Festival Preview: Glastonbury


Starting today and continuing throughout April, I will be analysing and commenting on Britain’s biggest festivals and their respective lineups. A lot of festivals nowadays cater to a wide variety of tastes and audiences so I will be picking apart each lineup and each genre it covers. As the biggest and best recently announced its first leg of acts to play, it seemed applicable to start with Glastonbury.

Thanks to its pretty shoddy announcement poster, it’s hard to see who exactly the headliners of Glastonbury 2014 are, I assume it’s Arcade Fire, Kasabian and a further one to be announced in a similar fashion to last year. As well as this it seems the pyramid stage would be blessed with the likes of Dolly Parton, The Black Keys, Jack White and Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant too. You can obviously see Glastonbury‘s roots of rock music dominating the bill as well as the festival’s traditional ability to reel in the world’s biggest acts. However, I’m not really the biggest fan of any of the above, ol’ Dolly would churn out a couple of songs that I’d know, I like a few Kasabian songs and they’d be pretty good, but if I’m honest the presumed headliners are a tad lacklustre, at least for my tastes.

Nowadays rock is a wide spectrum, with many many acts falling under the label despite often being completely different. There’s a lot of variety under the genre at Glastonbury this year, including cult group The Manic Street Preachers, long-serving rocker Robert Plant, pop-rock four piece The 1975 as well as american punk-pop group Blondie. There’s a lot on offer this year and anyone with a taste for rock will be more than pleased.

As an avid hip-hop fan, I scanned the lineup looking for a massive rapper set to dominate the bill, the likes of JAY Z and The Wu-Tang Clan have blessed the pyramid stage before and I was hoping for an act of their caliber. Unfortunately for most, their isn’t a household name to look forward to, but what there is, is De La Soul. De La Soul are one of the most respected hip-hop acts out there and anyone who knows what they’re talking about ranks them up there with one of the best. It’s a massive act to nail down and I look forward to seeing them despite not knowing much of their catalogue. However, looking at the other rappers at Glastonbury 2014; Danny Brown, Angel Haze and Chance The Rapper are the only three I recognise, which is disappointing considering 2013 had the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Public Enemy, Tyler, The Creator, Azealia Banks and the legendary Nas.

With Chase & Status, Sub Focus, Flux Pavillion, Nestky and Major Lazer falling under this category from last year’s lineup, it would take a lot to beat it this year. James Blake, Disclosure and Rudimental all make triumphant returns to Glastonbury and they’re certainly a start, coupled with the duke of dubstep, Skrillex, along with a few others including Gorgon City, Annie Mac and Breach,there’s a good selection on offer, but again, it doesn’t reach the standard of 2013, at least not yet anyway.

Of course this is where Glastonbury comes into its own, where they seem to nail down performances from tomorrow’s stars. Scottish synth-pop trio CHVRCHES look to make their debut at the festival, an act I personally look forward to in mass anticipation, as well as established group MGMT; an act thatwould be something of a darkhorse with the likes of Kids and Time To Pretend likely to make appearances on their setlist. Hipster favourites Kodaline, London Grammar and Warpaint would all be high on a lot of people’s planners including my own, and as such the indie category would be something of a highlight of the lineup so far.

Glastonbury isn’t really a renowned home for pop music so you can’t expect loads but the likes of Ed Sheeran, MNEK, Kelis and Jake Bugg all make appearances with the likelihood of massive crowds almost inevitable. Be sure to be there for John Newman‘s performance of Love Me Again too, as a mass crowd singalong is a sure thing.

Other Highlights
With three incredibly well-received albums under her belt, middle-finger misfit M.I.A. would be an overwhelmingly exuberant performance filled with energy, colour and vigour, one I doubt I could miss. Bristolian trip-hop group Massive Attack are ready to cloud Worthy Farm with murky baselines, trippy synths and haunting vocalisations, and with frontman Robert Del Naja having hands in the composition and aura of his set’s designs, expect a performance unlikely to be replicated. The beautiful Lana Del Ray takes to the stage with her no nonsense performance style and Foster The People would also be an act to keep tabs on, despite seemingly vanishing from the planet after the mass success of their single Pumped Up Kicks. 

I really like Glastonbury 2014’s lineup. It’s a seemingly impossible task to cater to every musical taste but they’ve certainly made an incredible effort, especially considering there’s ‘many more acts and attractions to be announced’, it has a lot of established acts as well as a posse of fresh talent to look forward to.

One thought on “Festival Preview: Glastonbury

  1. Pingback: Festival Preview: Roskilde Festival, Denmark | The West Review

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