Glastonbury 2024: Secret sets, rumours and more

Sir Elton John headlined the final night of Glastonbury Festival last year
Sir Elton John headlined the final night of Glastonbury Festival last year - Yui Mok/PA

So you’ve managed to bag a ticket, your wellies are packed and the next week is going to be spent swotting up on Dua Lipa lyrics – it must be almost time for Glastonbury. The world’s most famous music festival will bring more than 200,000 revellers to Worthy Farm, Somerset for a weekend – between 26-30 June – of world-class tunes and, hopefully, life-affirming fun.

Away from the main line-up, which this year features the likes of Lipa, Coldplay, SZA, The National and Idles, there are hundreds of artists spread out over the festival’s 62 stages ready for you to fall in love with.

Of course, an annual highlight of the festival is its hotly anticipated array of secret sets. In past years, artists who’ve shown up unannounced in Pilton have ranged from Foo Fighters, The Killers and Lady Gaga to Radiohead.

British-Albanian popstar Dua Lipa will headline the Pyramid Stage on the Friday night
British-Albanian popstar Dua Lipa will headline the Pyramid Stage on the Friday night - Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America

In 2023, the enormous crowd gathered at the Pyramid Stage for Sir Elton John’s swansong were left slightly disappointed after his long-rumoured special guests – Harry Styles, Britney Spears, Eminem and Lipa – failed to appear. Instead, the Rocketman was left to dazzle his hundreds of thousands of fans with the help of relative newcomers Rina Sawayama, Stephen Sanchez and Gabriels’ Jacob Lusk (as well as The Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers).

This year, it’s Lipa’s Friday night headline set that promises to be a magnet for special guests – could Calvin Harris, Miley Cyrus, J Balvin or even Elton show up to lend a hand? Elsewhere, a mysteriously empty 6-7pm slot on the Woodsies stage on Saturday evening looks to be the most tantalising event, with numerous musicians slated to perform.

Here are the biggest rumours for Glastonbury 2024:


Pulp

Jarvis Cocker and his band of Britpop-heroes were also rumoured to be the secret act on the Pyramid Stage last year – one quickly shot down when Dave Grohl’s Foos, masquerading as The Churnups, unfurled their banner on stage. Having played multiple triumphant shows across the UK, Europe, Asia and US (and more) over the past year, there’s never been a better time for Pulp to return to the fields, anthems like Common People and Mis-Shapes in hand, ready to give the elated crowds the time of their lives.


The Killers

The Las Vegas indie rockers have long since emphasised their love for the festival, with frontman Brandon Flowers having turned up to perform Tiny Dancer with headliner Elton John last year. They’ve headlined twice – in 2007 and 2019 – and performed secret sets, meaning another surprise trip to the farm could be on the cards.


Green Day

This one’s more unlikely, despite what fans are writing on social media – the Californian pop-punk band, fronted by Billie Joe Armstrong, are headlining the Isle of Wight festival the week before Glastonbury – and the two competing events usually require their headliners to sign exclusivity agreements. But who knows – if they were to risk a hefty fine and show up anyway, the singalongs to Basket Case and American Idiot would certainly bring a welcome dose of angsty rock to this year’s otherwise pop-tastic affair.

Could pop-punk band Green Day make a surprise appearance?
Could pop-punk band Green Day make a surprise appearance? - Sergione Infuso/Corbis/Getty Images

The xx

Now this one is more likely: although the Mercury Prize-winning band haven’t played live for a few years, their main members – Romy Madley Croft and Jamie Smith (also known as Jamie xx) – are performing individual DJ sets at the festival, meaning they’d only have a short journey to reunite on stage…


Kasabian

The Leicester band headlined the Pyramid Stage at the peak of their powers in 2014, but their popularity has waned since, making a smaller secret set a likelier possibility. Now fronted by guitarist Sergio Pizzorno – after vocalist Tom Meighan left the band in July 2020, following his domestic violence conviction – could a successful set on the farm bring them back into the public consciousness? Fans are so convinced that it’s happening that William Hill has even suspended betting on the band’s appearance.


Kings of Leon

They recently released a new album, Can We Please Have Fun, and just so happen to be in the UK the same weekend as Glastonbury (for their Sunday night headline set at BST Hyde Park in London). Plus, it’s been 20 years since they last played on Worthy Farm, making a howling crowd-rendition of Sex on Fire all the more overdue.


Blur

More a pipe dream than a real possibility, Damon Albarn’s Britpop kings seem to have hung up their live hats for now after that disastrous headline set at Coachella in the US earlier this year. However, it’s indisputable that a homegrown, oh-so-British band like Blur is received best on home soil, and it seems only fitting that they’re given the opportunity to delight the crowds at Worthy Farm just like they did those lucky enough to be at Wembley Stadium last summer. Parklife and Song 2, roared out beneath the baking sun (or pouring rain) while surrounded by your best friends; what could be better?

Blur's Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon on stage at Wembley Stadium in 2023
Blur's Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon on stage at Wembley Stadium in 2023 - Jim Dyson/Getty Images Contributor