21 Jun 2015

GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL PREVIEW : the festival's hidden gems

It’s only a few days until the biggest music festival in the world commences once more in the beautiful Somerset haven of Worthy Farm. If you were lucky enough to get a ticket then you’re in for an experience like no other. But if you’re at home you can still enjoy coverage of so many brilliant artists.

This year is my second Glastonbury. On arrival last year I was daunted by the sheer scale and didn’t know where to start. The Wednesday and Thursday are ideal days for acclimatising and exploration before the stressful running from stage to stage.

Before the main acts start on Friday there are some musical treats in store. On Thursday night Williams Green is the place to be with a rumoured secret set from Wolf Alice. Also confirmed is a set from chilled folk duo Seafret. With distinctive vocals and serene acoustic guitars it’s something for fans of Hozier or James Bay, and is an ideal way to spend a relaxing evening before the chaos of the weekend.

Aside from the A-list headliners and countless massive names on the main stages there’s plenty of under-rated gems on the line-up. Don’t be put off seeing a band you’ve never heard of because you don’t know what you could be missing.

Up and coming indie band Coasts are bound to put on an upbeat summery set on Saturday on the John Peel stage. Their live shows are energetic filled with big choruses and euphoric songs that are ideal for festivals.

The Ramona Flowers, an electronic alternative rock band from Bristol, provide darker post headliner late night antics at 1:30AM Friday at the suitably mysterious Rabbit Hole. If you can find the prestigious hidden venue expect something a little moodier with blaring guitars and heavy bass.

Ibeyi have got themselves a slot at 1PM on The Park Stage on Saturday. The French twin duo has elements of Afro-Caribbean, French and Jazz music. It’s the ideal way to relax and crank the pace down a notch after a busy day.

New indie pop band Zibra are sure to fill the Introducing Stage tent with high-energy drums and a distinctive electronic sound. With radio one play and backing from Huw Stephens this is a chance to see them in an intimate setting before they break. Also on the Introducing stage the r‘n’b soulful sound of Nao. She’s another act with originality and potential for bigger things and her performance will be something very special.

The best way to finish Glastonbury on a high is the annual paint fight at the “Temple” in the Common, in the South East Corner of the festival. The Aztec- like arena structure is split in the middle and everyone is given a neon bag of powdered paint. The DJ queues up a Dubstep track and at the drop everyone is instructed to throw their paint. It can only be described as an explosion of bright colour and happy energy, creating a stunning 20-second spectacle. It encapsulates the atmosphere of Glastonbury festival and leaves you on a high.

This is just an extremely small segment of all the things that are worth seeing at Glastonbury. Expect the unexpected as there are surprises at any time. Whether you’re fortunate enough to be there or you’re watching from the sofa, I hope you enjoy every minute of the diverse brilliant performances throughout the weekend. It really is the best place in the world.