Secret sets at Glastonbury are notoriously unpredictable, and over the years stricter health and safety standards and larger crowds have changed the rules. But guerilla gigs still happen in many different forms – here’s 16 we’d love to see in 2016.
There are plenty of rumours about Radiohead, who have a Glasto-shaped hole in their tour schedule. Michael Eavis himself mentioned their name while discussing this year’s festival at the Oxford Union in May. The last time they played a secret set was in 2011, soon after the release of ‘The King of Limbs’. Will they do the same following the recent release of their ninth album, ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’?
2. Catfish & The Bottlemen:
Catfish play the last show of their US tour on Tuesday 21 June – the day before Glastonbury begins – and hit up Bristol on Saturday 25. They were a late announcement for the Other Stage on Sunday, but they could conceivably do a warm-up show on Friday as well. Bristol’s not far.
“Collectively, there’s no plans,” guitarist Graham Coxon told us of Blur’s future at the NME awards in February. Nice try Graham, you big tease. We know you’re up to something. We hope you are, at least.
They’ve got the week off from their final Wembley show on June 19 until their headline set on June 26. This is their fourth headline set (their previous ones were in 2002, 2005 and 2011) and they’ll surely be wanting to make this year’s Glastonbury extra special. Why not mark it out with an extra set, boys?
Although it’s likely that Adele would get completely mobbed if she played anything smaller than the Pyramid Stage, there’s still a chance. If not, she’ll have enough time away from her tour to enjoy the festival from the sidelinesas she has done in past years
6. Wolf Alice:
One of the breakout bands of Glastonbury 2015, Wolf Alice have graduated from their Park Stage performance last year to a tasty Saturday afternoon slot on the Pyramid Stage. But knowing Wolf Alice, they could be hungry enough to manage one of the ‘live band’ slots at William’s Green too.
7. The Strokes:
The New Yorkers’ EP ‘Future Present Past’ – their first new music in three years – surprised us all recently. Even though they’ve never played Glastonbury and have only played two gigs in the past eight months, we live in hope. If only to celebrate 15 years since ‘Is This It’.
8. The 1975:
Here’s another contender for secretive William’s Green action on Thursday 23 to prepare for their slot on the Other Stage. The Manchester four-piece have had a stormer of a year, hitting Number One simultaneously in the UK and US with their long-titled second album. They’ve been touring an incredible stage show and they’ll surely want to show it off to as many people as possible.
9. All Saints:
Come on. Who doesn’t want to see this lot doing ‘Pure Shores’ after their reunion this year?
The phenomenally successful Londoners behind ‘Pompeii’ and ‘Flaws’ played a secret afternoon set last year and are already due an Other Stage appearance this year. They’ve been teasing their second album ‘Wild World’ recently, and if it doesn’t arrive before Glastonbury, a secret second set would just add to the intrigue.
11. Arctic Monkeys:
Alex Turner’s playing with The Last Shadow Puppets on Saturday evening, so he’ll be on site, but who knows about his AM bandmates. It’d be nice though, wouldn’t it?
12. Florence And The Machine:
There’s a significant gap in the diary for Flo between her departure from Croatia’s INmusic Festival (June 22) and her arrival at Poland’s Open’er (June 29). After last year’s storming headline slot, maybe she'll strip her music back a bit for a surprise set this year.
13. Kendrick Lamar:
The only reason the Compton rapper might do this is because he’ll be in the UK for his Hyde Park show before Florence on July 2. If he comes early, he might deign to make the journey down to Somerset. And it would be amazing.
14. Aphex Twin:
The electronic musician aka Richard D James has done many secret Glasto sets in the past, and he’s just teased a new EP, ‘Cheetah’. He’s not on the lineup but we’d be happy to have him back.
15. James Murphy:
The LCD Soundsystem frontman has done secret Glasto DJ sets in the past. Outside of LCD’s Sunday evening Other Stage headline performance, surely he’s a shoe-in for a DJ appearance elsewhere?
16. Mumford & Sons:
These guys have done either secret sets or proper ones at Glastonbury every year since they broke through, so not doing a secret set would break tradition. And their pal Baaba Maal, with whom they’ve just made a mini-album, is playing the Pyramid Stage on Saturday. See ya there, Mumfords!