The gates are opening soon! The greatest and most famous modern-day music festival in the world is coming into view in the Somerset skyline. The 33rd Glastonbury Festival is almost upon us, officially kicking off for early-comers tomorrow (Wednesday 24), at the outset of five days of extraordinary entertainment for 135,000 eager fans in the famous surroundings of Worthy Farm near Pilton, and countless millions more on TV and online.
uDiscover will be at the event, tweeting live with the hashtag #UMusicGlasto, and we encourage you to join that Glasto conversation and tell us what you’re seeing, who you’re looking forward to, best act of the weekend, biggest let-down, funniest thing you saw, anything to bring the festival experience to life. And check out our dedicated site here, where all of our Glastonbury news comes together.
To get you in the mood, here’s our preview of some of the attractions — current megastars, rising talent and legendary names — to look out for over the long weekend. If you’re in situ really early, by Wednesday afternoon/evening, there are plenty of locations open for you to check out, such as the Spike, the Avalon Café and the splendidly-named Croissant Neuf Bandstand. Or there are the resident DJs at the Rum Shack, or you might even fancy a movie — the Pilton Palais Cinema is showing the ‘Final Cut’ version of ‘Bladerunner’ at 20:30.
On Thursday, one of our favourite acoustic singer-songwriters, Ruarri Joseph, plays his attractive, Nick Drake-tinged material at the Bimble Inn at 15:30. There’s a screening of Julien Temple’s new documentary ‘The Ecstasy Of Wilko Johnson’ at William’s Green at 12.20 on Thursday, preceded by appearances from the great guitarist and Temple themselves. Wilko’s also playing the Acoustic Stage at 18:30 on Friday. And some bands are, of course, worth a look just because of their name, like Beans On Toast on the Hell Stage at 20:00 on Thursday.
Speaking of the Acoustic Stage, Friday night offers the splendid JD McPherson at 17:25, the stirring Proclaimers at 20:00 and the magical Christy Moore headlining at 21:30. No less a pop figurehead than Lulu is on the Avalon Stage at 18:45, while Hot Chip will bring their cutting-edge electronica to the West Holts Stage at 22:15 on Friday, after hitmaker supreme Mark Ronson has packed the Other Stage at 21:00 and got the crowd ready for Rudimental at 22;30.
Main attractions on the Pyramid Stage on Friday include an afternoon in the company of James Bay, Alabama Shakes and the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul herself, Mary J. Blige. As we all know, while poor Dave Grohl’s leg mends, Florence + the Machine will now headline at 21:15.
Saturday (27) brings the chance to catch the peerless Gregory Porter at 17:00 at West Holts, and Jessie Ware on the John Peel Stage at 18:15. She starts her set 15 minutes before Texas begin their 25th anniversary celebration on the Acoustic Stage, and La Roux (who, incidentally, we spotted at the bar at last week’s Strokes/Beck show in Hyde Park) will play the Peel Stage at 21:05. Old-school funk rules West Holts as the ‘Mothership Returns’ at 21:45 and out step the outrageous combination of George Clinton, Parliament, Funkadelic and Sly & the Family Stone.
Pyramid highlights on Saturday include simply one of the greatest songwriters in pop music history: Burt Bacharach, playing just some of his scores of extraordinary songs from 16:30. That’s after George Ezra marks a spectacular year in his career and before Paloma Faith delivers a doubtless extravagant performance. Then it’s full-on R&B and hip-hop all evening with Pharrell Williams and the headlining Kanye West.
Glasto’s closing day, Sunday, has a spot on the Avalon Stage at 18:25 for some real giants of 1960s progressive pop who are probably more popular than ever in 2015, the Zombies, fronted by two of the nicest guys in the business, Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent. Jess Glynne, of Clean Bandit and solo fame, would “rather be” on the Sonic Stage at 18:00, while Mark E. Smith and the indefatigable The Fall are on the Park Stage at 18:25.
Patti Smith comes to the Pyramid at 14:15, and watch for Lionel Richie’s music to be high in the UK charts in two weeks’ time, following his appearance in the now-traditional Sunday afternoon Pyramid Stage slot (illuminated last year by Dolly Parton and previously by Shirley Bassey and others) at 16:00.
The Chemical Brothers will have the very earth shaking underneath the Other Stage at 21:45, while back at the Pyramid, things wind up to a Great British rock conclusion with the one-two punch of Paul Weller at 19:30 and a fantastic finale of The Who from 21:45.
Have a fabulous weekend, and don’t forget the website and the hashtag #UMusicGlasto. We want to know all about your Glasto!