Glastonbury festival should need little introduction. Since 1971 the festival has been using farmland in a usually sleepy corner of the British countryside to keep the hippy vibe alive, whilst throwing one of the hedonistic (not to mention muddy) parties imaginable. Unlike many festivals, Glastonbury’s music policy is truly all-encompassing: bearded folk singers, ancient jazz players and odd-ball North African troupes all feature alongside some of the biggest bands on the planet.
It’s also Glastonbury’s attention to detail that makes it special. Each year the organizers pock mark the 900 acre site with hugely imaginative, psychotropic, and downright weird areas of interest. Whilst headline shows on Glastonbury’s hulking Pyramid stage are sure to garner the most attention, there’s also a ton of must see bits of the site away from the throng. We’ve counted down some of the most interesting in the below 5 Minute Guide to Glastonbury 2011.
Glastonbury’s organizers are keeping tight lipped about who this year’s special guest performers are. In a recent interview with NME festival organizer Michael Eavis simply had this to say, “There’s nothing bigger, I can tell you.” 2010’s secret performers were Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood: the driving force behind rock legends Radiohead. If the Glasto crew simply repeats the caliber of last year’s act then festival goers are due for a treat. Rumored guest include The Strokes (Shazam’s prediction for the guest spot), M.I.A. and even Prince.
A giant mechanized, fire breathing spider perched up in the middle of the English countryside should be a memorable site in anyone’s books. But when you combine that with a series of big name DJ performances and thousands of face painted revelers, then you have something really special. Highlights of this year’s Arcadia itinerary include sets from Orbital and SL2 who will be injecting moments of ‘90’s rave nostalgia intro this post apocalyptic, arachnid loving arena.
One common problem that affects all festival goers is keeping in touch with their friends. One obvious solution is to take your mobile along with you, however with many festivals lasting over three days lack of battery life is a common problem for many. While charging points can be located at most festivals, no-one wants to be stuck in a queue while you could be watching bands. Thankfully Orange have come up with a solution;
Wellies have always been an essential item at festivals and Orange, in collaboration with renewable energy experts GotWind, have created a unique power generated sole that converts heat from your feet into an electrical current. So after a full day of walking and throwing shapes in the dance tent, you’ll have built up enough energy to stay in touch with your mates; or give people stuck in work smug phone calls! Just simply plug your phone into your wellies at the end of the day and you’ll be ready for the next day
While the wellies aren’t onsale just yet, we’ve already put in our orders in preparation, for more info head here.
It was a pretty much certainty that the Glastonbury line up for this year was going to be a big one – what with it being the festival’s 40th anniversary – so it’s no surprise to see that this year’s event roster is one of the most action packed in years.
Joining the well publicised headliners of Stevie Wonder (above), Muse and U2 will be acts from every conceivable niche of the musical spectrum. From the cultured country of Willie Nelson to the funky gangsta rap of Snoop Dogg, the line up covers all bases. Big selling names such as LCD Soundystem, Vampire Weekend, The Flaming Lips, Slash, Pet Shop Boys and Scissor Sisters initially seem the most attention grabbing on the bill. These are complimented by a vast array of new bands, highlights of which include The Drums, Egyptian Hip Hop and Chapel Club. This is then bolstered by a whole host of heritage acts – George Clinton, Ray Davies and Gang Of Four – as well as the customary Glastonbury novelty acts such as west-country cider enthusiasts, The Wurzels (below).
Tickets for the event have sold out but the festival will be transmitted across the BBC’s TV, radio and digital services.
Glastonbury takes place at Worthy Farm, Pilton UK Wednesday 23rd – Sunday 27th June.
Yesterday saw the eagerly awaited announcement that Muse and Stevie Wonder are set to headline this year’s Glastonbury alongside U2. Speaking at the Olympia 2 venue in London, festival organiser Michael Eavis stated that it was probable that Matt Bellamy’s Muse would headline the Saturday while Stevie Wonder would take the coveted festival closing spot on Sunday evening. Other performers already reportedly playing this year’s event include Hot Chip, Dizzee Rascal, Jack Johnson and Vampire Weekend.
This year’s Glastonbury will be the landmark 40th anniversary of the festival and as such rumours have been wilder than usual surrounding who will headline. Dave Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin were all mentioned, but with this latest announcement the appearance of such megastar headliners now seems unlikely.
Those wishing to purchase tickets to this year’s festival should click here and join the race to secure some of the very limited return tickets when they go on sale.
