From Coldplay to KMRU: who to see at Glastonbury 2024

<span>Dua Lipa, Bobby Vylan of Bob Vylan, and Nia Archives</span><span>Composite: PR</span>
Dua Lipa, Bobby Vylan of Bob Vylan, and Nia ArchivesComposite: PR

The big acts

There have been the usual Facebook-comment grumbles about how there’s too much bloody pop, but at the very top of Glastonbury’s Pyramid this year is a formidable trio: high-production dance from Dua Lipa (Fri, 22.00), quintessential flag-waving whoa-oh-oh-alongs from Coldplay (Sat, 21.45) and a new flavour for a Pyramid headliner: atmospheric, emotionally intelligent R&B from SZA (Sun, 21.30). Elsewhere, there are ample party-starters in Jessie Ware (West Holts, Sat, 22.15), Jamie xx (Woodsies, Fri, 22.30) teasing his long-awaited new album, LCD Soundsystem (Pyramid stage, Fri, 19.45) and Confidence Man (Other stage, Fri, 15.45). PJ Harvey (Pyramid stage, Fri, 18.00), Little Simz (Pyramid stage, Sat, 19.45), Brittany Howard (West Holts, Sun, 18.30), Corinne Bailey Rae (West Holts, Sat, 16.00) and Kim Gordon (Woodsies, Sun, 18.30) offer various shades of provocation; and Danny Brown (West Holts, Fri, 18.30) and the National (Other stage, Sun, 21.45) essay middle age from fairly polarised perspectives. And after the reformed, original Sugababes (West Holts, Fri, 16.55) packed the Avalon field to bursting in 2022, it seems as though Avril Lavigne (Other stage, Sun, 18.00) will be this year’s hottest nostalgia ticket for the festival’s millennial core. Laura Snapes

Rising stars

Crinolines at the ready! It’s a foregone conclusion that UK breakout band the Last Dinner Party (Other stage, Sat, 15.45) are going to be blessed with the Glastonbury Moment™ of 2024, capitalising on the success of debut album Prelude to Ecstasy, which scored the biggest opening week for a No 1 debut album by any band since 2015 when it was released in February. Elsewhere, Nigerian pop doyennes Ayra Starr (Pyramid stage, Sat, 13.15) and Tems (Other stage, Sat, 14.15) play one after the other, while Nia Archives (West Holts, Sun, 20.00), Rachel Chinouriri (Other stage, Sun, 12.30), Kenya Grace (Woodsies, Fri, 15.15) and Flowerovlove (Lonely Hearts Club, Fri, 13.30) showcase the dancey, sun-dappled sound of young UK. For something completely different, the brilliantly chaotic, confrontational Irish-language rap trio Kneecap pop up at various points across the weekend (Woodsies, Sat, 11.30; Peace stage, Sat, 01.30; Q&A at Pilton Palais Cinema, Sat, 15.00). LS

Global names

Glastonbury’s fine global offering stretches across the four corners of the planet. Don’t miss Heilung (West Holts, Fri, 20.15) a group of Scandi folk musicians who perform stirring ballads and martial chants played with bones and animal skins, and who were the talk of Download festival this year. There’s a rare UK appearance from Asha Puthli (West Holts, Fri, 12.30), the Indian superstar whose catalogue spans psychedelia, disco and leftfield pop; as well as the Pakistani benju player Ustad Noor Bakhsh (Wishing Well, Sat, 15.15), who broke out in his 70s thanks to videos of his sunset jams breaking out online. Pakistani-American composer Arooj Aftab (Park stage, Sat, 16.30) bridges tradition and modernity in her hypnotic blend of jazz and Sufi balladry, as does Mdou Moctar (Park stage, Sun, 15.15), the genius Tuareg guitarist whose riff-heavy new album rages against colonialism. At the cutting edge of dance culture, meanwhile, are South African gqom pioneer DJ Lag (The Rum Shack, Fri, 02.30; Firmly Rooted, Sat, 01.00) and the trailblazing Tunisian DJ Deena Abdelwahed (Iicon, Sat, 04.00). LS


