Oh, the beloved Glasto secret set. It starts with a swirl of rumours, then there’s a surge of excitement and then, more often than not, it peters out with the crushing disappointment of not actually happening.
Apart from sometimes it does happen! We had The Last Shadow Puppets turning up in 2008, where Alex and Miles were joined by Jack White halfway through their surprise set. Then there was 2011’s worst-kept secret when the recently-reformed Pulp packed out the entire Park field. In 2014, we had Skrillex get on-board Glasto’s fire-breathing spider in Arcadia, before The Killers returned in 2017 to rock the John Peel Stage – the very same place where they made their Worthy Farm debut back in 2004. Oh, and who could forget when Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood made a shock appearance in 2011?
The festival gates are now open for 2019, and yet the full Glastonbury line-up still has some pretty major slots labelled as either “TBA” or “special guests”. There’s ample opportunity, then, for some particularly huge surprise shows: by our count on the morning of June 26, there are still 23 “TBA” and six “special guests” slots left on the festival bill. Two of those key slots are on The Park Stage – the unofficial home of the Glastonbury secret set – on Saturday (June 29), so keep a firm eye on that particular area.
So who could be playing a secret set this year? We’ve donned our investigative hats and looked into who could turn up unannounced at Glastonbury 2019 – and, as some of the “TBA” slots are finally being confirmed, we’ve also listed which not-so-secret-anymore! sets have now been announced.
So far, we’ve seen secret sets from Frank Turner, Jamie Cullum, Pale Waves and The Big Moon. Here’s what else is to come…
CONFIRMED SECRET SETS
DJ Seth Troxler will be playing a set on The Gas Tower tonight (June 30) at 2.00am.
Stella Donnelly, Rozi Plain, Hayden Thorpe, DJ Stephen Bass, The Utopia Strong, and DJ Pete Fowler
Stella Donnelly (5.30pm), Rozi Plain (7.15pm), Hayden Thorpe (8.45pm), DJ Stephen Bass (9.15pm), The Utopia Strong (10.30pm), and DJ Pete Fowler (11.00pm) have all been announced as playing at the Crows Nest today (June 30).
As they continue to tour to push their latest album ‘What’s It Like Over There?’, indie chaps Circa Waves will now be making a surprise appearance at Glasto on the BBC Introducing Stage at 7pm.
The man who started it all, DJ Carl Cox will be delivering a 2-hour set tonight (June 29) at the Rabbit Hole’s Funkingham Palace at 1.00am.
DJ Seth Troxler will be playing the Rabbit Hole’s Funkingham Palace tonight (June 29) at 3.00am.
Finally, it has been confirmed. Foals will be smashing The Park Stage at 6.15pm tonight (Saturday June 29). It’s going to be brilliant. Read all about why here.
— FOALS (@foals) June 29, 2019
Flamingods, Mattiel, Black Peaches, Self Esteem, Josefin Ohrn and the Liberation, and Snapped Ankles
Flamingoes (4.15pm), Mattiel (5.45pm), Black Peaches (7.15pm), Self Esteem (9.15pm), Josefin Ohrn and the Liberation (12.15am), and Snapped Ankles (1.15am) have all been announced as playing at the Crows Nest today (June 29).
Be quick – Mahalia will be performing a secret set on the BBC Introducing stage today at 2.05pm.
After playing the BBC Introducing stage yesterday (Friday June 27), Frank Turner’s final secret set of the weekend has now been confirmed as taking place today (June 29) at 12.30pm on the Greenpeace stage.
Big one – Vampire Weekend have just been confirmed as opening the Park Stage this morning (June 29) at 11.30am.
Portico Quartet founding member Nick Mulvey has been confirmed as playing on the Ancient Futures stage tonight (June 28) at 12.30am.
Early bird? Billy Bragg has been announced as playing a secret set on the First Stop Stage tomorrow morning (June 29) at 10.00am.
British DJ John Digweed has been confirmed to play a set in the festival’s new Spaceport venue at 8.15pm on Saturday (July 29).
That’s right – the humble but hilarious Scottish wet-pop troubadour will be performing on the BBC Introducing Stage at 1.30pm today (Friday).
Will he be at Glastonbury? Yes! And he’ll be headlining the John Peel Stage on the Saturday of the festival, kicking off his set at 22:30.