Yesterday Irish stadium fillers U2 were announced as one of the three headline acts for Glastonbury Festival in 2010. Next year’s festival will be the 40th year in which thousands of music fans invade a usually serene and peaceful farm in Somerset. Festival organiser Michael Eavis had previously hinted that he would be pulling out all the stops to ensure 2010′s celebrations would go off with a bang and with U2 he has secured one of the world’s most popular acts. Despite filling arenas around the world, U2 have never played Glastonbury before so it’s an almost certainty that their set will be one of the most memorable of the weekend.
While this news proved the perfect Monday morning antidote for many ticket holders, some of the festivals regular goers may be slightly less than enthused about the prospect of seeing Bono strut along the Pyramid Stage. However the key to Glastonbury’s success has always been its versatility, while U2 are the only band announced so far; it’s safe to assume Michel Eavis already has his eye on a few other potential targets. We weigh up a few of the other possible contenders… Read more…
As is the custom around this time of year, the UK’s music scene’s focus shifts to a farm in Pilton, Somerset. Glastonbury needs no introduction, from a small folk festival that hosted Tyrannosaurus Rex (soon to become T-Rex) Michael Eavis has developed what has become the festival that all other festivals measure themselves against. Whether its Radiohead’s rain soaked headline slot in 1997 or Jay-Z’s “controversial” inclusion last year, everyone has a stand out Glastonbury moment; ensuring the festival has permanently become etched in all music lovers yearly calendar. While no guarantee can be made on the weather, anyone who has been will tell you that rain soaked wellies are a small price to pay for an unforgettable weekend of live music.
After criticisms over the line up last year, Eavis has delivered some huge headline acts. Revered country rocker Neil Young headlines the Friday and the newly reunited Blur will close the festival. The one act that has dominated preview coverage of this year’s festival has to be Saturday night’s headliner, The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen’s set will be the first headline festival set he has performed in the UK. Having never heard of the festival before, Evis coaxed the ‘Born in The USA’ singer into playing by sending his agent a document filled with glowing quotes from musicians who had previously played.
While the sets from the Glastonbury headliners will always be memorable, part of its continued success is that it continues to offer such a varied line up of established and up and coming acts. These are a few of the, slightly less hyped, acts that promise to deliver some festivals highlights:
The Big Pink When Robbie Furse and Milo Cordell formed The Big pink, much was written about the musical past of the two. Furse was previously Alec Empire’s guitar protégé while Cordell’s label, Merok, was the breeding ground for various bands such as Klaxons, Crystal Castles and Pre (singer, Akiko, also plays drums in The Big Pink). With a string of jaw dropping singles and after recently signing to 4AD, the band has clearly proved that there is more to them than an impressive rolodex. The band recalls the feedback and subtle beauty of My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus & Mary Chain. Be sure to catch their intense performance as they play the Queens Head and John Peel stages.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble Hypnotic Brass Ensemble takes every preconception you’ve ever had about jazz groups and throws them out the window. The eight brass players are all sons of the lauded Chicago trumpeter Phil Conran (the line up is bolstered with drummer Chris Anderson). The band first came to our attention after a mind blowing performance on Jools Holland, however word has been slowly spreading about this band; helped by Damon Albarn who released their first UK album on his label. The bands traditional instruments are merged with their modern hip-hop style. Their set in Club Dada on Saturday would be a good place to head if you’re looking for something off the beaten track.
Marina And The Diamonds While much has been said about the rise of synth pop obsessed ladies such as Little Boots and La Roux, 2009 has also seen the rise of plenty of other female singer songwriters who don’t have an obsession with the Human League. Marina has more in common with Regina Spektor and looks likely to be our next eccentric female star. After gaining hype through several blogs and gaining the support of tastemakers such as Huw Stephens, 2009 looks like a promising year for Marina. If you’re looking to impress your friends by seeing the next big thing then head to the Queens Head Stage on Saturday.
The Virgins While The Strokes lock themselves away recording their new album, a new gang of guys with guitars have appeared from New York. Mixing three minute punk songs with Hall & Oates basslines may sound like a car crash on paper, but somehow The Virgins manage to pull it off. Known for their raucous live shows, The Virgins will be aiming to bring a bit of New York sleaze to the John Peel Stage on Friday.
Another of Glastonbury’s charms is you have the opportunity to get lost in a world of dance tents. One we’re particularly looking forward to is the ever impressive New York Downlow; featuring performances from the always fabulous Horse Meat Disco DJ’s. Check the video above for a glimpse of what they have in store!