Glasto’s dance music offering was already world-class and the addition of the Levels last year levelled it up all the more: this year the LED-enhanced stage hosts two pop stars with their own club-cultural side quests, Shygirl (Thu, 00.00) and Charli XCX (Fri, 00.00). Arcadia’s spider has scurried away and will be replaced by the Dragonfly, built from an old Royal Navy helicopter, with highlights including sumptuously massive tech-house from Eric Prydz (02.00, Sat), stern minimal from Amelie Lens (01.50, Fri) and an awesome drum’n’bass Sunday with Andy C, Hedex back to back with Bou, A Little Sound and more. D’n’B gets another strong outing at Lonely Hearts Club on Saturday with Wilkinson, a 20-year Shogun anniversary and more, while other reliable back-to-backs include Bradley Zero and Batu (Stonebridge Bar, 18.00, Sun), DJ EZ and Sammy Vriji, the highlight of Rinse FM’s 30th anniversary celebrations (The Temple, 02.30, Fri); Todd Edwards and Dr Dubplate (Levels, 01.00, Sun); Jyoty, Lil Silva and Sampha (Levels, 21.00, Sun) and Ahadadream, Nikki Nair and Raji Rags providing a euphoric end to the takeover from south Asian underground institution Dialled In (Levels, 01.00, Thu). Bicep followed by DJ Python on Friday night at Iicon (01.15 onwards) is a euphoric one-two that will please the entire breadth of your crew – plus it’s in a massive field so you won’t have to queue – while there are crowdpleasers for Gen X-ers at Glade including Faithless, Goldie, Groove Armada and K-Klass. And Justice will close out West Holts on Sunday with juddering electro, symphonic disco and Daft Punk-level visuals (22.00). Ben Beaumont-Thomas


Starting Friday with a bang at 11.30am at Woodsies are Voice of Baceprot, a trio of female Indonesian Muslim metalheads whose soaringly massive choruses will jolt anyone out of an ill-advised “drank all my tinnies on Thursday night” hangover. Rock fans face a big clash later with Idles (Other stage, 22.15) and Fontaines DC (23.00, the Park stage), though the prospect of brand new material from the latter, arguably the best lyricists working today, makes it unmissable. Alvvays (Woodsies, 17.00, Sun) are for my money the best band at this year’s festival: their 2022 album Blue Rev was a dream-pop masterpiece and it translates into a gloriously widescreen live sound. Mannequin Pussy (Woodsies, 14.00, Sat) and Bar Italia (the Park stage, 14.00, Saturday) are rightly buzzed about, while the Vaccines (Woodsies, 16.30, Fri) may no longer be, though they have underrated recent material in spades. For singer-songwriter fans, Kara Jackson (the Park stage, 12.45, Sat) and Willie J Healey (Greenpeace, 16.00, Sat) each have a spellbinding mix of droll humour, affecting storytelling and tangy melodies, while at the other end of the noise spectrum both Skindred (Avalon, 23.05, Fri) and Bob Vylan (Left Field, 21.00, Sun; Peace stage, 01.30, Sun/Mon) craft moshpits full of righteous positive energy. Masked alt-pop star Lynks (Greenpeace, 21.35, Thu; the Park stage, 11.30, Fri) is exactly what you want at a festival – funny, high energy, with dance moves that are easy to copy even after seven pints, and for something truly befitting the “alternative” tag, try the theatrical strangeness of far-outlier Klein (19.40, Thursday), and the marrow-jolting ambience of Kenya’s KMRU (00.00, Friday, both Tree stage). BBT


The world may be moving away from drill somewhat but one of its key proponents, Headie One (14.15, Other stage, Fri) endures for his distinctive, drily amused bleat and nimble mic work – plus between him and D-Block Europe later on (20.30), there’ll surely be some star cameos. Over on the West Holts stage the same afternoon there are two of the US’s best: as well as antic caterwauling from the aforementioned Danny Brown (18.30) there’s socially conscious bars from Noname (15.30). Saturday afternoon at Lonely Hearts Club has a smartly curated run of MCs from the fringes, culminating in unlikely Brit award winner Casisdead (18.30, also Peace stage, 02.45, Sat) – best of all is the Brazilian-flecked drill of Blanco (14.30, also Platform 23, 01.45, Sat), while Lord Apex (17.30) keeps the old-school flame alive and Antony Szmierek (16.30) has an engaging chatty demeanour over non-rap backings. Ghetts meanwhile has gone from rowdy grime-y youth to one of the most rounded MCs in British history, and will help close out the weekend on the Park stage at 19.30 ahead of London Grammar. BBT