Glastonbury Festival 2022: A Preview | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, February 21st, 2024  

Paul McCartney, Wet Leg, Amyl and the Sniffers, Billie Eilish, Diana Ross, Kendrick Lamar, Wolf Alice, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Yard Act

Glastonbury Festival 2022: A Preview,

Jun 17, 2022 Photography by Anna Barclay (main photo) & Andrew Allcock Web Exclusive
Bookmark and Share

There’s something quintessentially English about Glastonbury that just doesn’t quite sit right with me. From its cosy middle-class nickname Glasto to the smug elitism of the select few that seem to go every year. Then add in the implied gap year faux rebellion, the rising costs of tickets and attendance I’m often left scratching my head at the self-satisfied belief that it’s the best festival – EVER!!!

But maybe that’s just my jaded, cynical side taking over, and perhaps it truly deserves that reputation. After all, where else in the world can you join a sea of blissed out faces beneath a canopy of achingly ironic flags and mildly amusing cultural referenced banners, each grinning and gurning to over 2,800 performances of everything from chin stroking folktronica to intense death metal, raging dubstep, epic post rock, political poetry, R&B – that’s a staggering amount of shows for one weekend!

Certainly, there’s no shortage of expert propagandists, with the likes of Lauren Laverne and Jo Whiley on hand to ensure maximum jealousy is induced cutesy of the BBC in everyone that didn’t get through the vicious scrum of the ticket lottery. And no-one can argue that the grounds, as found under the shadow of a solemnly standing ancient Tor, are anything short of idyllic.

But because this will only be my second time ever that I’ve found myself as a reveller at the Eavis’ homestead, I don’t quite have the rose-tinted unquestioning love nor the gushing Glasto nostalgia that so many burnt out ravers, weekend warrior laddish accountants, semi-detached dwelling aging hippies and endless army of 20-something Instagram addicted professional influencers all seem to share. I’ve yet to be shown the true worth of Worthy Farm.

Having been made to wait three years since the last time I, or anyone else, was there; I’ve got so many questions. And I don’t just mean the usual ones everyone asks every year like “Where do all the cows go?”, “Who are the secret acts playing this year?”, “Where is the best party right now?” and “Where can I score something that is probably just overpriced crushed up dog worming pills?”

Obviously, the weather is always questionable. Will global warming create such intensely hot summer solstice, that ironically all of Greenpeace’s most ardent supporters die off in a mass heat stroke disaster. Or will the heavens open, drowning all the straw hat wearing minor celebrities and sixteen-year-old Tarquins falling into their first ever ket hole in a tidal wave of mud and festival toilet shit?

Now I need also to know what’s a major festival like in a (kinda) post COVID world? When did Paul McCartney suddenly go from annoying has-been to everyone’s favourite from The Beatles, and is this only because the good ones are dead? And are the eels still addicted to party drugs thanks to cocaine fuelled piss draining into the water supply still rattling around in nearby rivers as infamously reported, and how exactly can you tell if an eel is off its face anyway?

But this is both the 50th instalment of the world’s most famous music event (if you don’t count Woodstock, , Bob Dylan’s “Judas”, Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction and Prince’s Superbowl appearance of course) and its belated birthday; surely it’s going to be absolutely amazing – right?

So, what can we expect? Certainly, all three headliners are a safe bet. The forementioned Macca, with around six decades of being a pioneer of rock and pop, he’s got all the hits, anthems, and classic tracks to cover the entire festival himself. We’d even forgive him if he played some of the cheesy “Granny Music”, it is Glastonbury after all. Alt pop it girl Billie Eilish has both the superstar status and youth appeal that such a prestigious event deserves, but even she is dwarfed by the one and only Diana Ross – the Motown icon who truly befits the Legends slot on Sunday teatime. And the whole wonderful weekend is brought to a magnificent close by Kendrick Lamar, fresh from conquering the world yet again with latest album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, further evaporating the long shadow still cast by Britpop and the insistence by a moronic minority that only four white boys with guitars can embody the spirit of Glasto.

But it’s not just about the big names found on the Pyramid Stage, and there’s MANY more acts to look forward to. And whilst too many cling to the notion that the traditional rock band setup is “proper music”, there’s nothing wrong with obvious guitar bands and indie icons – so long as they’re actually relevant. And there’s plenty of them to go around including our JARV IS…, who maintains his iconic status precisely because he refuses to abide to easy expectations and constantly evolves. The last Glastonbury saw Bristolian positive punks IDLES grow from an underground swell to a genuine phenomenon and we certainly welcome their return as we do Mercury Prize winners Wolf Alice who will no doubt channel both the energy and emotion for which their famed into a truly monumental appearance. Plus, I’m excited to see band of the moment Wet Leg come of age with all those perfect singalong singles that could easily be the soundtrack for this summer. But then, there’s the tremendous pressure that comes with that – let’s hope their all killer no filler No. 1 eponymous record doesn’t become another one hit wonder.

There’s also plenty of true stars old and new making an appearance next weekend, including noise rock pioneers The Jesus & Mary Chain, electropop prodigy Lorde, Bromley boy Fat Boy Slim, multi-Grammy nominee Phoebe Bridgers, 80’s greats Pet Shop Boys. If they weren’t enough of a draw alone there’s also plenty more to unexpected joys and newly discovered gems such as the welcome return of TLC, essential Texan rapper Megan Thee Stallion, infectious electro pop band Confidence Man and Yorkshire post punk poets Yard Act. Chuck in Squid, Four Tet, The Waterboys, Laura Veirs, Bicep, Warmduscher, Amyl &

The Sniffers, Self Esteem, YungBlud, St. Vincent… the list of potential headliners at any other big weekender goes on and on.

Phew – that’s a hell of a lot of genuinely impressive performances to look forward to!!! More than enough for me to block out and ignore the insipid HAIM, Sam Fender, Scouting For Girls, Blossoms and all the other inevitable dross that sneaks in. And sure, there will be inevitable clashes. But the dedicated app is meant to be dead good, and what better way to enjoy the great outdoors than being glued to a screen for most of it, working out just how much of a set you can enjoy before setting off on a marathon march right to the other side of the site? And that’s not even mentioning the comedy, theatre, art and having all the tension massaged out of my chakras at the Healing Field during sunrise. Also, the commitment to affordable food is most welcome with 75% of food traders signed up to selling a decent meal for no more than a fiver.

So, who knows? Maybe this is the year I finally shed my northern cynicism, “Find myself” raving with perennially travelling trust funders with double barrelled names at Shangri-La and become the latest rabid disciple of Britain’s most obvious cult. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a bit excited, and who wouldn’t be with a line up like this?

For the full line-up and latest news visit Glastonbury Festival’s Official Website.


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.