian is riding is showing little sign of slowing down at the moment, and a significant spot on the Glasto bill is only going to increase the huge attention that’s currently being focused on Billie. By the time she hits the stage in June her upcoming debut album, ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’, will be three months old and therefore firmly embedded in our conscious. But will she feel the pressure? Unlikely – we’re confident that, as with most of the challenges that she’s faced in her fledgling career so far, she’ll smash it with ease.
The south London rapper will return to Glastonbury this summer after memorably packing out the John Peel tent in 2017. That show saw Loyle bring his mum out and celebrate his acclaimed debut ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ – and, with new music on the way in 2019, his set at this year’s festival should provide even more good vibes and (happy) tears. “At the end there were loads of guys crying and hugging each other,” he recalled to NME about his 2017 performance. “I thought that was the most important thing. Men crying is essential, to stop men from holding it in and developing mental health issues – just to let it out – it’s a really, really special thing to see that, so it was one of the highlights of my summer.”
Sigrid‘s rise to the very top is almost complete, and she may now be just a Glastonbury set away from cementing her reputation as one of pop’s biggest and brightest new acts. We’ve already tipped her to be in reach of attaining “worldwide festival headline status”, and a triumphant, bangers-filled set at Glasto this year might just grant her entry into the big leagues.
Rex Orange County
Alex O’Connor’s return as Rex Orange County on Valentine’s Day last month was a sweet surprise for his fans, who’ve craved more material from the Surrey musician ever since the release of his breakthrough album ‘Apricot Princess’ in 2017. O’Connor told fans in a message accompanying the new track ‘New House’ that “life is good” – and we’re no doubt at all that that sentiment will flow through the joyous’n’jazzy Rex Orange County live set-up to make for a more-than-memorable appearance at Glasto this year.
Admittedly not the first artist we thought we’d see on this year’s bill, but just take a look at the strength of that back catalogue of singles – ‘All I Wanna Do’, ‘Strong Enough’, ‘If It Makes You Happy’, ‘Soak Up The Sun’ – and combine that with the fact that established names (think Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie and this year’s ‘Legends’ slot booking Kylie) often go down so well at Glastonbury – Sheryl might just go and carve out her very own special Glastonbury moment this year.
If you don’t know Lizzo yet, then it’s about time you get to know her. The Minneapolis rapper and singer’s steady rise over the past few years has her now firmly knocking on the door to the big time, with her major label debut ‘Cuz I Love You’ set to emphatically deliver her latest mission statement next month. And as for her live shows? They’ve already become renowned for their dazzling array of expressive dance routines, flute solos and powerful freestyles from the star of the show – it’s a quite dizzying mix, and Lizzo’s is one set that you won’t want to miss at this year’s Glastonbury.