Why him? Because he’s confirmed himself for it, duh!
— Sean Paul (@duttypaul) June 21, 2019
Mystery Jets and Let’s Eat Grandma
Will they be at Glastonbury? Yes! They’ll both play the Rabbit Hole in the early hours of Saturday morning to celebrate 15 years of Transgressive Records.
Why them?“We’re absolutely over the moon to bring Mystery Jets, one of the first bands we ever worked with, plus our brand new family addition, Arlo Parks, to the line-up alongside the one and only Let’s Eat Grandma,” said Trangressive co-founder Toby L.”The Rabbit Hole has been our favourite place to end up, delirious and bewildered, in recent years at Glastonbury, ’til God knows when.”
This has been a hard one to keep secret. On Friday night at #Glastonbury we will be performing an acoustic set down The Rabbit Hole for 15 years of @transgressiveHQ Arrive by midnight for a chance to get in ? pic.twitter.com/AH5oG1fnr0
— Mystery Jets (@mysteryjets) June 24, 2019
— Transgressive (@transgressiveHQ) June 25, 2019
Will they be at Glastonbury? Yes! They’ve filled a “special guests” slot on the Truth Stage at 22:30 on Saturday.
Why them? Because, according to Shangri-La, it’s going to be “madness”.
Special guest announcement! @sleafordmods will play Saturday night at 10.30pm.
— Shangri-La Glasto (@ShangrilaGlasto) June 25, 2019
RUMOURED SECRET SETS
The Black Keys
Will they be in the UK? Not according to their current schedule. Their first tour dates in four years kick off in the US in September.
Why them? Their new album ‘Let’s Rock’ will be released on June 28, and they recently teased an appearance. Speaking to Radio X about the chances of them playing, the band said: “We’re free in June, so let’s see what happens”.
Lana Del Rey
Will she be in the UK? She’s definitely in Europe – Lana plays Tinderbox Festival in Denmark and Lollapalooza in Sweden the same weekend, but we’re sure there’s time in her schedule for a jaunt down to Somerset.
Why her? Sixth album ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’ is on the way at some point in 2019, so it’d be the perfect place to debut new material. And then there’s her upcoming poetry book – could we see Lana doing a poetry reading?
Will they be in the UK? Not currently. Their next run of shows kick off in the US a few dates later on July 4.
Why them? Jack White has a great history with Glasto, and the band have a new record to plug with ‘Help Us Stranger’ dropping on June 21. They’ve got the time off and you’d love to see it.
Will they be in the UK? Maybe. Their UK shows wrap up in Wembley on Saturday June 15, then they have some downtime before performing in Finland on July 12.
Will they be in the UK? Unconfirmed – but they’re definitely in Europe. The boyband will play Roskilde in Denmark and Lollapalooza in Sweden that weekend.
Why them? Last year Brockhampton’s festival shows were some of the highlights of the season. The pit-opening, tent-shaking sets from one of the most hotly-tipped acts about were brilliantly good fun. So it seems right that after their huge year they would bring the show to Glastonbury.
Chance the Rapper
Will he be in the UK? He’ll be in Europe – he’s playing Roskilde and Lollapalooza Stockholm the same weekend.
Why him? He’s not played Glasto since 2014, and with the new album coming in July, this seems like a perfect fit.
Will they be in the UK? Well…maybe? They play Open’er Festival in Poland the week after, so they very well could be.
Why them? They’re back, baby! They’re playing new music live and are playing tons of festivals as part of their “global comeback”. Wouldn’t a secret set at Glastonbury fit into those plans perfectly?
Will he be in the UK? He’s in Europe. There’s a show in Cardiff on the Sunday, and he’s playing Rock Werchter that weekend, too.
Why? He’s got a summer diary stuffed to the brim with festivals, so a set at Glasto would top that all off.
Will she be in the UK? Not according to her current announced touring plans. Her next tour officially kicks off in the US in September.
Why her? Her hotly-anticipated new album ‘Madame X‘ arrives this Friday on June 14, but she’s not currently due to perform in the UK until January. She was rumoured to headline at one point. What better way to make history, launch her new record, and spark speculation of her returning to headline properly for Glastonbury’s 50th anniversary in 2020?