As usual, Glastonbury presents us with a long, dense line-up that would run into reams of copier paper were you to print if off (don’t do it). Just scratching at the surface yields names like The xx, Royal Blood and Biffy Clyro, Solange, Haim and London Grammar. Pick further down the bill and there’s Rag’N’Bone Man, winner of two BRIT Awards, seller of hundreds of thousands of albums and the subject of huge media interest. And that’s before you get anywhere near the dance tents, where anyone interested in looking might find one of three Goldie DJ sets.
Release dates, campaign plans and imminent or recent records are everywhere you look, with vast swathes of the bill primed to take advantage of the bonus TV coverage can bring. With that in mind, here are eight stories of which Glastonbury will likely form a pivotal moment, perhaps even a whole chapter.
Lorde, Other Stage, Friday
By the time Lorde hits the Other Stage on the first night proper, we’ll know where Melodrama, her much-feted second album, has charted. If the Midweeks are anything to go by, it may not be as highly as some expected, but does that matter? Does the opportunity to bewitch a field full of people – not to mention Glastonbury’s global audience – with twitchy, offbeat pop stand to be more beneficial? Whatever the answer, this nighttime show, under the lights, already feels significant.
Blossoms, Pyramid Stage, Friday
Walking across the field in front of the Pyramid on Friday afternoon could well yield much rubbernecking. Who are that lot on stage and why are so many people watching them? Answer: they’re called Blossoms, they had a No.1 record (which has now sold almost 110,00 copies) and they’ve built an army of fans as passionate as any Courteeners diehard. This year’s big indie boy breakthrough could be around the corner.
Stormzy, Other Stage, Saturday
Ostensibly, this one’s a shoo-in for one of the performances of the weekend. The wheels of this campaign are as well-greased as the Croydon MC’s high-octane live show, all of which should enable Stormzy to land at Glastonbury with an almighty bang.
Sigrid, Park Stage, Saturday
A major label pop act nestled in the middle of the bill on the Park Stage; this already feels like a big slot for the Norwegian. Which means someone at Glastonbury must believe she’ll nail it as much as those working the campaign at Island do. Plentiful industry chat around Sigrid has sustained itself for a number of months now, and it feels more than hot air. Electric live shows this year mean Sigrid has nothing really to prove, but this is a big chance to get in front of a lot of people, which usually helps…
Katy Perry, Pyramid Stage, Saturday
A somewhat bumpy album campaign careers onto Worthy Farm, depositing its star on a ginormous stage between The National’s weatherbeaten indie bangers and the Jeremy Corbyn-introduced Run The Jewels. Then, after all that, we get the Foo Fighters. Frankly, this seems an appropriately odd placing for Perry and her singular take on radio hits. She has plenty of them, so will this be the moment when Witness finally takes off?
Liam Gallagher, Other Stage, Saturday
Late afternoon on Saturday in this corner of the farm will mean hundreds of chucked pints, guitar amps wound loud and that voice. Liam’s vocal is sounding decent if recent outings are any kind of yardstick, and his tweets suggest he thinks this will be a big one. Thousands will gather for the Oasis material, but will they walk away humming the new songs? There’s only one way to find out.
Kano, Park Stage, Sunday
Nominated for both a BRIT and the Mercury Prize, Made In The Manor has significantly boosted Kano’s reputation, both in the grime scene he spawned from and on the outside. Here he is headlining on the final night of Glastonbury. As he edges ever further into the public consciousness, this could be a big breakthrough.
Ward Thomas, Acoustic Stage, Sunday
Another new British act pitching up in Pilton still basking in the glow of a No.1 album, Ward Thomas are only interested in going one way. Their live videos drove Cartwheels’ impressive sales figures (82,472 units and counting), so there’s an easy argument that an increased amount of people watching a show like this could nudge it closer to 100,000.